Headline, April 11 2022/ ''' MATHS -'' LITERATURE ''- MAKES '''

''' MATHS - 



WITH GREAT REVERENCE TO OMAR KHAYYAM : Poet, Mathematician, Philosopher and a great Humanitarian.

And then to the rolling heavens itself  I cried.....

What lamp has destiny to guide? ...............

Your little children so stumbling in the dark ....

'Blind understanding' ....the heavens replied 

THE 11TH-CENTURY PERSIAN SCHOLAR OMAR KHAYAM - to whom the poetry collection known as the Rubaiyat is attributed was also a mathematician, and created beautiful geometric solutions to mathematical problems whose full algebraic solutions would not be found for another 400 years.

In the 14th century, Chaucer wrote both ''The Canterbury Tales'' and a treatise on the astrolabe. There are innumerable such examples, not least that of Lewis Carroll, who of course, was a mathematician first and an author second.

There's a deeper reason we find mathematics at the heart of literature. The universe is full of underlying structure, pattern and regularity, and mathematics is the best tool we have for understanding it - that's why mathematics is often called the language of the universe, and why it is so vital to science.

Since we humans are part of the universe, it is only natural that our forms of creative expression, literature among them, will also manifest an inclination for pattern and structure.

THE WONDROUS CONNECTION BETWEEN Mathematics and Literature :

''Call me Ismael.'' This has to be one of the most famous opening sentences in all of literature, and I'm embarrassed to say that - until quite recently - I didn't get beyond it.

''Moby-Dick'' was, for me, one of those books that languished in the guilt-inducing category of ''things you should have read a long time ago,'' and I just never got around to it. Plus, I am a mathematician. And despite my interest in literature, my intellectual priorities did not include 400-page novels about whales - or so I thought.

That all changed one day when I overheard a mathematician friend mention that ''Moby-Dick'' contains a reference to cycloids.

Cycloids are among the most beautiful mathematical curves in existence - the French mathematician Blaise Pascal found them so distractingly fascinating that he claimed merely thinking about them could relieve the pain of a bad toothache - but applications to whaling are not usually listed on their resume.

Intrigued, I finally read ''Moby-Dick,'' and was delighted to find that it abounds with mathematical metaphors. I realized further it's just Herman Melville; Leo Tolstoy writes about calculus, James Joyce about geometry. Fractal structure underlies Michael Crichton's ''Jurassic Park'' and algebraic principles govern various forms of poetry.

WE mathematicians even appear in work by authors as disparate as Arthur Conan Doyle and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

There have been occasional academic studies on mathematical aspects of specific genres and authors. But the more holistic connections between mathematics and literature have not received the attention they deserve.

In fact, they are often pitted against each other. In the British education system in recent decades, students are often forced to choose between studying either math and science or the humanities.

I recall that at the end of my very last English class at school, in 1991, the teacher gave me a lovely handwritten note with a longlist of books she thought I might like, saying, ''Sorry to lose you to the lab.''

I was sorry to be considered lost, too. But I wasn't lost. I love language; I love the way the words fit together; I love the way that fiction - like mathematics - can create, play with and test the limits of imaginary worlds.

I went off to Oxford to study mathematics, very happy to be living one street away from the pub where my childhood literary heroes C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien had met each week to discuss their work.

The idea that one would have to choose between mathematics and literature is, I think, something of a tragedy - not only because the two fields are inextricably and fundamentally, linked, but also because understanding these links can enhance your enjoyment of both.

Befittingly, the great master Omar Khayyam sums up best :

We are no other than a moving row -

Of magic shadow shapes - that come and go

Round with the Sun illumined lantern held -

In MID-NIGHT by the Master of the Show

The Honour and Sering of the Latest Global Operational Research on Mathematicians, Literature masters, Poets and Philosophers continues. The World Students Society thanks author Sarah Hart, a British mathematician and the author of '' Once Upon a Prime : The Wondrous Connections Between Mathematics and Literature.''

With most loving and respectful dedication to the Global Founder Framers of !WOW! - the exclusive ownership of every student - and then Mankind, Grandparents, Parents, Students, Professors and Teachers of the World.

See Ya all prepare for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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