May 6, 2013 - 19:53 — Anonymous

Publisher:

Springer Verlag

Year:

2013

ISBN:

978-88-470-2888-3 (hbk)

Price (tentative):

59,99 € (net)

Short description:

This is a sequel to the first volume of Imagine Math and it contains again a collection of papers that make a connection between mathematics and cultural activities like music, poetry, literature, film, and/or scientific disciplines like philosophy, sociology, biology, polemology, myrmecology, etc.

URL for publisher, author, or book:

www.springer.com/mathematics/book/978-88-470-2888-3

MSC main category:

00 General

MSC category:

00A99

Other MSC categories:

00A65; 00A66; 00A67

Review:

Like the previous volume *Imagine Math* and the parallel series of *Mathematics and Culture*, (see e.g. vol I and vol VI) we again find here a collection of 26 very diverse essays, often translated from Italian, that deal with the mathematical aspects of arts, culture and scientific applications. The volumes in both series are edited by M. Emmer, but whereas the *Mathematics and Culture* provides translations of the Italian proceedings of recurrent conferences on the topic, this series is not directly connected to a conference. Since there are too many contributions to review each paper in detail here, I just a few examples below.

There is mathematics, poetry and literature which take up about a quarter of the book. Some examples: a paper by *V. Della Mea* who wrote a collection of poems *L'Infanzia di Gödel* (Gödel's childhood) and one by *Ph. Schlogt* who wrote a novel *The wild numbers* about a mathematician who proved some great theorem about a crazy fictitious sequence of numbers. That sequence got an entry in the on-line encyclopedia of integer sequences afterwards. Many classics from world literature appear in a survey analysing the attitude of the authors towards mathematics (or science). The contribution by *C. Ambrosini* deals with two operas he wrote (*Big bang circus* and *Il killer di parole*) in which the libretto, especially in the latter, deals with numbers, language and mathematics.

Mathematics and film is also a subject that shows up in all volumes of these series. Many types of links are possible. It can be a biographical film of some mathematician, or a mathematical element can play an essential dramatic role,

or structural elements may be defined by mathematical procedures, or geometric elements may be used as in an abstract painting using light as a paint, etc. Of course there are also instructive movies like *Flatland* or *Donald in Mathmagic Land* or the more formal computer generated *Dimensions*. This volume has a paper by *E. Frenkel* about his erotic short film *Rites of love and math*, a remake of the Japanese cult classic *Rites of love and death* (Y. Mishima, 1966) in which two lovers commit suicide. The harakiri at the end in the original is replaced by the tattooing of a math formula on the belly of the woman in the remake. *Arithmétique* is a short animation video by *G. Munari* and *D. Rovazzani*

Painting, music and math are also mixed in the papers by the musician *D. Amodio* and the engineer *C. de Fabritiis*. They `mapped' the well known painting *Summertime 9A* by *J. Pollock* into a piece of music, which they called *Jacksontime*.

The homage to *Alan Turing* contains a short biography and the script of the stage play *Alan Turing and the poisoned apple* by *M.Vicenzi*. More performance art, relating the real and the virtual is described in the paper by *A. Mondot* on the company *Adrien M / Claire B* that he has set up together with *C. Bardainne*.

Somewhat more technical are contributions on dynamical systems and morphology, weather prediction, on modeling the social behaviour of ant colonies and more generally modelling swarms, and cellular automata for the game of life.

All this and much more can be found in here. Mathematics is everywhere as this book illustrates and yet hardly a formula to be found in it. Good reads for all math lovers with a broad and open mind.

Reviewer:

A. Bultheel

Affiliation:

KU Leuven

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