Posts Tagged ‘mathematics’

Cédric Villani as a “Living Theorem”

sabato, 8 dicembre 2012 - 22:30

2010 Fields Medal laureate Cédric Villani is a world-renowned French mathematician enjoying a media-star status in his country (where scientific culture and achievements are taken seriously).
His book Théorème Vivant has been published last August by Grasset, with a first print-run of 30,000 and good initial sales, an impressive array of Higher Mathematics formulas and symbols notwithstanding.
Incredibly enough, and going against an established Italian tradition of wariness towards scientific books, a major publisher like Rizzoli is going to publish the book in Italy early in 2013.
This fact alone speaks volumes about Villani’s prestige and kudos.
And before I forget: he’s going to be LUCCA COMICS AND SCIENCE‘s guest of honor in 2013 (as mathematician Roberto Natalini and yours truly proudly announced last November).
Such are the interest and sense of waiting stirred by this truly unique figure of modern scientist and popularizer, that prominent Italian science blogger Popinga simply couldn’t wait and reviewed the French version of the book.
Strictly speaking, Théorème Vivant is a popular science book but, at the same time, it serves well as a personal journal, a memoir and a meditation about mathematical research’s dynamics and inner workings. Uncompromisingly, when it comes to scientific rigor.
Which only says a lot about Popinga’s merits: more than simply accessible, his post makes Villani’s efforts and achievements engaging. And the occasional readers find themselves asking for more about mathematics and Landau damping (not joking)…
Deeply gratified by their new, wonderful discovery: not only Great Science can be entertaining; when it’s really great it reaches out to people’s lives.

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ENIGMA – La strana vita di Alan Turing

giovedì, 22 novembre 2012 - 18:24

A NEW FB PAGE IS NOW DEDICATED TO THIS FINE BOOK BY WRITER FRANCESCA RICCIONI AND ARTIST TUONO PETTINATO. A GOOD REASON TO LEARN ITALIAN IF STILL “il bell’idioma” / “the beautiful language” ELUDES YOU (AS IT DOES WITH SO MANY ITALIANS).
AND YES, IT’S ABOUT ALAN TURING, HIS ECLECTIC GENIUS AND HIS TORMENTED, MELANCHOLIC LIFE.

Staged Turing

sabato, 10 novembre 2012 - 15:10

English mathematician, logician, computer scientist ante litteram and gay icon malgré soi Alan Turing (1912-1954) is an outstanding figure in 20th Century’s science and philosophical thought. Breaking the code was an early piece (1986) and a forerunner of  a long string of oeuvres bringing his crucial, multi-faceted, tormented life to the stage. For what I’m concerned, as a huge (science-)fiction fan, for the time being theater wins over the movies 10-0.
In 2012, Turing’s anniversary year par excellence, two Italian plays in a few days, in a country traditionally indifferent to scientific ideas, speak loud of his pervasive influence and lasting fascination, far beyond the academia walls.

I attended this one in Florence: a well done dramatization of the instant-classic David Leavitt‘s book.
This one is coming in a few days in Milan: see you there (more here).


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