Monday, September 27, 2010

Seminar - From Tristram Shandy to Bad Sex: Some Uses of Mathematics in Fiction

An LKL Maths-Art seminar by Tony Mann
Thursday 14 October 2010, 6.00 - 7.30pm

The worlds of mathematics and fiction might be thought to have little in common, but mathematics has featured in many novels, and many novelists have engaged seriously with mathematics and mathematicians. A few (perhaps surprisingly few) mathematicians have written fiction; many real and imaginary mathematicians have been appropriated as fictional characters, and novelists have based work on various mathematical structures and devices. This talk will examine some of these literary uses of mathematics. It will look at some illustrative examples from Plath to Borges and the Oulipo, mention some of the recent crop of diverse and fascinating mathematical novels, and discuss some of the issues that arise from this meeting of disciplines.

In his twenty-one years at the University of Greenwich, TONY MANN has taught mathematics, software engineering and digital media. His roles at the University have included Head of Department of Mathematical Sciences, 2002-2010. Before becoming an academic he worked as a software engineer in the electricity supply industry, writing mathematical modelling software. He is currently President of the British Society for the History of Mathematics (BSHM), is also Treasurer of the interdisciplinary Leonardo da Vinci Society, and has served on the Committee of the Computer Arts Society. In 2009 he organised a conference on Mathematics and Fiction in Oxford, following which he published an article in the BSHM Bulletin about mathematics and fiction.

DATE: Thursday 14th October
TIME: 6.00 to 7.30pm
PLACE: London Knowledge Lab, 23-29 Emerald St, London, WC1N 3QS
[Travel information & maps at: ]

All welcome. No reservation required, but an email to is appreciated for planning purposes.

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