Crossing the Equal Sign: Mathematics as Poetic Experience
Among the general public math has a reputation for being cold, calculating, and lacking in emotion. Yet, not everyone feels that way. Throughout history human beings, not always mathematicians have been inspired to write math literature. Well-known examples include Flatland and Alice in Wonderland.
This talk featured the exploration of math poetry by Dr. Marion Cohen, focusing on poems from her book, Crossing the Equal Sign. The book is a series of poems through which one can see her passion for mathematics as she described her experience while working on a particularly intriguing problem. Math weaves in and out of her life – and vice versa.
We heard poems about cats, kids, music, zen, stuttering, broken ankles, and of course points, lines, and math-dreams among others. The reading was punctuated by info and comments about math poetry in general.