The British Society for the History of Mathematics is holding a weekend
residential meeting on the topic of “Mathematics and Fiction” meeting at
Rewley House, Oxford on Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 May 2009. This meeting
will explore the various uses of mathematics in fiction – novels about
mathematics or mathematicians, and novels based on mathematical
structures. We have an outstanding line-up of speakers, including
novelists, critics and historians from the UK and USA. Don Knuth will be
talking about his /Surreal Numbers/, which is the only time a
mathematical theory has first been published in the form of a novel, and
novelists participating include Andrew Crumey (“Mobius Dick” and
“Sputnik Caledonia”), Nikita Lalwani (“Gifted”), Ann Lingard (“The
Embalmer’s Book of Recipes”) and Scarlett Thomas (“PopCo” and “The End
of Mister Y”). Contributions will take the form of readings and
interviews as well as talks, there will be a bookstall and plenty of
opportunities to talk to the writers about their work are planned.
Financial support is available for students wishing to attend – please
contact the organiser at the email below.
Contributors are as follows:
* Melanie Bayley (Oxford), 'Free will and statistics in
/Middlemarch/ and /Jude the Obscure/'
* David Bellos (Princeton), author, /Georges Perec: a life in
words/, on the Oulipo
* William Goldbloom Bloch (Wheaton, Massachusetts), 'Navigating
Labyrinths in Jorge Luis Borges' story /The Library of Babel/'
* Andrew Crumey, novelist, author of /Sputnik Caledonia /and /Mobius
* Marilyn Gaull (Boston), 'Romantic numeracy'
* Dorothy Ker, composer, 'the 19th step: Borges, Maths and Music'
* Donald Knuth (Stanford) on his novel /Surreal Numbers/
* Nikita Lalwani, novelist, author of /Gifted /
* Ann Lingard, novelist, '/The Embalmer’s Book of Recipes/ (with a
nervous nod towards quasicrystals)'
* Mark McCartney (Ulster), 'James Clerk Maxwell: A Poetic Life'
* Tony Mann (Greenwich), ‘Mathematics and fiction”
* Scarlett Thomas, novelist, author of /PopCo/ and /The End of Mr Y/
Details, abstracts and biographies, and the registration form can be
found at http://www.bshm.org/meetings/Fiction.html. Early registration
is recommended. The meeting is organised by Noel-Ann Bradshaw
(Greenwich), Raymond Flood (Oxford) and Tony Mann (Greenwich). If you
would like to know more please contact Tony Mann ([log in to unmask]).
Head of Department, Mathematical Sciences
School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences
University of Greenwich
Old Royal Naval College
Park Row, London
Phone: 020 8331 8709 Fax 020 8331 8665
[log in to unmask] http://staffweb.cms.gre.ac.uk/~A.Mann/
University of Greenwich, a charity and company limited by
guarantee, registered in England (reg no. 986729).
Registered Office: Old Royal Naval College, Park Row,
Greenwich SE10 9LS.