Thursday, April 21, 2011

Spaghetti Junction

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:59 PM

Literary remarks for Maundy Thursday—

IMAGE- 'It was a perfectly ordinary night at Christ's high table....'

      — C. P. Snow, foreword to G. H. Hardy's A Mathematician's Apology

Related material—

Emory University press release of January 20th, 2011:

"In 1937, Hans Rademacher found an exact formula for calculating partition values. While the method was a big improvement over Euler's exact formula, it required adding together infinitely many numbers that have infinitely many decimal places. 'These numbers are gruesome,' Ono says….

… The final eureka moment occurred near another Georgia landmark: Spaghetti Junction. Ono and Jan Bruinier were stuck in traffic near the notorious Atlanta interchange. While chatting in the car, they hit upon a way to overcome the infinite complexity of Rademacher's method. They went on to prove a formula that requires only finitely many simple numbers.

'We found a function, that we call P, that is like a magical oracle,' Ono says. 'I can take any number, plug it into P, and instantly calculate the partitions of that number….'"

See also this journal on April 15 and a Google Groups [sage-devel] thread, Ono-Bruinier partition formula. That thread started on April 15 and was last updated this morning.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Supper at Eight (continued)

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 7:59 PM

Review— “It was a perfectly ordinary night at Christ’s high table….”

See also this afternoon’s Other Literary Symbolism.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Sunday October 15, 2006

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:00 PM

Cleavage Term

Snow is mainly remembered as the author of The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution (1959).

According to Orrin Judd, we can now see “how profoundly wrong Snow was in everything except for his initial metaphor, of a divide between science and the rest of the culture.”

For more on that metaphor, see the previous entry, “The Line.”

I prefer a lesser-known work of Snow– his long biographical foreword to G. H. Hardy’s A Mathematician’s Apology. The foreword, like the book itself, is an example of what Robert M. Pirsig calls “Quality.”  It begins with these words:

“It was a perfectly ordinary night at Christ’s high table, except that Hardy was dining as a guest.”

Related material:

Wallace Stevens,
“The Sail of Ulysses,”
Canto V

Friday, October 15, 2004

Friday October 15, 2004

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:11 PM
Snow Jobs

In memory of C. P. Snow,
whose birthday is today

“Without the narrative prop of
High Table dinner conversation
at Cambridge, Snow would be lost.”
— Roger Kimball*

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix04A/041015-Sup.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

“It was a perfectly ordinary night
at Christ’s high table, except that
Hardy was dining as a guest.”
— C. P. Snow**

“666=, and there is
no other decomposition.”
— G. H. Hardy***

* The Two Cultures Today

** Foreword to
A Mathematician’s Apology

*** A Mathematician’s Apology

Oct. 15, 2004, 7:11:37 PM

Powered by WordPress