Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Poems and proofs

The December issue of SIAM News (which unfortunately won't be online for a few more weeks) includes the article Bursts of Poetic Creativity Enliven Two Mathematical Careers. One of the quotes (of S.J.P. Hillion) tickled me:

Every so often we'd come up with something that particularly pleased us, and then we'd dwell on that phrase for hours or days, sometimes almost meditating on it over dinner at Chez Panisse or La Val's, as if we'd just discovered a profound mathematical truth.

I'm not sure which I appreciated more: the sentiment expressed, or the juxtaposition of Chez Panisse (Alice Waters's expensive, famous restaurant in Berkeley's gourmet ghetto) and La Val's (a cheap, though good, local Mexican place -- I often go to the one just around the corner from Soda Hall).

While you're waiting for the December issue to come online, check out the November book review, Mumbo Math.