Monday, November 27, 2023

A Proof in a Poem . . .

     I was led to this information by a recent (11/23/23) posting by @OxUniMaths on  𝕏 (at

     Mathematicians Germano Cardano and Nicolo Tartaglia  lived in Italy in the 16th century.  When Cardano tried to persuade Tartaglia to tell him the solution method for  to cubic equations, he received a description that he calls a poem. Andrew Wiles discusses this situation in a YouTube video, as part of his talk on the Langlands program.  The posting by @OxUniMaths on  𝕏 offers a brief section of that talk -- and includes this translation (from the original Italian) of Tartaglia's poem:

Tartaglia considers solving a cubic

To the right (above), Wiles has noted a symbolic translation of Tartaglia's words.  In his discussion of the poem, Wiles also notes that back in the 16th century all math was written using words.  

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