Monday, January 29, 2024

Women in Math -- Don't Hide Them!!

     In the days and years since my schooling, the numbers of math-women have increased and their public recognition also has increased.  But not enough!  This list of 18 remarkable women in STEM includes only one math-woman  AND. here are several book-seller links to explore: 

Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science-and the World
30 Remarkable Women in Science and Math
The First Woman in Space: Valentina Tereshkova
20 Greatest Mathematicians: Masters of Mathematics from the Past, Present, Future

     A very important math-influence in my life was my high school math teacher for my junior and senior years, Laura Church.  Today, exploring the internet, searching for her name, I found only this memorial statement and, although it tells of her teaching at Indiana Joint High School, it does not mention that her teaching-subject was math.  Here is a stanza that celebrates her:  

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Mathematical Wellness

      As I read this poem, I was reminded of attitudes toward mathematics:

by poet Sunil Singh, from Words

Friday, January 19, 2024

Films about math and math-people

    One of my recent finds has been an article that offers a list of 20 films about math, mathematicians, and math-geniuses.  Eagerly, I opened the article to read about the films and to see which of them also involved poetry.  ALAS, I did not find that these math-people connected with poetry.  Following that non-find, I turned to a favorite source of mathy poems to discover something to post.

    That favorite source is Against Infinity, edited by Ernest Robson and Jet Wimp (Primary Press, 1979 and now out of print); this collection has been on my shelf for many years and is the first math-poetry anthology that I ever encountered.  Here is a poem from that collection, written by a Missouri high school senior, Carol Clark.

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Poetry at the Joint Mathematics Meetings

        During January 4-7, 2024, mathematics meetings were held in San Francisco, CA.  Although unable to attend, I have spent some time browsing abstracts of the presentations there and found several that involve poetry.  Suzanne Sumner of the University of Mary Washington, gave a presentation entitled "How Poetry Informs the History of Mathematics" and here is a link to the abstract for Sumner's presenation.

     From Sumner's abstract I learn that the ancient Sanskrit scholar Acharya Pingala was likely to have been the first to use Fibonacci numbers and Pascal's triangle in his poetry. Using this blog's SEARCH feature, I found this link to prior mentions of Fibonacci in this blog and this link to mentions of Pascal.

Friday, January 12, 2024

A Mathy-Poetic Quote

     Recently my thoughts have turned often to these mathy-poetic words by Danish-American comedian-musician Victor Borge (1909-2000):

Laughter is the
shortest distance
between two people.

*  *  *  *

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Thinking with my fingers . . .

Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers.

Isaac Asimov (1920-1992)

This quote from science fiction writer Isaac Asimov is found here along with other related views.  For me also -- with poetry or math or some other subject -- writing is an important thinking strategy:  my fingers with my pen lead me to new ideas.  And counting syllables shapes my words like this:

start with
just a few
words -- and write them --
AND my fingers help
to develop my thoughts.

Saturday, January 6, 2024

Many accessible MATHY POEMS -- from BRIDGES

      One of the wonderful supporters of connections between mathematics and the arts has been BRIDGES, a conference-gathering that was initiated by Reza Sarhanghi (1952-2016) in 1998.  

     Here, at the BRIDGES website, one may find information about the upcoming 2024 conference.  This website also offers -- via the link Papers Archive -- access to conference papers from 1998 to 2023.  

     Poetry became part of the conference in 2011 and, at the link Mathematical Poetry, we are taken to a website maintained by math-poet Sarah Glaz -- a website that offers access to a vast and wonderful collection of poems, anthologies, recordings, videos, . . .

   Below I include an anthology sample, a very fine poem by Deanna Nikaido from the Bridges Stockholm 2018 Anthology.

     Ratio     by Deanna Nikaido

          They say there are two sides to everything.  

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Student Contests -- Essays, Poems -- Due by Feb. 1

 STUDENTS – Middle School, High School, College

    Write a Mathy POEM


    Interview a Math-Woman, write an ESSAY                                 about her

Entries are being accepted now – and up to FEBRUARY 1, 2024.

Information about the MATH-POETRY competition is available here.

Information about the MATH-WOMAN ESSAY CONTEST is available here.