Friday, March 29, 2024

Math meets Poetry -- Student's Senior Project

      Lawrence "Larry" Lesser is a mathematics and statistics professor at the University of Texas in El Paso -- and is also an active poet and song-writer.  This link leads to my previous inclusions of his poetry and ideas earlier in this blog.  Recently one of Lesser's Facebook postings led me to an article about a student at Kalamazoo College in Michigan who combined math with poetry for her senior project.  This article about Elizabeth "Lizzy" Rottenberk tell how her loves for mathematics and poetry connect and it offers the following sample math-poetry pair:

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

A blog posting written by ChatGPT 3.5

     For a long time I have been curious about what would result if I asked AI to write a blog post for me.  One day recently I signed in at and was asked by ChatGPT 3.5,  "How can I help you today?"  Copied and pasted below is our conversation (copied from this link).  (I am disappointed that ChatGPT's respones did not, as my postings usually do, include a poem.)  Read -- and reflect!

UserI have a blog entitled "Intersections -- Poetry with Mathematics" and I would like Chat GPT to write a blog posting for me.  

From ChatGPT: 

Title: Exploring the Symmetry of Numbers: A Mathematical Poetic Journey

Welcome back to "  Intersections -- Poetry with Mathematics"! Today, let's delve into the captivating world where numbers and poetry intertwine, creating harmonies of symmetry and rhythm. Join me on this whimsical voyage where mathematical concepts dance with lyrical verses, inviting you to see the beauty in both.

Saturday, March 23, 2024

They Say She WAS GOOD (for a woman)!

     March is Women's History Month; March 23 1882 is the birthdate of Emmy Noether (1882-1935).  Here is a photo of Noether from a  Twitter X posting from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at St. Andrews -- and it is followed by a stanza from a poem about Noether that I was inspired to write many years ago; following those lines, a link to previous poetic postings about Noether in this blog.


Thursday, March 21, 2024

March 21 -- Celebrate World Poetry Day

 This blog has lots of poetry possibilities!
Scroll down and choose a mathy poem!


Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Honoring Math Teacher and Poet, Amy Uyematsu

      On Saturday, March 23 at 2 PM, a poetry-event is planned at Descanso Gardens in La Cañada Flintridge, California to celebrate the life of poet, math teacher, and activist Amy Uyematsu (1947-2023).  It was my pleasure to be connected to Amy via various math-related events and her work has been included in previous postings in this blog.  (Here's a link to a list of those earlier posts.)

     One of my favorite poems of Amy's is  "The Meaning of Zero:  A Love Poem."  The complete poem is found here at Poets. org and in the collection Strange Attractors:  Poems of Love and Mathematics-- and I offer its opening stanzas below.

Uyematsu's complete poem is available at this link.

Friday, March 15, 2024

Discovery Tool -- Following a Pattern

     When I pick up a pen to write on a particular subject, often it is useful me to try to follow a pattern for rhymes or syllable-counts -- for the effort to conform to a pattern challenges me to think about my topic in new ways.  In the history of poetry, rhyme-choices were frequent--yielding sonnets, villanelles and a variety of other forms.  

     In recent years, online and printed versions of poems have become very accessible and the principle, "Rhymes help us remember" has become less of a focus in poetry.  One of the popular connections between math and poetry has been the use of Fibonacci numbers to choose syllable counts;  especially  popular has been the FIB, a six-line stanza in which the syllable-counts are 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, and 8 -- the first six Fibonacci numbers.  (Inventor of the FIB was Greg Pincus, and lots of information is provided here in this 2010 blog posting, Poems with Fibonacci number patterns.)  

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Celebrate Pi

     Soon it will be Pi-Day (3.14) and this year I again call your attention to a poem by one of my long-time favorite poets -- the poem "Pi" by Polish Nobel Prize-winning poet Wislawa Szymborska (1923-2012).   I offer a portion of the poem below (followed by a link to the complete poem).

from    Pi     by Wiwlawa Szymborska  

 (translated from Polish by Clare Cavanaugh and Stanislaw Baranczak (1946-2014)).

     The admirable number pi:
     three point one four one
     All the following digits are also initial,
     five nine two because it never ends.
     It can’t be comprehended six five three five at a glance,
     eight nine by calculation,
     seven nine or imagination,
     not even three two three eight by wit, that is, by comparison
     four six to anything else
     two six four three in the world.
     The longest snake on earth call it quits at about forty feet.
     Likewise, snakes of myth and legend, though they may
                hold out a bit longer.
     The pageant of digits comprising the number pi
     doesn’t stop at the page’s edge.        . . .
               .  .  . 

The entire Szymborska-poem is may be found here at the website "Famous Poets and Poems" and also here in an online pdf of the booklet Numbers and Faces:  A Collection of Poems with Mathematical Imagery -- a collection that I edited on behalf of the Humanistic Mathematics Network.

This link connects to a list of previous blog-posts of Pi-related poems. 

Thursday, March 7, 2024

Celebrating Women who write Mathy Poems

       Now in March -- in Women's History Month -- many writers are taking a bit of extra time to explore the history and achievements of women.  It was my delight to find a March 6 posting here on the Poetry Blogging Network with a list of celebrated women in poetry that includes several writers of mathy poems.  Of the ten poets listed, the following five have been included in this blog -- in earlier postings.  For each, I include a mathy sample and the poet's name is linked to earlier postings that include their work.

     Adrienne Rich   from Planetarium 

             a woman      ‘in the snow     
             among the Clocks and instruments              
             or measuring the ground with poles  

            in her 98 years to discover    
            8 comets

Monday, March 4, 2024

Multiple Meanings -- in Poetry, Math, and Jokes

     One of the challenging AND enriching qualities of both mathematics and poetry is the multiplicity of meanings that particular expressions may have. This quality also is found in jokes -- and in the Math Blog of MIT math-scholar Tanya Khovanova I recently enjoyed some entertaining mathy riddle-jokes and below I offer a sample: 

Here is a link to Khovanova's complete blog-posting.  Enjoy!

For biographical and contact information for Khovanova, here is a link to her webpage -- and here aa link to her poem "Nerdy Wedding" and, finally, a link to an earlier posting of her work in this blog.