The Bridges Conferences, running annually since 1998,
bring together practicing mathematicians, scientists, artists, educators,
musicians, writers, computer scientists, sculptors, dancers, weavers,
and model builders in a lively atmosphere of exchange and mutual
encouragement. Important components of these conferences, in addition
to formal presentations, are hands-on workshops, gallery displays
of visual art, working sessions with artists who are crossing the
mathematics-arts boundaries, and musical/theatrical events in the evenings.
The Bridges Pécs 2010 will be a full blown 4-day conference on
Mathematics and its connections to Art, Music, and Science plus
an Excursion Day. The 4-day conference will be comprised of a 3-day
conference in the international annual series of Bridges Conferences
and a 4th day devoted to the work and artistic influence of Hungarian
artists and mathematicians.
Supported by the Pécs 2010—European Capital of Culture project.
Keywords: two cultures, art, science, Charles Percy Snow
“Once or twice I have been provoked and have asked the company how many of them could
describe the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The response was cold: it was also negative.
Yet I was asking something which is about the scientific equivalent of: Have
your read a work of Shakespeare’s?”
Keywords: mathematics, applied geometry, capital letters, Albrecht Dürer
“I hope that no wise man will defame this laborious task of mine, since [I undertake it on]
behalf of all who love the Liberal Arts. [Not for] painters alone but for [all] who use
compass and rule, and measuring line—that it may serve to their utility.”
Keywords: medicine, to flush, irrigate, detoxicate, assuaging of pain, etc.
“ARGAN: Three and two make five, and five make ten and ten twenty. Three and two make five.
Item, on the twenty-fourth, a small injection, preparatory, insinuative, and
emollient to lubricate, loosen, and stimulate the gentleman’s bowels…”
George Bernard Shaw: Preface to Saint Joan (Excerpt)
Keywords: physics, atom, electron, modern physics, George Bernard Shaw
“The medieval doctors of divinity who did not pretend to settle how many
angels could dance on the point of a needle cut a very poor figure as far as
romantic credulity is concerned beside the modern physicists who have
settled to the billionth of a millimeters every movement and position in the
dance of the electrons.”
Keywords: mathematics, Mathematical Quotations Server
“J. W. Goethe, Th. Mann, A. Pope, W. Shakespeare, G. B. Shaw, J. Swift, L. N. Tolstoy, Voltaire
‘I tell them that if they will occupy themselves with the study of mathematics
they will find in it the best remedy against the lusts of the flesh.’—Thomas Mann: The Magic Mountain.”
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra: Don Quixote (Excerpt)
Keywords: methods, natural sciences, mathematics, physics,
astronomy, geography, Sancho Panza, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote
“Sancho felt, and passing his hand gently and carefully down to the hollow
of his left knee, he looked up at his master and said, »Either the test is a
false one, or we have not come to where your worship says, nor within many
leagues of it.«”
“The one who seeks truth is a scientist. The one who wish to realize the
free flow of his subjective thought is a writer. But what can one do in case
if one needs a way in between these two possibilities?”
The schoolboy was waiting for the lesson of mathematics without any interest.
He studied in a class specialized in humanities and therefore he has not
been touched at all by no kind of mathematical formula. Anyhow, their teacher
fell sick and someone had to replace him. The old man whom the students
knew only by seeing him around in the corridor rushed to the blackboard
without paying any interest to the class and started a mathematical deduction.
After the first couple of formulas, the students looked at each other: no
doubt, this guy must be a fool, he should know that they do not understand
a word from this blah. After the second line the discipline in the class
became looser, and after the third one some students became short of breath.
The old teacher did not notice this at all, finished his deduction and then
turned towards the class. “Is not it beautiful?” he asked. The schoolboy
became astounded. Is it possible that some unintelligible formulas may effect
certain people in the same way as he is effected by some splendid lines
After his studies in the secondary school the boy became a
second-hand bookseller. And even after twenty years have passed, this
experience is still alive in his memory.
—a story from around 1970
The student was nodding peacefully during the explanation of the teacher
of philosophy about
and about some other sages of the Antiquity. In reality, he was already focusing on
the class of informatics where he wanted to modify the most recent program. But
suddenly he became awake when he heard the teacher of philosophy mentioning that
the construction of the computer programming nowadays displays a shocking similarity
to the so-called
porphyriana”, the tree of Porphyry elaborated by a thinker in the Antiquity.
Incredible! The same
story two thousand years ago… He decided to address some
questions about it to his teacher of informatics.
The Latin word ‘ponticulus’ means a little bridge, plank.