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.

*Have your read a work of Shakespeare’s?*”

You must cross each bridge just once each ev’ning.”

## Motto

“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?”

—Robert Musil

## Motivation

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 of poetry?

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*

## Motivation

The student was nodding peacefully during the explanation of the teacher of philosophy about Aristotle, Porphyry 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 “arbor 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.

*—fictive story*

## Note

The Latin word ‘ponticulus’ means a little bridge, plank.

—György Visontay (editor)