Cedric Villani (c) Jerome Bonnet

Cédric Villani

Birth of a Theorem: The Story of a Mathematical Adventure

Festival of Ideas/
Wed 11 March 2015

Cédric Villani

Birth of a Theorem: The Story of a Mathematical Adventure

Cedric Villani (c) Jerome Bonnet
Wed 11 March 2015,

What goes on inside the mind of a mathematician? Where does inspiration come from?

With a storyteller’s gift, mathematics genius Cédric Villani takes us on a mesmerising journey through the discovery of a new theorem. Along the way he encounters obstacles and setbacks, losses of faith and even brushes with madness. His story is one of courage and partnership, doubt and anxiety, elation and despair.

Blending science with history, biography with myth, in his new book Villani conjures up an inimitable cast of characters including the omnipresent Einstein, mad genius Kurt Godel, and Villani’s personal hero, John Nash. We discover how it feels to be obsessed by a theorem during your child’s cello practise and throughout your dreams, why appreciating maths is a bit like watching an episode of Columbo, and how sometimes inspiration only comes from locking yourself away in a dark room to think.

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