Jose Carillo's Forum


This section features wide-ranging, thought-provoking articles in English on any subject under the sun. Its objective is to present new, mind-changing ideas as well as to show to serious students of English how the various tools of the language can be felicitously harnessed to report a momentous or life-changing finding or event, to espouse or oppose an idea, or to express a deeply felt view about the world around us.

The outstanding English-language expositions to be featured here will mostly be presented through links to the websites that carry them. To put a particular work in better context, links to critiques, biographical sketches, and various other material about the author and his or her works will usually be also provided.

A cordial invitation to discover the hidden majesty of mathematics

For those who profess to be allergic to mathematics, an engaging new book on the subject might just prove to be a welcome antidote. Noted American mathematician Edward Frenkel’s passionately told book, Love and Math: The Heart of Hidden Reality (Basic Books, 304 pages), invites the reader to take a look at the side of math that doesn’t terrify but instead dazzles “with all the beauty and elegance of a work of art.”

Love & Math

Frenkel, who braved a discriminatory educational system in his native Russia to become one of the 21st century’s leading mathematicians, says that math is a crucial aspect of learning and yet is the most misunderstood of the subjects taught in school. He explains: “Imagine that you had to take an art class at school in which they only taught you how to paint a fence or a wall, but they never showed you the paintings of the great artists. Never even told you that such paintings existed, that there were museums where you could go and look at them and learn about yourself and about the world.” He says math is like that, a language and a way of thinking that, “far from occupying a specialist niche, goes to the heart of all matter, uniting us across cultures, time, and space.”

Part autobiography and part advocacy, Love and Math opens a window to the magic hidden universe of mathematics, showing—just for starters—how the randomness of prime numbers makes them eminently suitable for encrypting your credit card number for security purposes every time you make an online purchase; how numbers do figure in manifold ways in the art of romance and lovemaking; and, going deeper into the discipline, how numbers make it possible for scientists to unravel the puzzling dualities of Quantum Field Theory.

Read “Can math be sexy?”, a Q&A with Edward Frenkel, by Pranav Trewn in the Daily Californian blog now!

Read “What Is It Like to Be a Mathematician?”, Jacob Aron’s interview of Edward Frenkel, in the New Scientist magazine now!

Read Edward Frenkel’s “Prime Numbers Hide Your Secrets” in now!


Edward Frenkel is a professor of mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley, which he joined in 1997 after being on the faculty at Harvard University. His recent work has focused on the Langlands Program and dualities in Quantum Field Theory. Frenkel has authored two books and over 80 research articles in mathematical journals, and he has lectured on his work around the world. A fellow of the American Mathematical Society and the winner of the Hermann Weyl Prize in mathematical physics in 2002, he has contributed articles to The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Slate, The Atlantic, Huffington Post, and Scientific American.

Click to read or post comments

View the complete list of postings in this section

Copyright © 2010 by Aperture Web Development. All rights reserved.

Page best viewed with:

Mozilla FirefoxGoogle Chrome

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional

Page last modified: 06 September, 2013, 8:40 p.m.