Mathematical Journeys into Fictional Worlds
- Extra Reading
Literary satire has long used mathematical concepts to reinforce its points. Gulliver’s Travels (1724) played with ideas of dimension, size, and shape, and a century later, Edwin Abbot’s novel Flatland (1884) explored the mathematics of higher dimensions, through the experiences of its two-dimensional protagonist, “A Square”. Both novels have spawned a host of sequels, commentaries, and films.
This lecture explores how mathematical ideas have been interpreted in fiction, and discusses the unlikelihood, mathematically, of realms such as Brobdingnag and Lilliput, or the room-sized spiders of Hogwarts.
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