Course Details

940: Mathematics in Poetry

July 11-13
9:45 AM - 11:15 AM

The course will examine the use of mathematics in poetry and poetry in mathematics. No prior knowledge of mathematics is required, just an open and inquiring mind and a willingness to think about unlikely connections. The course expands on the single lecture on poetry in my recent course Mathematics in Fiction. It will start with poems from ancient Mesopotamia and end with avant-garde poems of the 20th and 21st centuries. Various mathematical concepts used as themes in poetry will be discussed, as well as mathematical aspects of the structure of poems. Some of the poems will evoke the psychological stresses and the excitement of mathematical research. This study group has a high class size capacity.

Class Type: Lecture

Class Format: Online

Hours of Reading: No reading

Study Group Leader(s):

Graham Atkinson

Graham Atkinson has a doctorate in mathematics from Oxford University (England) and a bachelor's degree in mathematics from St. Andrews University (Scotland). He has taught the OLLI courses Mathematics in Fiction, Mathematics in Art, and Mathematics Elsewhere, as well as courses on the ancient Maya language and culture.