Shimura Curves

Tuesday, May 10, 2005


Yesterday I finished reading Fermat's Last Theorem. I figured if I was going to be in a band called Shimura Curves, I better figure out why the things are so important. It was an entrancing book, part detective novel, like a conspiracy theory but all true if you can read the algebra...

My only complaint was that there wasn't enough *maths* in it. No, really. It kept saying "Oh, this a particularly hard piece of maths, but if you look in the appendix we will explain" and then there would be a bit of ANY FULE KNO maths that a child could understand. I found it patronising and annoying when the author would not explain particular logical links, instead dismissing it with "well, only 4 or 5 mathematicians in the world could understand it!" - well go on, then, at least give it a try, or explain it in metaphor of what it's supposed to do, instead of just saying YOUR PUNY HUMAN BRAIN COULD NOT POSSIBLY UNDERSTAND.

Ah well, modular forms are lovely. I got a book out of the library about symmetry in order to try and understand more about them. This is the problem with maths - to understand one bit, you have to go and learn about another bit. And then that bit refers you on to another theorem you must grasp. And some day... some day... if I have aquired enough useless facts, and insert them into a logical crossword puzzle, then one day the world will shimmer like the dawn light catching the dew on a spider's web and the Grand Unification Theory Of Everything will reveal itself to me in all its glory.

I'm sure donuts will be involved. Somehow.


At 2:40 AM GMT, Blogger Catty said...



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