ALD23 Books: Once Upon a Prime: The Wondrous Connections between Mathematics and Literature, Sarah Hart

Once Upon a Prime: The Wondrous Connections between Mathematics and Literature, Sarah Hart

We often think of mathematics and literature as polar opposites. But what if, instead, they were fundamentally linked?

In this insightful and laugh-out-loud funny book, Once Upon a Prime, Professor Sarah Hart shows us the myriad connections between maths and literature, and how understanding those connections can enhance our enjoyment of both.

Did you know, for instance, that Moby-Dick is full of sophisticated geometry? That James Joyce’s stream-of-consciousness novels are deliberately checkered with mathematical references? That George Eliot was obsessed with statistics? That Jurassic Park is undergirded by fractal patterns? That Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie created mathematician characters?

From sonnets to fairy tales to experimental French literature, Once Upon a Prime takes us on an unforgettable journey through the books we thought we knew, revealing new layers of beauty and wonder. Professor Hart shows how maths and literature are complementary parts of the same quest: to understand human life and our place in the universe.

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About the author

Sarah Hart is a respected pure mathematician and a gifted expositor of mathematics. When promoted to full professor of mathematics at Birkbeck College (University of London) in 2013, she became the youngest STEM professor at Birkbeck and its first-ever female mathematics professor, as well as one of only five female mathematics professors under the age of 40 in the United Kingdom. Educated at Oxford and Manchester, Professor Hart currently holds the Gresham Professorship of Geometry, the oldest mathematics chair in the UK. The chair stretches back in an unbroken lineage to 1597. Professor Hart is the 33rd Gresham Professor of Geometry, and the first woman ever to hold the position.

You can follow Sarah Hart’s work here:

Twitter: @Sarahlovesmaths
Linktree: Sarahhart1 

With thanks to Synergy for their support.

Posted in Ada Lovelace Day 2023.