Professor Daya Reddy explores what is to be made of G.H. Hardy’s A Mathematician’s Apology today, as part of the Gordon Institute of Performing and Creative Arts (GIPCA) Great Texts/Big Questions lecture series.
A Mathematician’s Apology is an essay published in 1940 by G.H. Hardy (1877 – 1947) – a giant of British and world mathematics in the earlier part of the 20th century. In this text, Hardy addresses a range of topics that include justifications for the study of mathematics, its aesthetic qualities, notions of usefulness, and the relationship between age and creative powers. While Hardy provides a sense of the workings of the mathematical mind in this essay, some of his views – often expressed in trenchant terms – have attracted criticism, while others are regarded as outmoded.
Professor Reddy’s lecture will explore aspects of Hardy’s essay by providing some historical context, and re-examining its key elements from a modern perspective.
Daya Reddy holds the South African Research Chair in Computational Mechanics. He is a Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics, Director of the Centre for Research in Computational and Applied Mechanics, and former Dean of the Faculty of Science, UCT. Professor Reddy has published widely on the modelling of complex material behaviour and associated mathematical and computational issues. He is a member or fellow of various academies, national and international.
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