Interview of Michael Atiyah (aged 86!)

“…to understand why it works…you’ve got to feel it.”

Singapore Maths Tuition

Source: https://www.quantamagazine.org/20160303-michael-atiyahs-mathematical-dreams/

Inspirational interview by Michael Atiyah, winner of both Fields Medal and Abel Prize, currently age 86!

Excerpt from the interview:

Is there one big question that has always guided you? 

I always want to try to understand why things work. I’m not interested in getting a formula without knowing what it means. I always try to dig behind the scenes, so if I have a formula, I understand why it’s there. And understanding is a very difficult notion.

People think mathematics begins when you write down a theorem followed by a proof. That’s not the beginning, that’s the end. For me the creative place in mathematics comes before you start to put things down on paper, before you try to write a formula. You picture various things, you turn them over in your mind. You’re trying to create, just as a musician is trying to create music, or a…

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Simple geometric beauty – a film by Bianca Violet and Stefan Klaus

Katzengold

“We visualize simple geometric beauty combined with mathematical content. Please enjoy.

Using a single formula – a polynomial – the film shows fascinating transformations from a cube to a rhombic dodecahedron, to an octahedron and to a dodecahedron.”

Mathematical Impressions: Curved and Straight? – by George Hart

The elliptic hyperboloid is a beautiful quadratic surface that is “doubly ruled,” meaning that the surface, although curved, contains two straight lines through each point…Here it is applied to the design of a walk-through archway in the teaching garden at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.”

Simons Foundation.