Monday, March 16, 2009

a math and movie evening

its been ages since i last blogged! and i have no clue why i had stopped... but i definitely have a compelling reason for writing here today... i have no clue whether this means i will be back to writing more posts now! :P

no prizes for guessing what could be the compelling reason... the big boss actually asked me the other day why i had not blogged for so long!!!
and there was one specific event which thought i would blog about... so here it is!

i saw this obscure announcement in the newspaper about a lecture titled 'history of numbers' by bill casselman who is a professor of mathematics at the university or british columbia.

now its not so much about the lecture, which in itself was quite interesting, that i wanted to write about. (the lecture was about the 9000 year history of numbers!)

what we found more fascinating was the motley bunch of 50-odd people who had assembled in a small lecture hall at the y.b. chavan auditorium in mumbai.

there were a few school & college students, (some of who were clearly brought there much against their wishes by their enthusiastic parents), academicians, maths enthusiasts and some curious souls like yours truly! there was even one white-haired & bearded elderly gentleman who could easily pass of as an eccentric genius! :P

this is when we both realised that there exists a completely different world in cities like mumbai, far removed from the daily hustle and bustle and the frantic tracking of the stock index... a world which sighs when they see a picture of an ancient clay tablet with some scribblings on it, a world which takes pride in being able to decipher a set of hieroglyphs and finds immense satisfaction that the ancient babylonians knew how to add up a series of numbers to the base of 6!

it was with this humbling feeling that we waked out into a muggy evening and decided to take in a movie... and that's how i came about to watch 'the curious case of banjamin button' which is worth a watch just for the amazing kate blanchett... the ladies might like to feast their eyes upon brad pitt, but i think i'll just pass! :)


Sandeep Gupta said...

I am glad that there is another world out there. As a huge ancient history buff, I would have loved the lecture, since the origins of mathematics and the evolution of mathematics are closely intertwined!

I am sure I would have loved the lecture as well.

mathatheist said...

Hey, just when I was warming up to the Math bit, you set off to watch Button. Hmm...would have liked to hear more about the lecture.

Suma said...

an interesting math lecture and a movie...with brad pitt in it lucky can some people get!

Guruprasad said...

@ sandeep : yeah, this lecture seemed like a combination of history and math. i'm sure you would've enjoyed it! :)

@ mathatheist : this was the first time i realised that there were conceptual zeros even before zero was defined in india... the sumerians & babylonians used the concept of zero in their calculations... but they didn't call it zero or define it as such.

@ suma : :)
its not every day that some people have all the luck!

Gazal said...

have heard about the movie...interesting concept.will see it.

btw news is doing the rounds that a hindi remake with Akki is already on the move.

Rads said...

Am glad there is diversity in interests and that interest in history is still received well and recognized.
Nice of you to drop in! Hope you keep posting, my reader could use more good stuff. :)