Edward Frenkel

  • Aired:  04/07/14
  •  | Views: 16,319

"Love and Math" author Edward Frenkel makes the case for appreciating the inherent beauty and power of mathematics. (7:27)

>> Stephen: HEY, WELCOME BACK,EVERYBODY.

MY GUEST TONIGHT IS AMATHEMATICIAN WHO HAS A NEW

BOOK OUT ABOUT LOVE ANDMATH.

I'LL ASK HIM IF ONE IS THELONELIEST NUMBER.

PLEASE WELCOME EDWARDFRENKEL.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

SOMETIMES THESE PEOPLEDESERVE A DOUBLE DIP.

NOW YOU DESERVE IT TOO.

>> THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

>> Stephen: AS DO YOUBECAUSE ARE YOU A VERY

IMPRESSIVE GUY BUT IN WAYSTHAT I DON'T THINK I'M

QUALIFIED TO JUDGE, OKAY.

BECAUSE YOU NEED NOINTRODUCTION, OBVIOUSLY BUT

I WILL DO IT ANYWAY, YOUARE A PROFESSOR OF

MATHEMATICS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA

BERKLY.

I DON'T HAVE TO TELL PEOPLEHERE THAT YOU ACTUALLY

WORKED ON THE FREE FIELDREALIZATIONS OF KAC-MOODY

ALGEBRAS-- (APPLAUSE)

>> ALSO YOU DEFINED THEQUANTUM DRIMFELD SOKOLOV

PRODUCTION AND DESCRIBED THECENTER OF THE UNIVERSAL

DEVELOPING ALGEBRA OF AWALKING MODULE TO GREAT A

GROUND BREAKING FRENKELALPHA MORPHISM.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)>> Stephen: HUGE, HUGE, THE

PEOPLE HERE, THEY ARE MOREFELDMAN FANS THAN FRENKEL.

>> IT IS LIKE RED WINE, YOUCAN ENJOY SOMETIMES.

SO I THINK THEY ARE FANS.

>> Stephen: PERHAPS OVER APIECE OF POACHED SALMON

YOU HAVE A NEW BOOK CALLEDLOVE AND MATH, THE HEART OF

HIDDEN REALITY.

WHAT THE HELL DOES LOVE HAVETO DO WITH MATH BECAUSE

SPOILER ALERT, I HATED MATH AND I WILL TELL YOU

WHY, BECAUSE MATH DOESN'TCARE ABOUT MY OPINION.

WHY SHOULD I LOVE IT.

>> WELL, THANK YOU FORSAYING THAT, STEPHEN.

BECAUSE I HEAR IT QUITEOFTEN.

EVEN FROM SUPERSMART ANDSUPERINTELLIGENT PEOPLE WHO

WOULD NEVER SAY I HATE ART.

OR I HATE MUSIC.

>> Stephen: I HATE SOME ART,SOME MUSIC.

>> BUT IT'S OKAY IN OURSOCIETY TO SAY I HATE MATH.

>> Stephen: SO MATH IS LIKEART TO YOU.

>> MATH IS LIKE ART.

BUT THE GOOD NEWS IS THATWHEN YOU SAY I HATE MATH,

IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT.

>> Stephen: WHOSE FAULT ISBECAUSE I LOVE BLAMING

PEOPLE FOR THINGS.

>> IT'S MY FAULT.

>> Stephen: YOUR FAULT.

>> I SHOULD HAVE WRITTENTHIS BOOK A LONG TIME AGO.

>> Stephen: SO IF I READTHIS I WILL LOVE MATH.

>> I HOPE SO.

WHEN PEOPLE SAY I HATE MATH,WHAT YOU REALLY SAYING IS I

HATE THE WAY MATHEMATICS WASTAUGHT TO ME.

IMAGINE IN ART CLASS.

IN WHICH THEY TEACH YOU ONLYHOW TO PAINT A FENCE OR A

WALL BUT NEVER SHOW YOU THEPAINTINGS OF THE GREAT

MASTERS.

THEN OF COURSE YEARS LATERYOU WILL SAY I HATE ART.

WHAT YOU WOULD REALLY BESAYING IS I HATE PAINTING A

FENCE.

AND SO IT IS WITH MATH.

WHEN PEOPLE SAY I HATE MATH,WHAT THEY ARE REALLY SAYING

IS I HATE PAINTING A FENCE.

>> Stephen: BUT IN MATHDON'T I HAVE TO KNOW A FAIR

AMOUNT OF HIGH END MATH TOAPPRECIATE THE WORK OF THE

MASTERS.

IT'S ALMOST AS IF, YOU KNOW,YES, YOU COULD SHOW ME A

PAINTING BY A MASTER, BUT IDON'T HAVE EYEBALLS YET.

DON'T YOU NEED TO SORT OFGROW THE MATH EYEBALLS TO

SEE THE EQUATIONS ASBEAUTIFUL?

>> THAT'S OUR JOB.

YOU KNOW, ONE OF MY TEACHERSA GREAT TEACHER WOULD SAY-- USED

TO SAY, YOU KNOW F YOU ASK ADRUNKARD WHICH NUMBER IS BIG

TWO, TWO-THIRDS OR THREEFIFTHS HE WON'T TELL YOU,

BUT IF YOU ASK HIM WHAT ISBETTER, TWO BOTTLE OF VODKA

FOR -- HE WILL TELL YOURIGHT A WAP.

TWO BOTTLES.

COURSE.

SO I TRY TO-- .

>> Stephen: THAT IS A LEVELOF MATH THAT PERHAPS ONLY

RUSSIANS CAN DO.

(APPLAUSE)>> TRUE.

I COME FROM RUSSIA.

>> Stephen: YES.

>> FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE.

>> Stephen: FROM RUSSIA WITHLOVE.

>> AN MATH.

>> Stephen: NOW IN RUSSIA,IS MATH THE SAME AS IT IS

HERE OR OVER THERE IS IT 2PLUS 2 IS WHATEVER PUTIN

SAYS IT IS?

>> I'M NOT THE ONE TO SPEAKFOR PUTIN.

>> Stephen: YES, YOU MIGHTHAVE TO GO BACK.

I UNDERSTAND-- UNDERSTAND.

OKAY.

YOU NOT ONLY SOMEONE WHOWRITES PASSIONATELY, YOU

ACTUALLY HAVE PERFORMEDPASSIONATELY.

YOU DID A THE RIGHT OF LOVEAND MATH, AN EROTIC

JOURNEY INTO THE BEAUTY OFNUMBERS AND THE HUMAN FORM.

WHICH FEATURES YOU NAKED ANDWITH EQUATIONS ON THE BODY

OF YOUR LOVER.

ISN'T THAT A LITTLECONSERVATIVE FOR A PROFESSOR

AT BERKELEY.

>> WHAT WOULDN'T I DO TOEXPOSE THE BEAUTY OF

MATHEMATICS.

>> Stephen: LET'S SHOW THEPEOPLE YOU WHAT DID

>> Stephen: LET'S SHOW THEPEOPLE YOU WHAT DID

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)>> Stephen: I MIGHT HAVE HIT

THE BOOKS A LITTLE BITHARDER AS A CHILD AM NOW IS

THAT FOR GENERAL AUDIENCES,CAN KIDS WATCH THIS.

THAT WOULD BE A GREAT WAY TOGET TEENAGERS HOOKED ON

MATH.

>> WELL, IF THE FILM MAKESVIEWERS WANT TO EMBRACE

MATHEMATICS, SO BE IT.

>> Stephen: WHAT WERE YOUWRITING ON THAT POOR WOMAN'S

STOMACH.

WHAT IS THAT EQUATION THERE?

>> WELL, IN THE FILM, SHEREPRESENTS MATHEMATICS

>> Stephen: SHE'S MATH? I DIDN'T REALIZE THAT.

>> THE FILM IS ABOUT A LOVEAFFAIR THAT IS US DOING

MATHEMATICS, IT IS A LOVEAFFAIR.

AND SHE REPRESENTS THE TRUTHIN MATHEMATICS WHICH IS WE

SACRIFICE OURSELVES.

AND THE PREMISE OF THE FILMIS THAT THE MATHEMATICIAN

FOUND THE FORMULA OF LOVE.

THE FORMULA SO POWERFUL THANHE REALIZED THAT HE REALIZED

THIS COULD BE USED NOT ONLYFOR GOOD BUT ALSO FOR ILL.

SO THEN HE UNDERSTANDS THATHE HAS TO PROTECT THE

FORMULA.

HE HAS TO HIDE IT.

FROM THE POWERS THAT BE WHOCOULD MISUSE IT.

COULD MISUSE THE FORMULA ANDTHAT'S WHY HE DECIDES TO

TATTOO IT ON THE BODY OF THEWOMAN HE LOVES.

>> Stephen: AND THEN, ANDTHEN WHAT HAPPENS TO HER?

DO THE BAD GUYS CHASE HERAND --

>> YOU HAVE TO SEE THE FILM.

>> Stephen: I SAW SOME OF IT.

I SAW-- I CAN'T ACTUALLYSHOW THE PEOPLE BECAUSE ITS

GOT YOUR NAKED BUTT IN IT.

DO ALL MATHEMATICIANS HAVEAN ASS THAT HIGH AND TIGHT?

>> THANK YOU FOR SAYING THAT.

>> Stephen: I NEVER DID MATHAND THE RESULTS WERE

DISASTROUS.

EDWARD FRENKEL, THANK YOU SOMUCH.

THE BOOK IS LOVE AND MATH.WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.

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