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Euclid, Flaubert, G Hardy, Ramanujan.

July 3, 2010

I tweeted a quote today from Gustave Flaubert about poetry and geometry. Fond as I am of (good) poetry I realise that I understand geometry much better. Not that it matters much, I suppose.

Not long after that I came across Srinivasa Ramanujan’s reply to G. H. Hardy’s comment on how dull the taxi cab number 1729 was. SR pointed out that it was the smallest number expressible as a sum of two cubes in two different ways. [The two ways being 1 cubed  plus 12 cubed, and 9 cubed plus 10 cubed]. I don’t know if he had that fact at his fingertips, but I’m pleased that he bothered to remark upon it.




‘Beauty is the first test: there is no permanent place in this world for ugly mathematics.’ G. H. Hardy.

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