Maths × Music: an interesting discovery

Enigmatic foundations of maths put to music

A composition inspired by Kurt Gödel’s ‘incompleteness theorems’ will premiere at the awards ceremony that bear his name.

This sounds really fun. The Peano axioms are among the first things you learn in elementary set theory, in which you get to understand Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem as well. The theorem seems to be motivated by the fact that the continuum hypothesis could neither be proven not disproven in the ZFC axiomatic system plus Peano’s axioms.

I have a rather tough struggle with the noun “computer science”. It sounded too cold, knock-knock-hard and technical for a girl to readily attach her warm, soft, feminine reputation to it *smirk*. On top of that, if science meant experiments, where are the experiments when it comes to computing when everything seems so exact and nice and polished? You would understand if you always use Wolfram|Alpha to do your homework because it just gives you the right answer. Because of such a name, I turned away from studying it. Now it seems to underlie so much of modern technology, especially Big Data, that, despite its unsavory name, I had to know some computer science at least.

As the late Gian Carlo-Rota puts in 10 Lessons of an MIT education,

The future belongs to the computer-literate-squared.

Don’t miss the video accompanying the article. Even though it’s in Danish, you get a glimpse of what’s going on when mathematical and musical minds cross. Besides, it will be the only instance I know of a piece of music specifically written for and performed at a science/technology ceremony. Historically, science and art have been two sides of the same coin – in particular, mathematics was considered a branch of philosophy and philology/linguistics – but the public educational system, designed for mechanical mass production, split them up.


立德、立功、立言,為古語之「三不朽」,使人流芳百世,抑或遺臭萬年。品德一直不是人的強項,所以才有這麼多人寫博客、創作。而我,好像也捲進這個銀球裏面了…… (Rough Chinese translation: “Morality, achievement and words – the “three things that make a man immortal” spoken of old. They either make or break a person for the rest of history. Humans have never been strong on morality, so that’s why so many people write blogs and create stuff. And I seem to be sucked into this silver sphere too…”)

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