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Monday, January 1, 2024

New Museum & Movie ⋆ Secrets and techniques of Paris


Do you hate math? Do you adore it? Both approach, these two happenings in Paris is perhaps for you: a brand new museum and a movie – each make math come alive, bringing exuberance and pleasure to a area that usually appears impenetrable.

Movie: Marguerite’s Theorem

The extraordinary movie “Le théorème de Marguerite” (2023) explores the challenges of a younger feminine mathematician in an nearly all-male college setting. Marguerite is attempting to resolve what stays one of many best unsolved mysteries of arithmetic: Goldbach’s conjecture. Whereas the plot is fictional, it’s a kind of tales that might simply have occurred, and that is perhaps taking place proper now. The movie is massive on verisimilitude, set within the École Nationale Supérieure (ENS) in Paris, one of many premier establishments for learning math and physics in France. You might be accustomed to a few of many luminaries who graduated from ENS: Louis Pasteur (chemistry), Esther Duflo (economics), and Michel Foucault (social historical past) –- and it has additionally had some illustrious college, from Samuel Beckett to Jacques Derrida. One other enjoyable truth: it’s the place Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir met. The movie’s director, Anna Novion, spent 4 months within the ENS observing and talking with math and physics college students to get a deeper sense of the social setting – and it reveals. Viewers land proper in the course of it.

The movie convincingly weaves collectively drama, comedy, and suspense – and sure, in case you’re questioning, there are additionally parts of a love story. Marguerite, performed by the splendidly chameleonic Ella Rumpf, turns into obsessed by her quest. The bodily setting echoes the protagonist’s psychological states because the digital camera performs with darkish interiors and sensible exteriors, confusion and readability, insanity and sanity. Because the movie progresses by way of quite a few vicissitudes, we start to determine with Marguerite’s ardour for math and for discovery.

The movie is at the moment displaying in a number of Parisian impartial cinemas, and might be launched within the US below the identify Marguerite’s Theorem. Within the meantime, you’ll be able to see the trailer with English closed captions right here (merci to Misplaced in Frenchlation): https://vimeo.com/874349431

Arithmetic Museum: Institut Henri Poincaré

In a extra tactile approach, the brand new museum of arithmetic on the Institut Henri Poincaré invitations guests to think about math as a collection of puzzles to be solved. Henri Poincaré (1854-1912), a superb French mathematician, physicist, and thinker, contributed to the foundations of chaos idea, set idea, and topology. The Institute bearing his identify was based and in-built 1928 to advance analysis in theoretical and mathematical physics, replete with library, school rooms, and laboratories. In September 2023, 9 hundred sq. meters of the Institute grew to become the museum “the place math involves life.” An interesting video (with English subtitles) options interviews with francophone mathematicians of various ages and backgrounds. Uniformly enthusiastic in regards to the issues they’re pursuing, they embody a love of math, physics, and the way in which the 2 disciplines work together. The video is projected in an outdated, unique classroom with wood benches – a classroom so genuine {that a} present scholar was figuring out an equation on the unique slate blackboard as we seen the video on the display above him. Non permanent reveals will even rotate within the museum – at the moment you’ll be able to don the suitable headgear and enter the world of synthetic intelligence.

The hands-on reveals of the museum (additionally with English commentary) invite guests to see the a number of makes use of of math, particularly when mixed with physics. Is it attainable to write down a components for the sweeping motion of a flock of birds? (Sure.) Can you identify easy methods to match the utmost variety of weights of various values right into a 20-kilo suitcase? (With problem.) When dropped, how does a double pendulum behave? (It’s chaotic!)

The arithmetic museum stays small, however I’ll wager that should you go there, you’ll come out of it not less than slightly extra intrigued by the self-discipline. And if you’re proof against arithmetic earlier than seeing “Le théorème de Marguerite,” you might be transformed.

Institut Henri Poincaré
11 rue Pierre et Marie Curie, fifth
Open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday from 9:30am to five:30pm, and Saturday from 10am to 6pm.
Closed on Wednesday, Sunday, and public holidays. Exceptionally closed December Twenty third-January sixth.
Tickets €10 (€5 for college students 18-26; free for below 18). https://billetterie-maison-poincare.ihp.fr/

Solely a small variety of individuals can enter the museum at a time, so pre-purchase your tickets on-line upfront to keep away from disappointment.

For Additional Credit score
Be taught extra in regards to the museum on this English interview with Sylvie Benzoni, mathematician and director of the Institut Henri Poincaré (IHP), who talks in regards to the objectives and historical past of this museum, which is hosted and managed by Sorbonne College. Additionally, try the video beneath, with English captions.

Cathy Yandell is the W.I. and Hulda F. Daniell Professor of French at Carleton Faculty, and creator of the French Artwork of Dwelling Effectively: Discovering Joie de Vivre within the On a regular basis World.

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