The Mystery of the Black Knight’s Noetherian Ring - An investigation into the story-mathematics connection with a small detour through chess country
Apostolos Doxiadis Athens, GreeceBio: Apostolos studied mathematics, acquiring a Bachelor’s Degree from Columbia University and a Master’s from the École des Hautes Études, but having subsequently failed to reach enlightenment he changed course. Although he turned to writing to escape from mathematics, a novel he wrote about a mathematician not proving a theorem (Uncle Petros and Goldbach’s Conjecture, first published in Greek in 1993) was unfortunately read in certain circles as a form of propaganda tract, promoting mathematics. This has caused Apostolos an immense amount of trouble, as he is now invited to speak as an ‘expert’ in, among other things, mathematics education – which is really very offensive to his high school teachers, as he was a very bad student. What’s more, it has made him want to compulsively return to his old flame again and again (of course it was mathematics which abandoned him, not the other way round), first writing a play about Kurt Gödel’s last days (Incompleteness, 2003) and now working with eminent computer scientist Christos Papadimitriou on the graphic novel Logicomix, inspired from the history of logic and the birth of computers. In the last few years he has also written some essays on the relationship of mathematics to narrative and, through poetic license, keeps inventing new fields of knowledge to which he gives impressive-sounding names like Euclid’s Poetics, Paramathematics and so on. If his mature position on the matter of the relationship of mathematics to narrative presented at this symposium is given the green light and his arguments are accepted as proven beyond the slightest doubt, he hopes his obsession will be cured and he will be allowed to return to the usual domain of a fiction writer, i.e. love, hate, money, vainglory, sex, violence, etc. Apart from not being a mathematician, Apostolos is also a very bad chess player.