Tuesday, August 3, 2021

How to Get from Jazz to Math in Sixty Seconds

In my post of June 29, I talked about connections among people, types of music, inspiration for writers, etc. Sometimes it's fun to play a game of "connect the dots." Here's a series of connections I recently picked up on:

Beginning with jazz

My wife and I recognize that we were not born with the gene for appreciating jazz. I have a feeling that that would apply to "progressive" jazz as well (if not more so). 

But progressive rock is a different story. I appreciate it a great deal, and my wife appreciates some of it too. This genre of music is represented by many bands, including Dream Theater (official website here), perhaps my favorite band of all time.

... to a progressive rock guitarist

Dream Theater's lead guitarist, John Petrucci, is an award-winning virtuoso.

Petrucci has also had a side gig, a band called Liquid Tension Experiment.

... and on to math

Liquid Tension Experiment is a favorite band of two German mathematicians, Peter Scholze and Johan Commelin.

"Liquid Tensor Experiment" was the title of a post on mathematician Kevin Buzzard's blog in December 2020, in which Peter Scholze described some of his recent work.

This work included the use of mathematical objects called liquid real vector spaces in a proof that was verified by a breakthrough computer system named "Lean".

Try it yourself!

Start with this and see where you can go with it: "The Girl With the Hungry Eyes", a song by Jefferson Starship whose lyrics reference Einstein: "I like to move at the speed of light / Albert says I can't but I can".

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