July 6, 2022

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Mathematical Cinema – Al Ittihad Newspaper


Mathematical Cinema

While the West has produced many films in this field, which is very difficult in the pure sciences, there is not a single Arabic film about mathematics or a mathematician. Mathematics is a leading science in contemporary civilization, and the existence of a scientific elite in this field and the presence of geniuses for generations in that science is a fundamental requirement for Arab national security.
Dr. Ahmed Sewail described to me his encounters and recordings of the famous American mathematician “John Nash”. The psychiatrist suffered from schizophrenia and control of audio-visual hallucinations, but faced everything until receiving the Nobel Prize in 1994. The world came to know the story of Nash’s life in 2001 with the famous American film “A Beautiful Mind”.
In 2015 the Indian mathematician “Ramanujan” released a film based on their biography “The Man Who Knew Infinity” and in 2017 the American film “War of Currents” which will eventually tell the science. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, they were represented by three giants: Thomas Edison, George Westinghouse and Nikola Tesla. A very popular independent film was released by “Tesla”, the movie “Tesla” .. The man who invented the twentieth century.
I recently watched the amazing movie “The Man Who Knew Infinity” for the third time recently. The feature film was the opening film at the 2015 Zurich Film Festival, and was screened at the Dubai Film Festival the same year.
The film tells the story of the life of “Failure”, an Indian student born in 1887 and died in 1920, and the life of the mathematical genius “Srinivasa Ramanujan”. Reading Ramanujan’s book on mathematics was the beginning of admiration and attachment. That wonderful science. From then on he started his sports problems in the classroom. As a result of his neglect of other subjects his interest in mathematics increased to the extent of his academic failure.
Ramanujan worked as a clerk in the port of Madras, India, but he kept thinking, and he found solutions to mathematical problems that did not exist with Harold Hardy, a British mathematician at the University of Cambridge. Ramanujan wrote a letter to Professor Hardy, and the exchange of letters ended, inviting Ramanujan to come to London, and the attraction here was to the scholar who had not completed his education.
Ramanujan is hailed as one of the best mathematicians, but due to his illness he returned to India at the age of thirty-two, leaving behind astonishing success and pride.
Mathematician Ken Ono says: Mathematics is a pleasure, not a profession. Professor Hardy, who discovered Ramanujan, says in his wonderful book “The Forgiveness of a Mathematician”: The beauty of mathematics is compared to painting and poetry.
The Arab world needs to start an ambitious project for science cinema, not cinema of myths and ghosts. To increase the appeal of this dry science in our schools and universities, an ambitious program on mathematical cinema is needed.
Mathematics is not a collection of mental exercises and imaginary symbols, but one of the foundations of the Renaissance of the twenty-first century.
* Egyptian writer

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