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BSA Connections: Aesthetics in Mathematics

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IMPORTANT DATES  Abstract Submission deadline: 1 July 2014  Notification of decisions: 1 August 2014  Conference dates: 5 – 7 December 2014
TOPICS AND SUBMISSION DETAILS
A small number of slots are reserved for contributed papers, each of which will be allocated 30 minutes for presentation, followed by a 15-minute discussion. Authors are invited to submit an abstract of 100 words together with an extended abstract of 1000 words.  Please prepare your abstracts for blind review and save your extended abstract as a PDF file.  To submit an abstract, visit: https://www.easychair.org/conferences/?conf=bsam14
Possible topics of contributed papers include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • What is mathematical beauty? What, if anything, distinguishes it from other kinds of beauty?
  • What is the status of aesthetic judgments in mathematics? Are such judgments grounded in cognition of the properties of mathematical objects such as their symmetry or simplicity? Or do they rely on merely subjective responses particular to the perspective of the mathematician?
  • Is mathematical beauty a genuine aesthetic category? Or is it reducible to non-aesthetic criteria such as, for instance, epistemic virtues? If not, does the phenomenon of mathematical beauty pose any problems to the traditional view, accepted by many aestheticians, that appreciation of the beautiful is directed towards sensible objects and employs our sensible faculties?
  • Can aesthetic considerations play any legitimate role in mathematical or scientific theorising? Is there a connection between the elegance of
  • mathematical formalism, e.g. the use of differential forms to express Maxwell’s equations or the use of group theory in quantum mechanics, and the truth of a scientific theory?
  • Does the phenomenon of aesthetics in mathematics reveal any important analogies between mathematical and artistic practice? How, in particular, are we to construe the role of imagination in mathematics, and how does it compare with the role of imagination in the arts?

 

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