Mathematical Digest

Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics
in the Popular Press

"Origins of Inspiration: a four-dimensional view of two twentieth-centuryicons": Review of Einstein, Picasso: Space, Time, and the Beauty that CausesHavoc, by Arthur I. Miller. Reviewed by John Christie. Nature, 12April 2001.

The reviewer states that Miller contends that these two creative heroes"depended significantly on a preoccupation with geometry, and that thispreoccupation had its basis in the work of the great Frenchphilosopher-mathematician Henri Poincaré." The author doesn't claim thatany direct communication between Einstein and Picasso influenced their works,but he provides contextual details on the cultural and scientific environmentsof the time, and among those factors identifies Maurice Princet, amathematically-learned actuary, as being an influential character in Picasso'sinner circle. The reviewer praises Miller's extensive research and uniqueconclusions.

--- Annette Emerson