i = Galois : a fictional biography of the French mathematician Evariste Galois (1811-1832) : together with a methodological introduction and select bibliography

Petsinis, Tom (1995) i = Galois : a fictional biography of the French mathematician Evariste Galois (1811-1832) : together with a methodological introduction and select bibliography. Research Master thesis, Victoria University of Technology.

Abstract

The project seeks to fuse mathematics and literature by presenting a fictional biography based on the French mathematical prodigy Evariste Galois (1811 -1832). After thoroughly researching and reading all the English sources, together with translations of material in French, it was found that most biographers presented a sketchy, two-dimensional picture of Galois. These biographies contained gaps at important stages in Galois' life and failed to be consistent with the known facts in dealing with the causes that lead to his death. Furthermore, subsequent findings have invalidated some of these earlier biographies. Given these shortcomings, it was felt that a fictional biography, rather than a conventional biography, would be a more appropriate form for investigating the subject. This form, essentially a novel, provides an alternative means of depicting the subject's character, personality, motivation and mathematical thinking. It also allows for speculation, often beyond the scope of more conventional biography, which may provide valuable insights and new perspectives on historical figures. In the final analysis, this fictional biography will provide one possible solution (as with mathematics there may be other solutions) to the problem of textualising a three-dimensional character-study of the life, work and death of Galois.

Additional Information

Master of Arts

Item type Thesis (Research Master thesis)
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/18204
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Communication and the Arts
Current > FOR Classification > 2005 Literary Studies
Current > FOR Classification > 2103 Historical Studies
Keywords Evariste Galois, mathematics, literature, novels, Australian fiction, 20th century, mathematicians, France, biography
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