Proofs and Stories
Though Apostolos’ main line of work is his writing, for the past ten years he has maintained a strong interest in the theoretical investigation of the relationship between mathematical and narrative ways of thinking. In a series of papers, Apostolos has investigated this relationship in both cognitive and historical ways. He is currently working on a book on this subject, called From Stories to Proofs. Some of the papers, describing earlier phases of his work can be found in “Essays” (located at left).
As part of this investigation, Apostolos was instrumental in organizing the first international Mathematics and Narrative meeting, which took place on Mykonos, in 2005. (Amir Alexander, Robert Osserman, Christos H. Papadimitriou, Ted Porter and Doron Zeilberber were also on the organizing committee.) In a feature article, Nature magazine said of the Mykonos meeting that it ” marked the beginning of a rapprochement between the estranged arts of mathematics and story-telling,” and the Mathematical Intelligencer said the meeting “demonstrated that … this is a serious subject, for serious study and serious practice.” The papers presented at a second meeting, which took place in Delphi in 2007, which Apostolos organized together with the renowned mathematician Barry Mazur, will be published in 2012 by Princeton University Press in a book called Circles Disturbed.