History Main / MadMathematician

19th Feb '16 9:42:55 AM Rubber_Lotus
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* ''Film/SherlockHolmesAGameOfShadows'' conflates Professor Moriarty's legitimate mathematical research with his criminal career, especially if you read any of the articles on the actual (non-evil) mathematicians the filmmakers consulted with in order to design his personal financial code. [[http://www.oxfordmartin.ox.ac.uk/blog/view/131]]

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* ''Film/SherlockHolmesAGameOfShadows'' conflates Professor Moriarty's legitimate mathematical research with his criminal career, especially if you read any of the articles on [[https://www.siam.org/pdf/news/1966.pdf the actual (non-evil) mathematicians mathematicians]] the filmmakers consulted with in order to design his personal financial code. [[http://www.oxfordmartin.ox.ac.uk/blog/view/131]]code.
28th Jan '16 10:16:31 AM Morgenthaler
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* [[EnsembleDarkhorse John Givings]] from ''RevolutionaryRoad''. After a mental breakdown, he's placed in the care of his parents. At first, he praises and admires the Wheelers for their desire to have something more out of life, rather than a conformist suburban existence. After they've abandoned these plans, he [[ClusterFBomb calls them out on their hypocrisy]].

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* [[EnsembleDarkhorse John Givings]] from ''RevolutionaryRoad''.''Film/RevolutionaryRoad''. After a mental breakdown, he's placed in the care of his parents. At first, he praises and admires the Wheelers for their desire to have something more out of life, rather than a conformist suburban existence. After they've abandoned these plans, he [[ClusterFBomb calls them out on their hypocrisy]].



* John Givings from ''RevolutionaryRoad'' (see above).

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* John Givings from ''RevolutionaryRoad'' ''Literature/RevolutionaryRoad'' (see above).
15th Jan '16 12:31:57 PM Anddrix
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Clearly, [[WritersCannotDoMath many writers]] (and [[ViewersAreMorons viewers]]) [[EverybodyHatesMathematics fear and dread mathematics]]. On rare occasion, a character is found who possesses a defining trait of having delved deeply into the study of profound mathematical knowledge. These characters are, as a rule, insane. It is not necessarily clear whether [[GoodWithNumbers advanced number theory]] is itself [[TheseAreThingsManWasNotMeantToKnow destructive to sanity]] (as with some forms of FormulaicMagic), or whether [[PowerBornOfMadness the insane are drawn to maths]]; nonetheless, the correlation seems to exist.

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Clearly, [[WritersCannotDoMath many writers]] (and [[ViewersAreMorons viewers]]) viewers) [[EverybodyHatesMathematics fear and dread mathematics]]. On rare occasion, a character is found who possesses a defining trait of having delved deeply into the study of profound mathematical knowledge. These characters are, as a rule, insane. It is not necessarily clear whether [[GoodWithNumbers advanced number theory]] is itself [[TheseAreThingsManWasNotMeantToKnow destructive to sanity]] (as with some forms of FormulaicMagic), or whether [[PowerBornOfMadness the insane are drawn to maths]]; nonetheless, the correlation seems to exist.
12th Dec '15 4:26:02 AM BentusiAvatar
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* The ''VideoGame/{{BioShock|1}}'' DLC Minerva's Den has Reed Wahl, the co-inventor of the supercomputer known as The Thinker whose [[PsychoSerum splicing induced madness]] manifested in a delusion of the existence of a 'predictive equation' that would allow him to see the future, the "discovery" of which depended on The Thinker. The titular Minerva's Den is covered in numbers and algebraic symbols in paint, chalk and blood from dozens of corpses, all presumably Wahl's work. Wahl also has the habit of stating that pretty much all of Sigma's actions (including ''dying'') have either been foreseen by the Thinker or that they're "slightly behind schedule".

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* The ''VideoGame/{{BioShock|1}}'' ''[[VideoGame/BioShock2 BioShock 2]]'' DLC Minerva's Den has Reed Wahl, the co-inventor of the supercomputer known as The Thinker whose [[PsychoSerum splicing induced madness]] manifested in a delusion of the existence of a 'predictive equation' that would allow him to see the future, the "discovery" of which depended on The Thinker. The titular Minerva's Den is covered in numbers and algebraic symbols in paint, chalk and blood from dozens of corpses, all presumably Wahl's work. Wahl also has the habit of stating that pretty much all of Sigma's actions (including ''dying'') have either been foreseen by the Thinker or that they're "slightly behind schedule".
23rd Aug '15 7:13:23 AM Saber15
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Added DiffLines:

* In ''Literature/DiamondDogs'', the explorers of a BigDumbObject in a uninhabited system have been progressively replacing most of their body and augmenting their minds in order to pass the lethal [[OnlySmartPeopleMayPass mathematical and astrophysical tests]] to find out what lies in the center of the object. By the end of the novella, the explorers are [[BrainInAJar full-body prosthetic]] dog-like creatures enshrouded in diamond armor, which are completely incapable of functioning in society due to their augments and mathematical oriented minds. The cyborg MadScientist who augmented proceeded to [[DrivenToSuicide take himself apart]] piece by piece while the explorers were in the object to make sure that he couldn't undo his 'greatest work'
20th Aug '15 7:20:04 AM Willbyr
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* Moriaki-sensei from ''SoredemoMachiWaMawatteiru'' looks like your average SternTeacher at first, but he takes Mathematics ''way'' too seriously.

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* Moriaki-sensei from ''SoredemoMachiWaMawatteiru'' ''Manga/SoredemoMachiWaMawatteiru'' looks like your average SternTeacher at first, but he takes Mathematics ''way'' too seriously.
4th Aug '15 5:01:03 AM Andyroid
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* ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'': The Mathster
* ''WesternAnimation/DextersLaboratory'': The Evil Math-Magician

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* ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'': In one episode, ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'' deals with a math-themed villain known as The Mathster
Mathster. She [[LamePunReaction quickly grew tired]] of his [[HurricaneOfPuns many, many math jokes]].
* ''WesternAnimation/DextersLaboratory'': The A quick short on ''WesternAnimation/DextersLaboratory'' had Major Glory fighting the Evil Math-MagicianMath-Magician... with "Justice Fruit Pies, the delicious treat you'd have to be crazy to hate".
* In the ''WesternAnimation/GravityFalls'' episode "Dungeons, Dungeons & More Dungeons", a magical "infinity-sided die" brings to life the eponymous tabletop game's villain/mascot, the mighty math-wizard Probabilitor the Annoying.
23rd Jul '15 3:56:59 AM SuperLlama
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* Dive from ''VideoGame/{{Divekick}}'' dabbles in this, applying his talent for calculating angles [[IKnowKungFu to his divekicking]], and the majority of his win and defeat quotes being math-related.

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* Dive from ''VideoGame/{{Divekick}}'' dabbles in this, applying his talent for calculating angles [[IKnowKungFu [[MartialArtsAndCrafts to his divekicking]], and the majority of his win and defeat quotes being math-related.
23rd Jul '15 3:55:40 AM SuperLlama
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Added DiffLines:

* Dive from ''VideoGame/{{Divekick}}'' dabbles in this, applying his talent for calculating angles [[IKnowKungFu to his divekicking]], and the majority of his win and defeat quotes being math-related.
29th Jun '15 8:47:25 AM Nohbody
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[[noreallife]]



[[folder:Real Life]]
* As mentioned above, there seems to be a tendency for mathematicians to go mad.
** Although, in the same vein as a Psychic making 50 correct predictions and 7,000 incorrect ones, the exceptional examples tend to be remembered. It should also be noticed Human Calculators are not mathematicians, merely very good at one task through repetition, so any of those who go mad don't count. We do tend to die young though, as G.H. Hardy notes:
---> Galois died at 21, Abel at 27, Ramanujan at 33, Riemann at 40...
*** Worth nothing, perhaps, that Galois was shot in a politics related duel, while Abel and Riemann died of tuberculosis and Ramanujan of misdiagnosed Amoebiasis. So perhaps the real lesson is [[CaptainObvious Try not to get sick while you reinvent mathematics.]]
** It's a common opinion that math and physics are fields for young people since they require an ability to learn very quickly and see things creatively, implications that weren't even dreamed of before. As one ages, these abilities dull. This same creativity is also often held to be responsible for the eccentricity in many great mathematicians. This being said, truly great practitioners of anything are inherently exceptions.
* Ted Kaczynski (aka the Unabomber) was a mathematical prodigy who earned his doctorate in one year before he sent 16 bombs to targets including universities and airlines, killing three people and injuring 23.
* Paul Erdős lived as a virtual vagrant and yet was so influential and prolific that he's the Kevin Bacon of mathematics. (That is to say, mathematically inclined people have an Erdős number, as opposed to the film industry's Bacon number. Some people in show business who have also seen certain forms of higher education even have an Erdős-Bacon number. They are deeply envied.) Not to mention he had an interesting PersonalDictionary. He said that all the great equations were written in ''The Book''. Which book? God's (or as he put it the "Supreme Fascist's") book, which was selfishly guarded - most likely in the same place He hid socks, passports, and other small items.
** More precisely, Kevin Bacon is the Paul Erdős of show business. Erdős came first.
** [[NeverLiveItDown It was really a thing he was playing around with]] - even calling it a joke several times when asked about it in the biographical film ''N Is A Number''. It's a bit easier to understand when you realize English was not nearly his first language. Though he sometimes had difficulty expressing himself, he used English like an ordinary person the vast majority of the time he used it.
** Erdős, like many great mathematicians, was a phenomenal amphetamine addict. As any longtime user (mathematician or otherwise) will tell you, speed tweaks your brain.
** [[strike: Um, no, noooo he wasn't. He had ADHD. And amphetamine is a medicine for ADHD.]] There is some speculation as to whether or not this is true.
*** Additionally [[http://bit.ly/fpbdNH this article]] suggests that his use of amphetamine began shortly after his mother's death, beginning after he had tried antidepressants for a time.
*** According to TheOtherWiki, Erdős was bet a sum of money by a fellow mathematician that he couldn't give up the amphetamines for a month. He did, won the bet, and went right back to taking amphetamines, claiming that while he was abstaining, it destroyed his ability to do math ("Before, when I looked at a piece of blank paper my mind was filled with ideas. Now all I see is a blank piece of paper.").
* Georg Cantor, a little bizarre to begin with, ended up spending much of his last years in sanatoriums - still trying to correlate the various orders of infinity.
* Creator/LewisCarroll was a mathematician. Coincidentally, he also allegedly suffered from epilepsy and a rare condition that causes a person to perceive the size of objects incorrectly which is actually named after ''Literature/AliceInWonderland''. His background as a mathematician and logician, as well as his experiences with mental illness, were the inspiration to some of the more cerebral elements of his writing. [[WhatDoYouMeanItWasntMadeOnDrugs Drugs on the other hand, not so much.]]
** In fact, the Wonderland series was an attack on the "new mathematics" coming into vogue in Carroll's time. This included such things as imaginary numbers, abstract algebras, nondecimal bases, and limits. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alice%27s_Adventures_in_Wonderland#Mathematics As usual, TOW has something to say on the subject.]]
* The mathematicians of [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cw-zNRNcF90 Dangerous Knowledge]] (including the aforementioned Georg Cantor) went mad trying to figure out infinity.
* In his later years, Kurt Gödel began to suffer mental instability, to the point where he started to think someone was trying to poison him and only ate food that his wife, Adele, made for him. When Adele was hospitalized, Gödel ''refused to eat anything'', and eventually starved to death.
* The introductory history-of-the-field segment of Advanced Logic classes seem to go: Brilliant Theorist -> Spectacular Achievement/Contribution -> Insanity -> Bizarre Death -> Rinse and Repeat. It instills some serious trepidations about entering the discipline.
* [[Film/ABeautifulMind John Nash]].
* UsefulNotes/NikolaTesla was brilliant at math. He was also nuts. Luckily, he wasn't evil or violent.
** Though he did claim to have designed a Death Ray capable of obliterating any target on Earth at the drop of a hat. Presumably the only reason he didn't take over the world was that investors weren't sure what place they would have in Tesla's New Order.
** He also claimed that his resonator could cause earthquakes, and at one point calculated that if he ran it for long enough, it would ''shake the earth into pieces.'' He commented "I considered this an undesirable outcome and switched it off." See? ''Not crazy at all.''
* In the text the first page quote came from, Chesterton attributed Poe's madness to his obsession with math puzzles instead of poetry.
* Andrew Wiles (the man who ''finally'' proved Fermat's Last Theorem) claims that he'd probably have gone mad from the effort of doing so, [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming if he hadn't made time to play with his children every day.]]
** He once noted that he almost ''did'' go insane out of frustration in 1993, when he found a fault in his almost complete proof. Luckily he was able to patch it up in just one year, though he still took some time to polish it, finally publishing in 1995.
* He has no known mental illness, but [[http://people.idsia.ch/~juergen/ Juergen Schmidhuber]]'s webpage makes him look strongly suspicious. Being a [[AIIsACrapshoot logic and AI theorist]] does not help.
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