Mathematical monsters: the essential tension between normal and pathological in modern mathematics
Claudio Bartocci (Ph.D. in mathematics, University of Warwick, UK, 1993) is associate professor at the University of Genova, where he teaches mathematical physics and history of mathematics. He has had visiting positions at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, the UniversitÉ de Paris VII, the University of Philadelphia, and the École de Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris. He has authored some 40 refereed papers (mostly in mathematical physics and differential and algebraic geometry), 2 research monographs, and several essays on the history of mathematical thought, on the relations between mathematics and literature, and on various issues in philosophy of science. Among his more recent publications: "Fourier-Mukai and Nahm transforms in geometry and mathematical physics" (co-authors: U. Bruzzo and D. Hernández RuipÉrez, Birkhäuser 2009), "Vite matematiche" (co-authsor: R. Betti, A. Guerraggio, R. Lucchetti, Springer 2007; English translation forthcoming), "Racconti matematici" (Einaudi 2006); he is the coeditor, together with P. Odifreddi, of "La matematica" (Einaudi). He is presently completing a book, "Mostri matematici" (Cortina Editore, Milano), about the conceptual development of 19th / early 20th century mathematics, with special emphasis on the role of pathological examples. At the Italian Academy he will investigate the philosophical implications of this research work.