Among my friends and colleagues I now count a growing number of mathematicians. I have always been completely intrigued by the way their brilliance is manifested in the world and they each remain something of an enigma to me.
Our images of mathematicians always seem to focus on the maths and rarely on the mind. As though the scribbled hieroglyphics could show us what is happening inside their heads... This seems a long way from what might be happening.
Mariana Cook's images of mathematicians, featured on SEED magazine are a real shift. Her portraits let us see the people; she gives us a sense of their souls and we hear their voices. We get a clue of how life might be when we are able to appreciate the beauty of mathematics.
Among the many compelling, well crafted images is this picture of Marie-France Vigneras, a specialist in algebraic number theory. Marie-France says:
"As mathematicians, we play and dream but we don't cheat. You can't cheat in mathematics. Truth is so important. To solve a problem with a proof is exciting and rewarding because it is true forever."
More of Mariana's amazing mathematician portraits are here. At the start of the gallery she briefly describes how she experiences her subjects:
"In speaking about their work, mathematicians use the words 'elegance, truth and beauty' more than anyone else combined."
Hey, photo-dialoguers aren't far behind.....