Stewart, Ian

Tagged: Author

(1945-    ) UK mathematician, currently Professor of Mathematics at the University of Warwick; he was elected to the Royal Society in 2001. His sf novels Wheelers (2000) and Heaven (2004), together with the nonfiction The Collapse of Chaos: Discovering Simplicity in a Complex World (1994) and other popular-science works of sf interest, were written in collaboration with Jack Cohen – whom see for further discussion. Stewart, whose solo works deal with Mathematics, is the fourth writer of the Scientific American column founded by Martin Gardner as "Mathematical Games" and continued by Douglas Hofstadter and A K Dewdney: Stewart's columns are titled "Mathematical Recreations". Several collections of these and related popular-maths essays have appeared under generally punning titles, beginning with Game, Set & Math: Enigmas and Conundrums (coll 1989). Science-fictional themes and trappings frequently appear. Also of tangential interest is Stewart's involvement with what might be termed a mathematics Fanzine, Manifold, published from the University of Warwick 1968-1980; inspired by Martin Gardner's columns, this mingled serious, comic and bizarre mathematical speculations, partially collected as Seven Years of Manifold 1968-1980 (anth 1981) edited by Stewart and John Jaworski.

The Science of Discworld (1999) with Jack Cohen and Terry Pratchett and its sequels use Pratchett's Discworld as a launch pad for highly readable popular-science commentary, each time appearing between the chapters of a novella by Pratchett solo. Flatterland: Like Flatland Only More So (2001) uses Edwin A Abbott's Flatland (1884; rev 1884) as the starting point for a Flatland girl's fictionalized tour (with much wordplay in echo of Lewis Carroll) of more modern mathematical concepts of Dimensions, geometries, topology, and more, including an sf excursion into Black Holes and Time Paradoxes.

A further sf novel is The Living Labyrinth (2016) with Tim Poston. [DRL]

see also: Thought Experiment.

Ian Nicholas Stewart

born Folkestone, Kent: 24 September 1945

died

works

nonfiction

series

Scientific American

Collections of Mathematics-based columns from both the French (written in English to be translated) and US editions of Scientific American.

The Science of Discworld

individual titles (selected)

works as editor

links

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