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By-talk 2: When Mathematics met Love


It’s a romantic story about Descartes. It mainly about that Descartes and the queen of Sweden at that time. The story began on a quiet afternoon in 1650, on the streets of Stockholm, 52-year-old Descartes met the 18-year-old princess Christina. The princess had a keen interest in mathematics so that she was greatly impressed by his talent as she looked at Descartes’ mathematical work. A few days later Descartes was summoned to the palace and became the princess’s math teacher. As the princess’s mathematical performance getting better, pure love between them sprouted. But the king who knew the truth was in a rage. Descartes was immediately exiled to his home country and the princess was imprisoned as well. Unfortunately, after returning to France Descartes was infected with the terrible Black Death. However, due to the affection to the princess, he still wrote 12 letters to the princess, but all of them were destroyed by the king without exception. When Descartes was lying at the point of death, the king got the letter with only one formula: “r = a (1-sin θ)”. Although the king summoned a lot of mathematicians, but no one can solve this formula. So the king relaxed his vigilance and gave this letter to the princess. Finally the princess solved the this problem and cried one’s heart out. The heart-shaped curve represented Descartes’ whole hearted love. It is said that this alternative love letter is still stored in a museum of Descartes, Europe. This is the story of Descartes’ poignant love and famous heart-shaped curve.

Digression: Today is May 20th, 520 means I love you(5-2-0 read as “wo ai ni”) in China, so sharing this romantic story. May I wish that all Jacks shall have Jills, all shall be well.

Best Regards,
From Shanghai

By-talk 1: Mamba Mentality-Just focused on being in the moment(Please enter your Harvard Key to view and study)
Lesson 8: If your heart is unblemished, the world appears pure-(Please enter your Harvard Key to view and study)

1 Comment

  1. kimberly Rozier

    May 20, 2021 @ 2:05 am


    God, stunning love story, made me love mathematics again from right now, lol! Thank you, prof. Lujia. You are the best and veryyyyy coooool! Can’t wait to study your new post of this online course. I got it, maybe I should say: Happy 520 to you!!

    kimberly Rozier

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