"Mathy Words in the Italian Renaissance: Niccolò Tartaglia's Poetic Solution to the Cubic Equation" - Arielle Saiber (Bowdoin College)


Location: 102 DeBartolo Hall

“Mathy Words in the Italian Renaissance: Niccolò Tartaglia’s Poetic Solution to the Cubic Equation” – Arielle Saiber (Bowdoin College)

Thursday, March 19 at 5:00pm in 102 DeBartolo Hall

While the history of the scandal between Girolamo Cardano and Niccolò Tartaglia (c. 1499 – 1557) over Cardano’s publication of Tartaglia’s solution to the cubic equation has been often rehearsed, less studied are the biographical, literary and cultural elements that informed the penning of the poem into which Tartaglia wove his solution. This talk offers a reading of Tartaglia’s ‘Quando chel cubo’ and discusses the implications of his choice to embed his prized solution into verse. As such, Tartaglia’s poem serves as a powerful indicator of how mathematics and poetry have benefited one another throughout the centuries.

Arielle Saiber is Associate Professor of Italian in the Department of Romance Languages at Bowdoin College.

Math-related talks and discussions are especially for undergraduates. Each talk will end with snacks and refreshments. Everyone, from Fields medalists to math phobes, are welcome to attend.  

Originally published at