Archive: Janna Levin on her book Madman Dreams of Turing Machines

Big Ideas

Imagine someone saying that they are terrified by the claim that there cannot be a mathematical theory of everything. Janna Levin is such a person. She is a physicist who writes fictionalized accounts of great and suffering mathematicians. She is the author of Madman Dreams of Turing Machines, the story of two great mathematical minds, Kurt Godel and Alan Turing. They were men who had the capacity to think about the most abstract of mathematical truths but had very limited abilities when it came to confronting the mundane aspects of life. Both committed suicide.
Aired:
Sep 20, 2008