NPR logo

Manjul Bhargava: An Artist of Music and Math

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/4111253/4113631" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Manjul Bhargava: An Artist of Music and Math

Manjul Bhargava: An Artist of Music and Math

Manjul Bhargava: An Artist of Music and Math

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/4111253/4113631" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Number theorist Manjul Bhargava is also a tabla master. Rebecca Davis, NPR hide caption

toggle caption Rebecca Davis, NPR

At 28, Manjul Bhargava has already won a coveted full professorship at Princeton University. An expert in number theory, the study of the properties and relationships of numbers, Bhargava is also a master of the tabla, a small Indian hand drum used to create music with rhythmic, precise patterns.

Number theory is the type of math that describes the swirl in the head of a sunflower and the curve of a chambered nautilus. Bhargava says it's also hidden in the rhythms of classical Indian music, which is both mathematical and improvisational. He sees close links between his two loves — both create beauty and elegance by weaving together seemingly unconnected ideas.

Bhargava on Number Theory and Its Links to Poetry, Visual Art and 'The Da Vinci Code'

Only Available in Archive Formats.

As part of a Morning Edition series exploring the intersection of art and science, NPR's Richard Harris reports on the beauty of mathematics, its ties to art — and the man who straddles both worlds.

Related NPR Stories

We no longer support commenting on NPR.org stories, but you can find us every day on Facebook, Twitter, email, and many other platforms. Learn more or contact us.