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De magie van wetenschap - De dingen die je niet begrijpt

Short documentary, 2010, 40 min.

One of six documentaries in the series 'Magie van de wetenschap', in which six renowned documentary-makers portray just as many Dutch top scientists. This instalment focuses on mathematician Hendrik Lenstra. The so-called LLL algorithm, which he worked out in 1982 with his brother Arjen and the Hungarian mathematician László Lovász, brought him international fame. Filmmakers Peter and Petra Lataster follow him not only in his professional life (we see how he supervises students and travels to Berlin to give a lecture), but also in his personal life, where he takes care of his elderly mother. Because mathematics is life for the single Lenstra: in Berlin, he makes a quadrant map to see where the largest concentration of bookstores and antiquarian bookshops is in the city. He studied, he claims, like people breathe and eat, because he 'couldn't stand it there were questions he didn't know the answers to.' But his boyish roguishness is also manifest, in the dry chats with his mother.




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