and finds it beautiful. How does this translate? It deals with the series
S = ∑k=0n-1 a+k d = a n + d n(n-1)/2
= A + n L/2
where A=an and L = d (n-1) is the length of the interval under consideration.
The formula as stated has been crafted with a mathematician of taste. As the
usual formula is more messy, the short version gives the essential and provides
the intuition of a rectangular area A plus the area n L/2 of a triangle.
The actual novel does not feature this scene. Mathematics appears however
(Warning: the novel is a war novel written by a veteran of WWI).
Bertinck has a chest wound. After a while a fragment smashes away
his chin, and the same fragment has sufficient force to tear open Leer's
hip. Leer groans as he supports himself on his arm, he bleeds quickly, no
one can help him. Like an emptying tube, after a couple of minutes he
collapses. What use is it to him now that he was such a good
mathematician at school.
There were probably many Mathematicians who died in WW I.