Colloquium: John M. Lee

Event Type: 
Colloquium
Speaker: 
John M. Lee (University of Washington)
Event Date: 
Saturday, February 6, 2016 -
10:00am to 11:00am
Location: 
SMLC 102
Audience: 
General Public
Sponsor/s: 
UNM-PNM Math Contest

Event Description: 

Title: "The Curvature of Space".

Abstract:

Do you think that everything there is to know about geometry was already discovered ages ago? Think again. Since the time of Euclid, the history of geometry has been a dramatic saga that your high-school teachers might not tell you about. It led, more than a century ago, to the mind-bending mathematical discovery that the three-dimensional space we live in might be "curved," in much the same way as the two-dimensional surface of the earth is curved.

In this talk you'll have a chance to learn what it could possibly mean mathematically for space to be curved, how we can detect it, and the fascinating story of how we got from Euclid to here. Along the way, you'll find out about "proofs" by professional mathematicians that turned out to be wrong, a million-dollar prize for solving a mathematical problem, and a mysterious modern-day Russian mathematician who earned it but doesn't want it.

Event Contact

Contact Name: Dimiter Vassilev