Sunday, August 07, 2016

The Beauty of Mathematics

In the Spring of 2016, I gave a series of four hour long public lectures on the "Beauty of Mathematics" at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, Medford, MA.

Lecture 1: "Fractals! The Language of Nature" 
18 February, 2016
Where we explore the curious world of shapes and fractals, love, betrayal, duels, and multiple dimensions.

Lecture 2: "The Inanity of Infinity" 
3 March, 2016
Where we delve into the mysteries of the world of Cantor, Russell, and Tarski, and the paradoxes they left us with.

Lecture 3: "What are Numbers? Reality and Chaos" 
18 March, 2016
Where we ask questions like, is mathematics invented or discovered?  Does mathematics represent reality?  What is chaos?  How do computer passwords work?

Lecture 4: "The Ancients: From the Vedas to Al-Jebr" 
21 April, 2016
Where we explore the mathematics and its relationship to religion in the ancient world - the Egyptians, Babylonians, Chinese, and Indians.  The knowledge that was lost and mysteries that we still have not solved.  With special guest: Hungyen Ngyuen.

Selected references and sources:
"Arcadia", Tom Stoppard; "Numberphile"; "Vsauce"; "StandupMaths" - Matt Parker; "An Imaginary Tale", Paul Nahin; "Fractal Geometry", Benoit B. Mandelbrot; "Alex's Adventures in Numberland", Alex Bellos; "Whom the Gods Love", Leopold Infield; "Logicomix", Doxiades et al; "Love and Math", Edward Frenkel; "God Created the Integers", Stephen Hawking; "Godel, Escher, Bach", Douglas Hofstadter; "Spiked Math"; "XKCD"

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