In mathematics, as in art, progress and innovation often come from looking at the world in a new way. These shifts in viewpoint sometimes come from a clear process of deduction, while other times they seem to arise mysteriously. In either case, they are often accompanied by a strong “Aha!” feeling of insight. When first revisiting previous ideas in such a new light, a sense that one finally has “it all really right” emerges. Yet as experience with a new point of view develops, its own shortcomings tend to surface, setting the stage for another shift in perspective.
Through interactive demonstrations and hands-on physical participatory activities, you’ll have the opportunity to challenge and alter your own perspectives on mathematical ideas. Ultimately, we’ll explore – and hopefully experience – both the satisfaction of discerning new patterns and the frustration that there always seem to be grander patterns just out of reach.
About the Speaker
In his life, Glen Whitney has approached mathematics from several different perspectives. In high school, he had a fondness for math puzzles and contests. Early in his career, he taught and did research in logic at the University of Michigan. The next major shift was to applied mathematics, specifically predictive econometrics at a quantitative hedge fund. Later, Whitney discovered his passion for public math outreach, founding the National Museum of Mathematics in New York City.
Recently, he’s been trying to mix all of these perspectives: giving public lectures and physical demonstrations of the beauty and joy of mathematics, editing the “Playground” problem column for Math Horizons, and pursuing research often inspired by questions that arise in public programs and in puzzles, affiliated with institutions such as Harvard University and the Institute for Computational and Experimental Research in Mathematics. Whenever he can find the time, he writes about the material and tactile approach to mathematics at studioinfinity.org.
Attend this Lecture
- Brown University, Granoff Center
154 Angell Street
Providence, RI 02906
- Oct 30, 2019
- 6:00pm: light refreshments served
6:30pm: lecture begins
- This event is free and open to the public. Limited seating. Please register to reserve a seat at https://brownpapertickets.com/event/4347411.