SCIENTIFIC PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES

December 17, 2014

CONNECTING WOMEN IN MATHEMATICS ACROSS CANADA
December 7-8, 2006

Siobhan Roberts
Siobhan Roberts, author of a biography of Donald Coxeter (King of Infinite
Space, published this fall by Anansi), is a Toronto freelance writer and journalist whose work focuses on reconciling what the British novelist and scientist C.P. Snow famously referred to as "the two cultures" of science and art.

In 2001 she met Donald Coxeter, then age 94, and was taken with his tremendous and enduring passion for geometry, as well as his stomach-curdling bedtime elixir — Kahlúa coffee liqueur, peach schnapps, sometimes a splash of vodka, all mixed with soymilk — and his lifelong habit of standing on his head every morning, to which he attributed his longevity. She followed Coxeter to the last geometry conference he would attend, in Budapest in the summer of 2002, where he gave the opening address, providing a new and elegant proof of a theorem relating to "four mutually tangent circles," a subject which finds application in data-mining technology.

Roberts has written for numerous general interest and scientific publications including The New York Times "Science Times," The Walrus, SEED, The Mathematical Intelligencer, Canadian Geographic, the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, and the Boston Globe "Ideas" section. She is currently developing a documentary film on Coxeter. Her magazine profile of the geometer, "Figure Head," appeared in Toronto Life magazine and won a National Magazine Award. She also won an NMA for her Saturday Night article "Broken Records" — focusing on Canada's National Archives, this feature article investigated the future of the past and how new technology is endangering rather than enhancing the
preservation of archives.

CONNECTING WOMEN IN MATHEMATICS ACROSS CANADA
December 7-8, 2006