
UPCOMING PUBLIC LECTURES


February
17, 2011
Time: 5:00 p.m.
Piergiorgio Odifreddi

INDISCREET APPLICATIONS
OF DISCRETE MATHEMATICS
Galileo said that "the Great Book of Nature can be read
only by those who know the language in which it was written,
and this language is mathematics". Usually, however,
the pages of the Great Book that we hear about are those related
to the hard sciences, physics first and foremost. And the
language in which these pages are written, is a sophisticated
and complex one, comprehensible only to the initiated.
In the second half of the last century, however, some striking
pages of the Great Book have been deciphered, in such diverse
fields as biology and political sciences. And some of these
pages happen to be written in the very simple and elementary
language of discrete mathematics. We will read together a
few paragraphs of them, covering topics that range from the
mechanism of cellular reproduction, to electoral procedures
and vote apportionment.
This talk is be hosted jointly by the Fields Institute
and the Istituto Italiano di Cultura
Audio and Slides
available here.

Piergiorgio
Odifreddi is an Italian mathematician, logician and aficionado
of the history of science, who is also extremely active
as a popular science writer and essayist, especially in
a perspective of philosophical atheism. Born in Cuneo (Piedmont),
he received his Laurea in mathematics in Turin in 1973.
From 1983 to 2002, he taught in both Italy (Turin, Alessandria,
Siena, Milan) and in the United States (Cornell University).
Since 2001, he has been a professor of mathematical logic
in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Turin.
He has written editorials and books reviews for La rivista
dei libri (the Italian edition of the New York Review of
Books), is a regular contributor to Le Scienze (the Italian
edition of Scientific American), and has also written for
several newspapers such as La Repubblica, La Stampa and
the weekly L'Espresso.
The television stations Radio Tre, RAI Due and RAI Tre have
hosted many of his discussions on various scientific topics.
Piergiorgio Odifreddi participated in the Stock Exchange
of Visions project in 2007.
Honors
1998  Galileo Prize of the Italian Mathematical Union.
2002  Peano Prize of Mathesis
2005  Commendatore dell'Ordine al Merito della Repubblica
Italiana
Note Dr. Odifreddi will also be speaking at the Royal
Canadian Institute talks on Sunday February 20.

PAST PUBLIC
LECTURES 


January 19, 2011 
6:00 p.m.
Earth Sciences Auditorium, University of Toronto
What is the Shape of Inner Space?
SHINGTUNG YAU
The Chinese University of Hong Kong and Harvard University
In this public lecture, Professor Yau will
talk about how mathematics and physics can come together
to the benefit of both fields, particularly in the case
of CalabiYau spaces and string theoryour leading attempt
to explain the universe to date. He will discuss his personal
introduction to geometry, as well as a bit of the history
of geometry. Thus, Professor Yau hopes to give the
audience a sense of how mathematicians think and approach
the world and convey the realization that mathematics does
not have to be a wholly abstract discipline, disconnected
from everyday phenomena, but is instead crucial to our understanding
of the physical world.
Video
and slides of talk

November 1, 2010
What is the fate of the solar system?
Cédric Villani, Professeur de mathématiques
de l'Université Claude Bernard Lyon I
Directeur de l'Institut Henri Poincaré
Video
and slides of talk

October 1, 2010
Special Seminar on Mathematical Exposition
Ivars Peterson (Mathematical Association of America)
Communicating Mathematics
Audio and slides
of talk



