Public lecture will give an idea of ‘how mathematicians think’

Published 09 November 2009

geometryA public lecture at the University of New England on Wednesday 11 November will examine – in entertaining fashion – “Theorems Beginning with P”.

Professor Michael Eastwood FAA, from the Australian National University, will present the lecture in UNE’s Lewis Lecture Theatre at 7.30 pm.

Professor Eastwood is a leading researcher in fields such as differential geometry. He will talk, in layman’s terms, about theorems by Pappus, Pascal, Poncelet and Penrose that all provide results in plane geometry.

“All are easy to state, but some are hard to prove,” Professor Eastwood says. “Pascal proved his when he was just 16 years old.

“I shall discuss these theorems and some others – including Desargues’ Theorem, Steiner’s Porism, and the Butterfly Theorem.”

The talk will consist mostly of pictures, and will, in Professor Eastwood’s words, give people an idea of “how mathematicians think”.

Professor Eastwood is one of several distinguished mathematicians who are visiting UNE to present keynote lectures at a Summer School on Integral Geometry from the 9th to the 11th of November. The others include Professor V. Palamodov from the University of Tel Aviv and Associate Professor David Paganin from Monash University.