Children's author and theoretical mathematician to present public lecture at IU Bloomington

A mathematician and award-winning children's book author will deliver a public lecture April 1 at Indiana University Bloomington.

Richard Evan Schwartz of Brown University will deliver the 2017 Einstein Public Lecture at 5:15 p.m. in Woodburn Hall, Room 100. The talk is aimed at math newcomers, experts and anyone with a love of numbers or interest in learning more about them.

The lecture is part of the Spring 2017 American Mathematical Society’s Central Sectional meeting at IU Bloomington on April 1 and 2. Over 450 mathematicians from across the country are expected to attend.

"It is an honor to host this annual meeting and to welcome Professor Schwartz to campus for the Einstein Lecture," said Elizabeth Housworth, professor and chair of the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Mathematics. "He has a true knack for facilitating the visualization of mathematical problems in geometry and dynamics -- one that he also puts to use in his popular children's books such as 'You Can Count on Monsters,' two copies of which (one for each child) grace my own bookcases."

Schwartz is also the author of the recently released "The Gallery of the Infinite" and "Really Big Numbers," which won both the Grades 3-5 and Grades 6-8 Mathical Book Prizes in 2015.

The image caption followsView print quality image
You Can Count on Monsters book cover. Photo courtesy of CRC Press

His Einstein Lecture will feature interactive visualizations that help people grasp problems in geometry and dynamics -- as well as mathematics behind them -- in a way that would be practically impossible using a pencil and paper.

He will also discuss how these tools can be used to perform rigorous but unconventional mathematical proofs that he describes as "a bit of a deal with the devil."

The lecture title is "Modern scratch paper: Graphical explorations in geometry and dynamics."

Schwartz is the Chancellor's Professor of Mathematics at Brown University and an expert in a field of mathematics known as geometric group theory. He is also a Guggenheim fellow, a Clay Research Scholar and a Simons fellow. He holds a doctorate in mathematics from Princeton University.

The IU Bloomington previously hosted American Mathematical Society central sectional meetings in 2008 and 2003.