[Mathmajors] Announcement for VIGRE public lecture, 11/15, 4pm
miller at math.washington.edu
Wed Nov 8 10:25:46 PST 2006
Many of you will be interested in this lecture, sponsored by the VIGRE
program. The announcement is long, but provides alot of information about
this important lecture. I hope many of you can attend.
The University of Washington will be hosting Dr. Hendrik Lenstra as part
of the VIGRE Distinguished Lecturer Series. He will be giving a talk for
the general public on Wednesday, November 15th at 4:00 pm in A102, the
Physics and Astronomy Building. This talk is titled "Escher and the Droste
effect." The Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher is well known for his black
and white etchings that play with scale, perspective, recursion and
tessellations or tilings.
In 1956, Escher made an unusual lithograph with the title `Print Gallery'.
It shows a young man viewing a print in an exhibition gallery. Among the
buildings depicted on the print, he sees paradoxically the very same
gallery that he is standing in. A lot is known about the way in which
Escher made his lithograph. It is not nearly as well known that it
contains a hidden `Droste effect', or infinite repetition; but this is
brought to light by a mathematical analysis of the studies used by Escher.
On the basis of this discovery, a team of mathematicians at Leiden
produced a series of hallucinating computer animations. These show, among
others, what happens inside the mysterious spot in the middle of the
lithograph that Escher left blank. This talk takes place on Wednesday,
November 15th at 4pm in the Physics and Astronomy Building, A102.
Dr. Lenstra has given this talk all over the world, and it is always very
well received. His well-known wit and clarity make it a wonderful talk for
anyone with an interest in art, mathematics or both. Much of the math and
graphics fun from this talk may be seen at
Dr. Hendrik Lenstra is Professor of Mathematics at the Universiteit
Leiden, and an Emeritus Professor at the University of California at
Berkeley. His research interests include algebra, number theory, and
algorithms. He is responsible for two of the most famous algorithms in
20th century number theory: the LLL lattice basis reduction algorithm
(along with his brother, Arjen Lenstra, and Laszlo Lovasz) and the
elliptic curve factoring algorithm. His work has important applications in
the areas of cryptography and computer security.
Dr. Lenstra has earned many prestigious awards for his contributions to
mathematics, including the Spinoza prize, the highest scientific honor
given in The Netherlands. He is a member of the Royal Dutch Academy of
Science and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
This series is designed to honor stellar ambassadors of mathematics, and
to expand public interest in and understanding of mathematics. Our VIGRE
Distinguished Lecturers are chosen for both their reputations as excellent
speakers, as well as for their contributions to the mathematical sciences.
The National Science Foundation program Vertical Integration of Research
and Education in the Mathematical Sciences (VIGRE) was set up with the
goal of "increasing the number of well-prepared U.S. citizens, nationals,
and permanent residents who pursue careers in the mathematical sciences."
These programs are sponsored by institutions that contain mathematical
science departments that grant Ph.D.s. The VIGRE program at the University
of Washington incorporates the vertical integration of the national
program with horizontal integration across the three mathematical science
departments mentioned above. Through these three departments and the
multidisciplinary Bachelor of Science program in Applied and Computational
Mathematical Sciences (ACMS), VIGRE is able to reach and have an impact on
a majority of the University of Washington students studying the
mathematical sciences at all levels. VIGRE sponsored projects and programs
are better preparing tomorrow's mathematicians while increasing the
visibility of the mathematical sciences on UW's Seattle campus.
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