Event Details

Monday, 23 September 2013
6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
UQ Location:
Physiology Lecture Theatres (St Lucia)
Event category(s):

Event Contact

Ms Aarti Kapoor
Org. Unit:
Mathematics and Physics

Event Description

Full Description:
How can we pack balls as tightly as possible? In other words: to squeeze as many balls as possible into a limited space, whatís the best way of arranging the balls? Itís not hard to guess what the answer should be ó but itís very hard to be sure that it really is the answer! Iíll tell the interesting story of this problem, going back to the astronomer Kepler, and ending almost four hundred years later with Thomas Hales. I will then talk about stacking 24-dimensional oranges: what this means, how it relates to the Voyager spacecraft, and the many things we donít know beyond this.

About the speaker: Akshay Venkatesh is Professor of Mathematics at Stanford University. He received his PhD in 2002 from Princeton University and his undergraduate degree from The University of Western Australia. His research interests are in the fields of counting, equidistribution problems in automorphic forms and number theory, in particular representation theory, locally symmetric spaces and ergodic theory. In 2008, he won the SASTRA Ramanujan Prize. This annual prize is for outstanding contributions to areas of mathematics influenced by the genius Srinivasa Ramanujan.

About the Mahler Lectureship: Professor Kurt Mahler made major contributions to Australian Mathematics from his arrival in the 1960s, until his death in 1988. The Mahler Lectureship is awarded biannually to a distinguished mathematician. Find out more at www.austms.org.au/The+Mahler+Lectureship.

To secure your seat at this free event, please register online at: http://ems.gs/3iGO0kzJMJ

Directions to UQ

Google Map:
To St Lucia Campus, UQ Ipswich, and UQ Gatton.

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