Narrative & Proof: Two Sides of the Same Equation (Livestreamed on 20 January 2015)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm
Mathematical Institute, Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, Oxford
This event will be webcast live at 5 pm GMT, please click here to live stream.

One of the UK’s leading scientists, Marcus du Sautoy, will argue that mathematical proofs are not just number-based, but also a form of narrative. In response, author Ben Okri, mathematician Roger Penrose, and literary scholar Laura Marcus, will consider how narrative shapes the sciences as well as the arts.

The discussion will be chaired by Elleke Boehmer, Professor of World Literature in English, University of Oxford, and will be followed by audience discussion and a drinks reception.

This event is organised in collaboration with the Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford. It is the opening event in TORCH’s Humanities and Science series, which will explore how new answers can be found – and new research questions can be set – by bringing the disciplines together.

Abstract for Marcus du Sautoy’s presentation

“Mathematics is more than just true statements about numbers. Why does a proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem get celebrated as one of the great achievements of 20th century mathematics while an equally complicated calculation is regarded as mundane and uninteresting? Why is the proof more important than the result itself? It is not the QED but the pathway to that QED that mathematicians care about. Is the quality of the narrative journey of the proof actually what elevates a sequence of logically connected statements to be celebrated as mathematics? And what qualities does that narrative share with other narrative art forms?”

The speakers

Marcus du Sautoy, Charles Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science, University of Oxford

Marcus du Sautoy is the Charles Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science and Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of New College. He is author of three books: The Music of the Primes, Finding Moonshine and most recently The Number Mysteries. He has presented numerous radio and TV series including a four part landmark TV series for the BBC called The Story of Maths, a three part series called The Code and programmes with comedians Alan Davies and Dara O’Briain. He has written and performed a new play called X&Y which has been staged in London’s Science Museum and Glastonbury Festival. In 2009 he was awarded the Royal Society’s Faraday Prize, the UK’s premier award for excellence in communicating science. He received an OBE for services to science in 2010.

Ben Okri, Booker prize winning author

Image of Ben OkriBen Okri CBE has published 8 novels, including The Famished Road and Starbook, as well as collections of poetry, short stories and essays. His work has been translated into more than 20 languages. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and has been awarded the OBE as well as numerous international prizes, including the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Africa, the Aga Khan Prize for Fiction and the Chianti Rufino-Antico Fattore. He is a Vice-President of the English Centre of International PEN and was presented with a Crystal Award by the World Economic Forum. He was born in Nigeria and lives in London.

Roger Penrose, Mathematical Physicist

Sir Roger Penrose is an English mathematical physicist, mathematician and philosopher of science. He is known for his work in mathematical physics, in particular for his contributions to general relativity and cosmology. He has received a number of prizes and awards, including the 1988 Wolf Prize for physics, which he shared with Stephen Hawking for their contribution to our understanding of the universe.

Laura Marcus, Goldsmiths’ Professor of English Literature, University of Oxford

Professor Laura Marcus’s research and teaching interests are predominantly in nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature and culture, including life-writing, modernism, Virginia Woolf and Bloomsbury culture, contemporary fiction, and litereature and film. Her book publications include Auto/biographical Discourses: Theory, Criticism, Practice (1994), Virginia Woolf: Writers and their Work (1997/2004), The Tenth Muse: Writing about Cinema in the Modernist Period (2007) and, as co-editor, The Cambridge History of Twentieth-Century English Literature (2004).  Her current research projects include a book on British literature 1910-1920, and a study of the concept of ‘rhythm’ in the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-centuries, in a range of disciplinary contexts.
Elleke Boehmer, Professor of World Literature in English, University of Oxford

Elleke Boehmer is Professor of World Literature in English at the University of Oxford, and Professorial Governing Body Fellow at Wolfson College. She has published Colonial and Postcolonial Literature (1995, 2005), Empire, the National and the Postcolonial, 1890-1920 (2002), Stories of Women (2005), and Nelson Mandela (2008). She is the author of four acclaimed novels, including Screens again the Sky (short-listed David Hyam Prize, 1990), Bloodlines (shortlisted SANLAM prize), and Nile Baby (2008), and the short-story collection Sharmilla and Other Portraits (2010).  She edited Robert Baden-Powell’s Scouting for Boys (2004), and the anthology Empire Writing (1998), and co-edited J.M. Coetzee in Writing and Theory (2009), Terror and the Postcolonial (2009), The Indian Postcolonial (2010), and The Postcolonial Low Countries (2012).  She is the General Editor of the Oxford Studies in Postcolonial Literatures Series, and deputy director of the Oxford Centre for Life Writing. A book on migration and identity, Indian Arrivals 1870-1915 and a fiction, The Shouting in the Dark, are forthcoming (both 2015).

Contact name:
Hannah Penny
Audience:
Open to all

 

Philosophy and the (Non – Academic) Professions : A Panel Discussion

UntitledThursday, 25 Sept., 4:30pm
IUPUI Campus Center, Rm. 307

Bring Plenty of Questions!

Is there any connection between philosophy (or, more generally, the humanities) and the (non-academic) professions? Can one enrich the other? Is philosophy (or the humanities) of any value to professionals? Our panelists will talk about these and related questions!

Panelists:

Jan Frazier (Management Consultant)
Jack Hope (Operator, Hope Plumbing Co.)
Emily Krueger (Manager, Foundation Partnerships, Best Friends Animal Society)
Richard Ranucci (Attorney at Law)
Patrick F. Sullivan (Principal Consultant, JBW Group International)

For more information contact Prof. John Tilley, IUPUI Dept. of Philosophy, by email or by phone at 274-4690.

National Humanities Center Residential Fellowships

NHCEssayPageLogoThe National Humanities Center, located in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina, is taking applications for academic-year length residential fellowships for advanced study in the humanities. Applications are due October 15, 2014 at midnight EDT.

The  Center offers 40 fellowships. Stipends are individually determined, according to the needs of the Fellow and the Center’s ability to meet them. The Center seeks to provide at least half salary and also covers travel expenses to and from North Carolina for Fellows and dependents. Most of the Center’s fellowships are unrestricted. Several, however, are designated for particular areas of research. These include a fellowship for a young woman in philosophy and fellowships for environmental studies, English literature, art history, Asian Studies, and theology.

For more information, please check here.

Fourteenth Annual Meeting: THE MIDWEST PRAGMATIST STUDY GROUP of The Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy, 22-­23 September 2012

 

DATE: 22-­23 September 2012

LOCATION: Cavanaugh Hall, Room 508; 425 University Blvd.; Indianapolis, IN 46202

No fee, no registration, open to the public

 

 

 

 

Program 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

 

1:00 PM­-2:15 PM:

 

Philosophy as Therapeutic Amelioration: Crisis and Reflection in the Thought of William James, David Rodick, Xavier University

 

2:30 PM-3:45 PM:

Photography and the Emotions, Richard Rubin

 

3:45 PM:

Refreshment Break

 

4:15 PM­-5:45 PM:

Key Texts Session: Racial Remediation: “An Historical Perspective on Current

Conditions” (1976/1977), “Racial Realism” (1992), and “The Space Traders”

(1992) by Derrick Bell; and “Democracy is Radical” (1937) and “Creative

Democracy: The Task Before Us” (1939) by John Dewey. Discussant: Tommy Curry,

Texas A&M University

 

5:45 PM:

Business Meeting

 

7:00 PM:

Dinner

 

 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

 

9:30 AM­-10:45 AM:

“Peirce and Frege on Logic,” Sergio Gallegos, Denison University

 

11:00 AM-­12:15 PM:

“We Who Must Fight in the Shade,” Tommy Curry, Texas A&M University

 

Support for this meeting of the Midwest Pragmatist Study Group comes from

the Institute for American Thought, the Santayana Edition, the Department of

Philosophy, and the American Studies Program in the IU School of Liberal

Arts at IUPUI.

 

Contact: M. A. Coleman <martcole@iupui.edu>