Lecture on science and details on March 21

Christopher Essex, a professor in the department of applied mathematics at the University of Western Ontario, will speak at Cornell College on March 21. He will talk about “When Scientific Technicalities Matter.”

Christopher Essex
Christopher Essex

Sometimes mathematicians and physicists seem obsessive. Their geekish technicalities don’t seem to matter, even though they actually do.  This lecture is about how some of these seeming minutiae actually are important to how we comprehend our world, and whether we are able to fear it or marvel at it.

This position is articulated under the following headings:

  • Discovering new science: Harder than learning what humanity already knows
  • Sierpinski and the Sistine Chapel
  • Scale invariance and Raisin Bran
  • What Grover didn’t tell you about “near” and “far”
  • Implementing what’s new always takes time and gives surprises
  • Classical physics is still good
  • Hate science. Hate yourself.
  • Exposed to dangerous eclipse radiation
  • Calculus as a matter of life and death
  • Humans and the memories of the generations

Essex’s lecture is part of the Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar program. Cornell’s chapter of Phi Beta Kappa was founded in 1923, and is one of fewer than 300 members of the country’s most prestigious academic honor society.

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