From prehistoric times onward, people have always found ways to incorporate mathematical thinking into art. Today, we have sophisticated mathematical machinery that we can use both to understand the rules that underlie historical patterns and to describe new designs of great beauty and originality. Better yet, computers can serve as a powerful artistic tool, helping make these mathematical visions a reality. This talk will explore some of the exciting contemporary work that lies in the intersection of mathematics and art.
The origin and evolution of the largest observable structures in the universe (much larger than entire galaxies); understanding why the expansion of the universe is accelerating. Observational techniques: cosmic microwave background, gravitational lensing and gravity waves.
Cosmology and cosmological implications of quantum gravity. Observable effects in cosmology help to identify the limits of general relativity, which could potentially be surpassed by modified theories of gravity and/or quantum gravity.
Applying the lessons learned in quantum information theory to gain a better understanding of quantum mechanics itself. Is quantum theory simply a new type of probability theory? Exploring new directions towards combining quantum theory with gravity.
What, exactly, happened around the time of the Big Bang? Exploring new models inspired by superstring theory and supergravity, e.g. ones in which we live on “branes” that collide with a “big bang”. Satellite experiments to test such models.
Applications of quantum theory to cryptography and computation; understanding in more concrete, physical terms what quantum theory is telling us about the nature of reality. Applications of information theory to better understand the quantum “wave function”.
The Bell Curve is an extremely beautiful and elegant mathematical object that turns up – often in surprising ways – in all spheres of human life. The Curve was first used by astronomers to correct errors in their observations, but it soon found important applications in the social and medical sciences in the eighteen hundreds. Some philosophers believe that a new kind of human being was created around this time largely due to the growth of statistical reasoning in the arts and sciences. Dr.