Mathematician Jeffrey Weeks to Speak at CMUC,
Sala Pedro Nunes,14:30
Abstract: After a brief introduction to nonEuclidean 2D geometry using fleece surfaces ( = tecido polar), volunteers will put on a VR headset to try their hand at billiards in 3D spherical, Euclidean and hyperbolic spaces, with the rest of the audience following along on the lecture hall's main screen. Even experienced geometers may find some surprising optical effects, which we'll explain using the fleece surfaces. The VR CurvedSpace Billiards game will remain available in the lecture hall for an hour or two after the talk to let as many people as possible try nonEuclidean billiards for themselves.
This talk is intended for a broad mathematical audience, from firstyear undergraduates on up.
Jeffrey Weeks is a freelance mathematician living in Canton, NY. He has an A.B. from Dartmouth College and a Ph.D. from Princeton University, both in mathematics. His thesis advisor was William Thurston. His main interests are geometry, topology, cosmology and education. After several years of teaching undergraduate mathematics, he resigned and later began doing mathematical research and software development for the University of Minnesota's Geometry Center, designing and implementing software for creating and studying possible shapes for 3dimensional space. His program SnapPea has been widely used by hyperbolic geometers and knot theorists.
A former MacArthur Fellow (19992004) and National Science Foundation award recipient (20052008), Jeff splits his time between research and education. His present research centers on a collaboration with cosmologists with whom he is testing the shape of the universe using data from the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe satellite. His educational activities have led to a multimedia unit for middle schools on geometry and space. The unit uses classroom activities, computer games and video to let students explore universes that are finite yet have no boundaries.
Jeff is the author of the book The Shape of Space (Marcel Dekker, 1985; second edition 2002), the unit Exploring the Shape of Space (Key Curriculum Press, 2001) and numerous research and expository articles.
Interviews with Jeffrey Weeks:
"I do it for my past self", ETH Zurich, 2022,
https://math.ethz.ch/newsandevents/news/dmathnews/2022/03/interviewjeffreyweeks.html
"The Shape of Imagination", Bhāvanā, 2020,
https://bhavana.org.in/theshapeofimagination
