Speaker Name(s): Piergeorgio Odifreddi, Ph.D.
Description: Mathematics is usually considered to be the most abstract of the sciences, and the most difficult to visualize. However, there are deep and close relationships between the objects of mathematics and of the arts. In this talk we will take a bird's eye view through many artworks, ancient and new, to see how they can be used to illustrate some of the fundamental concepts and results of mathematics. For example, a pair of paintings of Mondrian and Van Doesburg provide almost literally a proof of Pythagoras’ Theorem. Conversely, a little known result of Archimedes provides a way to compute the volume of a building such as the passenger terminal of the St. Louis Airport, planned by the architect Yamasaki (who later also planned the World Trade Center). This lecture is co-sponsored by the Italian Cultural Institute