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Della Pietra Lecture Series: Étienne Ghys
Start Date: 1/20/2015Start Time: 5:45 PM
End Date: 1/20/2015

Event Description:
Étienne Ghys is a French mathematician. Alumnus of the École normale supérieure de Saint-Cloud, he is currently a CNRS "directeur de recherche" at the École normale supérieure in Lyon as well as a member of the French Academy of Sciences. His research focuses mainly on geometry and dynamical systems, though his mathematical interests are broad. He also expresses much interest in the historical development of mathematical ideas, especially the contribution of Henri Poincaré. He co-authored the computer graphics mathematical movie Dimensions: A Walk through Mathematics! More »

Lecture Title: The Story of Flat Surfaces

Abstract: Most surfaces are not flat. Nevertheless we usually try to cover them with flat pieces. Cartographers picture our round Earth in planar maps. Soccer balls used to be made from flat pieces of leather. Tailors cover our (non flat!) bodies with clothes made out of fabric. In this talk, Étienne Ghys will tell the story of flat surfaces, from Euler with his beautiful developable surfaces (1770), to Thurston’s pleated surfaces (1980), or the official soccer ball of the World Cup in Brazil (2014). Following Chebyshev (1878), he will show how to clothe a round ball with no wrinkles (2011) and incredible flat surfaces by Borrelli et al (2012), following theorems of Lebesgue (1898) and Nash (1954). So many questions are still open.

Wine and Cheese Reception: 5:00 pm, Simons Center Lobby and Art Gallery

Location Information:
West Campus - Simons Center for Geometry and Physics  (View Map)
Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, NY 11794
Phone: (631) 632-4459
Room: Auditorium

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