Tuesday, March 26, 2002

 8:00 p.m.
Founder's Hall Auditorium

Ed Burger  *

Professor  of Mathematics

Williams College

" Magic with Mathematics:
 Is the formula faster than the eye?"

Is mind-reading possible?  Can you make your dorm room bigger without throwing out your roommate? Can you break the bank at Vegas with dice? Are you still wondering about that 2000 presidental election?  And perhaps the most compelling question: Do math professors know how to dress?  These questions and others will be answered in this entertaining and lively presentation.

No mathematical background is necessary and no mathematics will explicitly be discussed.  If you hate mathematics, this talk is for you.  If the sight of an equation makes you ill, this talk is for you.  If you never thought you would ever go to a math lecture, this presentation is for you! This special event is open to the general public.  Children and families are invited.

Special Mathematics Colloquium

"How to Always Win at Limbo"
 You can sum some of the series some of the time,
and some of the series none of the time...
but can you sum some of the series ALL of the time?

Tuesday, March 26, 2002

4:00 p.m.
Wildlife and Fisheries (WFB) 258
Pre-colloquium tea and reception at 3:30 outside Library 56
Have you ever gone out with someone for a while and asked yourself: "How close are we?"  This presentation will answer that question by answering: What does it mean for two things to be close to one another?  We'll take a strange look infinite series, and dare to mention a calculus student's fantasy.  In fact, we'll even attempt to build some very unusual and exotic series that can be used if you ever have to flee the country in a hurry: we'll either succeed or fail... you'll have to come to the talk to find out which.  Will you be at the edge of your seats?  Perhaps; but if not, then you'll probably fall asleep and either way, after the talk, you'll feel refreshed and great. No matter what, you'll learn a sneaky way to always win at Limbo.

Prerequisites:  All fans of mathematics are invited, although it would be helpful if audience members have heard of the phrases "absolute value" and "infinite series".

*About Ed Burger: [Taken from the Thinkwell author description.]

Edward Burger, Professor of Mathematics at Williams College, earned his Ph.D. at the University of Texas at Austin, having graduated summa cum laude with distinction in mathematics from Connecticut College. He has also taught at UT-Austin, James Madison University, and the University of Colorado at Boulder, and he served as a fellow at the University of Waterloo in Canada and at Macquarie University in Australia. In 2001, Prof. Burger won an Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics from the Mathematical Association of America.

Prof. Burger is the coauthor of a new textbook, The Heart of Mathematics: An Invitation to Effective Thinking. He also speaks frequently to professional and public groups, referees professional journals, and publishes articles in leading math journals, including The Journal of Number Theory and American Mathematical Monthly. His areas of specialty include number theory, Diophantine approximation, p-adic analysis, the geometry of numbers, and the theory of continued fractions.

Prof. Burgerís unique sense of humor and his teaching expertise combine to make him the ideal presenter for the Kieval Lecture Series.