Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Achill Schürmann, professor of mathematics, will discuss how polyhedras—beautiful geometric constructions pondered since ancient times by both mathematicians and philosophers—have turned over time into powerful computational tools for the digital age.
Achill Schürmann is a professor of mathematics at one of Europe's oldest universities in Rostock. His research and teaching lie at the intersection of classical topics like algebra and geometry and modern applications of computational mathematics. He has held positions at Peking University (Bejing), University of Magdeburg (Germany), University of Bordeaux (France), and TU Delft (Netherlands), among others.
Among his areas of interest and research are polyhedras, geometrical objects in space, generalizing the notion of a polygon in the plane. The properties of polyhedra were studied by the ancient Greek mathematicians and philosophers, and include the famous Platonic solids—tetrahedron, cube, octahedron, dodecahedron, icosahedron, named for the numbers of their faces. In modern day mathematics, polyhedra are studied for their beautiful geometry, as well as for their numerous applications in the digital age.
During the Fall 2017 semester, Schürmann is visiting CMC as a Podlich Distinguished Fellow. His Athenaeum lecture is complemented by an introductory half-semester course at CMC on the mathematical theory of polyhedra and its applications in economics and social choice theory.