Marian Miner Cook

A distinctive
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cultural life at CMC


The Myths of Mathematics

Mon, September 18, 2023
Dinner Program
Satyan L. Devadoss

Although used and coveted in every sector of today’s data-driven market, the essence of mathematics continues to be shrouded in mythologies. What’s math really about? Satyan Devadoss, recipient of two national teaching awards, will try to solve this puzzle by playing with Beowulf, Burning Man, Albrecht Dürer, Salvador Dali, and origami in the 5th dimension.

Satyan L. Devadoss is currently the Fletcher Jones professor of applied mathematics and professor of computer science at the University of San Diego. An inaugural fellow of the American Mathematical Society and recipient of teaching awards from the Mathematical Association of America, his thoughts have appeared in venues such as NPR, the Times of London, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times. He was faculty at Williams for nearly 15 years, holding visiting positions at Ohio State, Harvey Mudd, MSRI, Université Nice, UC San Diego, UC Berkeley, and Stanford.

Motivated by the world around us, much of his endeavor revolves around shapes and the ways they can deform and evolve. He is most interested in mathematics one can touch, for we are humans, and the physical world matters. Conveying ideas with clarity, beauty, and simplicity is as important to Devadoss as the discovery of the ideas themselves, resulting in invited presentations from research universities, international centers, and design spaces (Pixar, Google, LucasFilm). 

Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum

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