Campus News

Unusual Mathematician to Speak at Bowdoin

Story posted February 15, 1997


BRUNSWICK, Maine -- Williams College Professor of Mathematics Edward Burger, known for giving entertaining math performances around the world to people who dislike mathematics, will speak at Bowdoin College on Tuesday, February 4, at 3:30 p.m. in Adams Hall 106 and again at 7:30 p.m. in Kresge Auditorium, Visual Arts Center.

Both talks are open to the public free of charge.

Burger's first talk, which is intended to be a colloquium, is titled "How to Always Win at Limbo.' The talk, which revolves around the basic question: "What does it mean to be small and for two things to be close to one another?," will examine unusual and exotic infinite series.

The second talk, titled "Why I Hate Mathematics but Love Museums, the Secret Confessions of an Unusual Mathematics Professor," is geared for the non-math "speaking" audience. In fact, Professor Burger's lecture will not even mention math and no prior math background is required to understand the talk. As an added bonus, each person who stays through to the end of the presentation will receive a free mathematical memento as a souvenir.

Burger is a professor of mathematics at Williams College. His research interests are in number theory and he is the author of numerous articles. Burger has made a number of television and radio appearances making math fun for the home audience. He has taught at the University of Waterloo, the University of Texas, and the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is also co-author of a number of comedy plays, including one in which he starred.

Burger's appearance at Bowdoin is presented as part of the 1997 Dan E. Christie Mathematics Lecture and sponsored by the Department of Mathematics. The Dan E. Christie Mathematics Lecture was established in 1976 by family, friends, colleagues, and former students in memory of Dan E. Christie '37, a member of the faculty for 33 years and Wing Professor of Mathematics from 1965 until his death in 1975.

For more information on the lectures, please contact Sue Theberge in the Mathematics Department at 725-3567 or Assistant Professor of Mathematics Helen Moore at 725-3568.

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