It’s a Mathematical World
Date:Thu, Apr 16, 2015
Location:Calgary Place Tower (Shell)
Conference:Shell Lunchbox Lectures
Description: The “language" of mathematics has been developed since the dawn of humanity to describe and comprehend the surrounding world and its phenomena. Mathematics as a science and a school subject is widely identified with the mechanical rules of algebra or calculus, and with the symbolic writings native to this discipline. In this talk I will attempt to bring a perspective of mathematics as a natural, everyday endeavour, which each one of us lives and performs every day, most of the time without even realizing that we do so. I will present several examples in which the pervasiveness of mathematics in our everyday life will be illustrated, and I will also show some interesting mathematical applications through modelling. This particular feature, that the universe can be modelled "by the use of a minimum of primary concepts and relations” (A. Einstein) is one of the most puzzling properties of our universe. Finally, I will discuss some of these historic reflections on the nature of mathematics and its connection to the “real” world.