It’s a Mathematical World

Cristian Rios
Thu, Apr 16, 2015
Calgary Place Tower (Shell)
Shell Lunchbox Lectures


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.