Bard News & Events
RENOWNED MATHEMATICIAN TO SPEAK AT BARD COLLEGE ON SEPTEMBER 19 AS PART OF DISTINGUISHED SCIENTIST LECTURE SERIES "Chaos Games and Fractal Images" to be the Subject of a Talk by Robert Devaney,
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The Distinguished Scientist Lecture Series at Bard College continues on Thursday, September 19, with a talk by Robert Devaney, a professor of mathematics at Boston University (BU). His talk, "Chaos Games and Fractal Images," is free and open to the public and takes place at 7:30 p.m. in Olin Hall. Refreshments will be served after the lecture.
The chaos game, which is played either on a computer or on paper, with dice, is a unique way of introducing people to the fascinating world of fractals and dynamical systems, while also improving their geometric intuition and algorithmic thinking. One interesting application of these techniques is the production of special effects in Hollywood movies. Devaney says that most people find the game incredibly beautiful and interesting and that his talk will be accessible to anyone who is familiar with triangles and can roll a die. This June, Devaney was awarded the National Science Foundation (NSF) Director's Award for Distinguished Teaching Scholars—the highest honor bestowed by the foundation for excellence in both teaching and research.
Devaney's main area of research is in dynamical systems, and he has authored or edited 10 books and more than 70 research papers on this topic. He has delivered over 1,100 lectures on dynamical systems and related subjects in all 50 states and in over 30 countries. He was the director of the country's first NSF-sponsored Regional Geometry Institute, which was held at BU from 1990-93, and, since 1989, he has been the director of the NSF's Dynamical Systems and Technology Project. The goal of this project is to show students and teachers how ideas from modern mathematics, such as chaos, fractals, and dynamics, together with modern technology, can be used effectively in the high school and college curriculum. He is also the director of LERNet, the Learning Resource Network at BU, which offers outreach activities in science, mathematics, and engineering for New England high school students. He is the recipient of the Award for Distinguished University Teaching from the Northeastern section of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA), the Deborah and Franklin Tepper Haimo Award for Distinguished University Teaching from MAA, and BU's Scholar/Teacher of the Year Award. Before he joined BU in 1980, he taught at Northwestern University, Tufts University, and the University of Maryland. He received his B.A. degree from Holy Cross College and his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley.
In addition to his September 19 lecture, Devaney will be giving a more technical talk, "Fractal Geometry of the Mandelbrot Set," to those with a solid math background on Friday, September 20, at 3:30 p.m. on the Bard College campus in Hegeman Science Hall, Room 102. This event is also open to the public. For information about this talk, call 845-758-7362 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
The Distinguished Scientist Lecture series continues Saturday, November 9, with Stephen O'Brien of the National Cancer Institute, who will present "Adapting Genes and Genomes: Lessons from the Felids." His talk is free and open to the public and will be held at 3 p.m. in the Bertelsmann Campus Center Multipurpose Room.
For more information on the Distinguished Scientist Lecture Series, call 845-758-7581. For more information on Robert Devaney, log onto his web site at http://math.bu.edu/people/bob/.
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