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Talk, University of Mississippi, Dalrymple Series

October 19, 2023 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

from event website:

Where does math come from: from rules in a textbook? From logic and deduction? Not quite. In this talk Eugenia Cheng will argue that math comes from human curiosity – most importantly, from asking questions. Many people are discouraged from asking these questions in school, thinking they’re too simple to be taken seriously, or being told that their questions are stupid. But often, these simple-sounding questions lead to wondrous mathematical revelations. Dr Cheng will take us on a journey of discovery starting with questions like “Why does 2×3 = 3×2?” and “What’s the point of math?”, leading us into research-level abstract mathematics. The journey will take us via food, music, hairstyles, and other unexpected topics, revealing how profound insights can emerge from seemingly unlikely sources, and showing that being the kid who asked “But, why does 1+1=2?” could be more important than being the kid who always got the right answers.


Dr. Eugenia Cheng, Scientist in Residence at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, is a world-renowned educator, author, and public speaker.  She is the author of several popular mathematics books, including “How to Bake Pi” and “Joy of Abstraction”.  Her books have received widespread acclaim from sources including The New York Times, National Geographic, and Scientific American; and she has been featured on programs around the world including the BBC, NPR, and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.


The Dalrymple Lecture Series in the University of Mississippi Department of Mathematics was endowed by Mr. and Mrs. Arch Dalrymple III of Amory, Mississippi. Arch Dalrymple attended Cornell University, Amherst College and UM, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in 1947.

The Dalrymple Lecture Series brings distinguished speakers to discuss mathematics and mathematics research. Lectures are aimed at the general audience—students and non-mathematicians are encouraged to attend.


The 2023 Dalrymple Lecture is sponsored by the Department of Mathematics, the College of Liberal Arts, the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, and the UM Lecture Series.


This event is free and open to the public.  Light refreshments will be served at 5:30pm.


October 19, 2023
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
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