Dinner Information

December Dinner Meeting


December 15, 2017
How to Bake Pi: Making abstract mathematics palatable
Eugenia Cheng

Why does mathematics inspire love in some people and fear in others?  Why do some people think mathematics is important for everyone while others think it is a collection of gibberish touching little of the world beyond the brains of some rare geniuses?  Why do some think it is a creative art akin to poetry and music, while others think it is a boring tool for producing answers?  In this talk I will present mathematics as a way of thinking, and not just about numbers.  I will use a variety of unexpectedly connected examples including music, juggling and baking, as in the title of my recent book.  My aim is to show that maths can be made fun, intriguing and relevant for people of all ages, by means of hand-on activities, examples that everyone can relate to, and peculiar anecdotes. I will present surprisingly high level mathematics including some advanced abstract algebra usually only seen by maths undergraduates or PhD students, yet show how to make it accessible even to children.  My message is relevant to those who wish to spread their love of maths, as well as those who wish to overcome their fear of it.  There will be a distinct emphasis on edible examples.

Eugenia Cheng is a mathematician and concert pianist. She is Scientist In Residence at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and won tenure at the University of Sheffield, UK. She has previously taught at the universities of Cambridge, Chicago and Nice and holds a PhD in pure mathematics from the University of Cambridge. Alongside her research in Category Theory and undergraduate teaching her aim is to rid the world of “maths phobia”. Eugenia was an early pioneer of maths on YouTube and her videos have been viewed over 10 million times to date. Her first popular maths book “How to Bake Pi” was featured on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and “Beyond Infinity” was shortlisted for the Royal Society Science Book Prize 2017. She also writes the Everyday Math column for the Wall Street Journal, and recently completely her first mathematical art commission, for Hotel EMC2 in Chicago. She is the founder of the Liederstube, an intimate oasis for art song based in Chicago. Her next book, “Thinking Better: The Art of Logic in an Illogical World” is due out in 2018.

5:30 pm Doors Open
6:00 pm Social Hour
7:00 pm Dinner & Talk

Fountain Blue Banquets & Convention Center
2300 Mannheim Rd.
Des Plaines, IL 60018
(847) 298-3636
$43 for Members
$49 for NonmembersReservations by Monday, October 23rd, if possibleOnline or 847-486-4291, day or night, leave a voicemail.