Mathematician explores ‘fourth dimension’

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    Thomas Banchoff
    Thomas Banchoff

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A former Mathematical Association of America president will venture beyond length, width and depth to discuss “The Fourth Dimension and the People You Meet There” during an April 11 lecture at the University of Louisville.

    Geometry specialist Tom Banchoff, a Brown University professor emeritus, will share the history of mathematical and philosophical journeys to a higher dimension as well as his outlook for the future.  His free, public talk at 6:30 p.m. in Room 112, Natural Sciences Building, is the annual Bullitt lecture, presented by the UofL mathematics department in the College of Arts and Sciences.

    Banchoff is noted for pioneering the study of higher dimensions by using computer graphics to show some of the earliest visualizations of four-dimensional shapes. He was Mathematical Association of America president in 1999-2000 and is an American Mathematical Society fellow.

    He wrote “Beyond the Third Dimension: Geometry, Computer Graphics and Higher Dimensions” and was a consultant for the 2007 “Flatland” film adaptation of Edwin Abbott Abbott’s 1880s satiric novel “Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions.”

    In his lecture, Banchoff is expected to draw from “Flatland” and other artistic examples such as Madeleine L’Engle’s book “A Wrinkle in Time” and Salvador Dali’s “Crucifixion” painting.

    The Bullitt family endowed the general-interest lecture series at UofL to honor former U.S. Solicitor General William Marshall Bullitt’s interest in mathematics.

    For more information, call Jake Wildstrom at 502-852-5845 or check www.math.louisville.edu/Bullitt.

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    Judy Hughes
    Judy Hughes is a communications and marketing specialist for UofL’s Office of Communications and Marketing, where she works in media relations and contributes to news about the university’s College of Arts and Sciences and Kent School of Social Work. She previously worked in news as a writer and editor for a daily newspaper and The Associated Press.