Mathematicians are known for using logic and symbols and abstractions in their work but, like other people, mathematicians are also storytellers. Their work tells stories, too — stories of what is and of what might be. In his 2022 Ulam lectures, Cornell University Professor Steven Strogatz will describe how mathematicians have tried to make sense of motion and change, of a world in never-ending flux. These are stories of intuition and courage, grounded in rigor, humility, and awe.
These two lectures are self-contained and can be enjoyed together or separately.
Steven will be signing copies of his books at 6:30 in the Lensic Lobby prior to his lecture.
Reserve your free tickets through the Lensic Box Office online.
Lecture II: The Story of Sync
Every night along the tidal rivers of Malaysia, thousands of male fireflies congregate in the mangrove trees and flash on and off in unison. Similarly astonishing feats of synchronization occur throughout the natural and technological world. In this story of sync, Strogatz describes how our understanding of synchronization has evolved over the centuries and shares exciting new results and unsolved problems about how the structure of a network affects its tendency to get in sync.
Steven Strogatz is the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor of Applied Mathematics at Cornell University. After graduating from Princeton in 1980, Strogatz studied at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was a Marshall Scholar. He did his doctoral work in applied mathematics at Harvard, followed by a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard and Boston University.
About the Ulam Memorial Lecture Series
Many of the most famous books in science, including Relativity by Albert Einstein and QED by Richard Feynman, were based on public lectures. The idea behind the series is to have a brilliant scientist deliver a series of public talks on a cutting-edge topic, in honor of the late theoretical mathematician Stanislaw Ulam.
Ulam was a renowned mathematician long associated with Los Alamos National Laboratory who is highly regarded by the Santa Fe Institute's scientific community. Former SFI Vice President Mike Simmons said, "The enormous range of Ulam's scientific thought encompassed not only mathematics but also physics, computation, biology, and much else. He would have been very much at home in the present-day Santa Fe Institute, which was founded in the year of his death."
This lecture will be live-streamed and recorded, available via SFI's YouTube channel.
These lectures are brought to you at no cost by the McKinnon Family Foundation, with additional support from The Lensic Performing Arts Center and the Santa Fe Reporter.