2005 Bowen Lectures

The 2005 Bowen Lectures will be delivered by John Horton Conway on November 1, 2, and 3.

Department of Mathematics, University of California, Berkeley, presents

The 2005 Bowen Lectures
John Horton Conway
Professor of Mathematics
Princeton University

Understanding the Symmetries of Things

Lecture I: Some Symmetrical Shapes
Tuesday, November 1
145 Dwinelle Hall - 5:00pm-6:00pm

I will talk about the notion of symmetry, and informally discuss the symmetries of some familiar objects, such as tables, chairs, and tennis balls. However, the lecture will largely be about polyhedra; in particular the Platonic, Archimedean, and Catalan polyhedra. At the end of it, I'll talk about the four fundamental features by which symmetries of such things are classified.

Reception in 1015 Evans at 6:15 pm after Tuesday's lecture.

Lecture II: Symmetry in Surfaces
Wednesday, November 2
145 Dwinelle Hall - 5:00pm-6:00pm

I'll state the "Magic Theorem" that relates the number of symmetries of an object to the costs of its fundamental features, and deduce the enumerations of possible types of symmetry for finite objects and repeating patterns. Then I'll deduce the Magic Theorem from the notion of "orbifold."

Lecture III: Symmetry in Space
Thursday, November 3
2050 Valley Life Sciences - 5:00pm-6:00pm

This will be about the symmetries of crystals, especially those of the 35 "prime" types that don't fix any family of parallel lines. I'll also talk about the 10 different kinds of "flat universe."