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Public Lectures

The IMA Public Lectures are free and open to the public.

The IMA Public Lecture Series features distinguished mathematicians and scientists who illuminate the role of mathematics in understanding our world and shaping our lives. The purpose of these talks is to give the public a better understanding about how contemporary mathematical ideas are applied to important technological and scientific problems, conveying the significance and excitement of these applications. These engaging and informative lectures are designed for a broad audience, appropriate for middle-school students and older. This well-established series regularly draws diverse audiences of several hundred people.

  2014-2015 Public Lectures
How to Use Geometry to Get Rich Playing the Lottery*
7:00 P.M., Tuesday, September 30, 2014
2-650 Moos Tower
515 Delaware St SE
East Bank, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
Jordan Ellenberg, University of Wisconsin at Madison

For seven years, a group of students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology exploited a loophole in the Massachusetts State Lottery’s Cash WinFall to win game after game, eventually pocketing more than $3 million. Jordan Ellenberg will talk about how they did it, why they got away with it, the mathematical notions of expected value and variance, and the surprising relationship of all this with projective geometry.

Ellenberg is the author of the New York Times bestseller How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking and the novel The Grasshopper King. Both books will be available for purchase and signing at the lecture.

*Sadly, will not actually help you get rich playing the lottery.

Toy Models: Would you like to come see some toys?
7:00 P.M., Thursday, October 30, 2014
2-650 Moos Tower
515 Delaware St SE
East Bank, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
Tadashi Tokieda, University of Cambridge

Simple “toys” have a special sense – objects from daily life that can be found or made in minutes, yet which, if played with imaginatively, exhibit behaviors so surprising that they intrigue scientists for weeks. Table-top demonstrations of many such toys will be presented during this lecture to share some of the scientific concepts that they reveal.

One of Tokieda’s lines of activity is inventing, collecting, and studying toys that demonstrate complex principles. His collection of more than 100 toys have been featured in numerous exhibitions.

  2013-2014 Public Lectures
  2012-2013 Public Lectures
  2011-2012 Public Lectures
  2010-2011 Public Lectures
  2009-2010 Public Lectures
  2008-2009 Public Lectures
  2007-2008 Public Lectures
  2006-2007 Public Lectures
  2005-2006 Public Lectures
  More Public Lectures
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