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SMPT Lecture Series: Lecture No. 4

posted Mar 13, 2013, 11:19 AM by smpt cob   [ updated Mar 19, 2013, 1:18 PM ]

LECTURE SERIES – SCHOOL OF MATHEMATICS, PHYSICS AND TECHNOLOGY

 

Now postponed until MARCH 26th

Library, Auditorium, 2.15 p.m.

 

The Simplest Shape in 3-Dimensions

Curtis Pro

School of Mathematics, Physics and Technology

Freeport, Bahamas

 

Abstract

What happens when you study geometry, but throw away everything that's geometric? You get Topology. Topology saw an explosion of growth in the late 19th and 20th centuries and has become one of the most influential mathematical subjects of today. Topologists, now far removed from being geometers, had an embarrassing secret: for over 100 years, they couldn't say what the simplest shape in 3-dimensions was. This problem, called the Poincare Conjecture, was solved in 2003 by a very peculiar geometer. This talk gives a history of this problem and explains why this is the biggest mathematical breakthrough of the 21st century.