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Tom Banchoff

Tom Banchoff

Lecture: From ‘Flatland' to ‘Sphereland' and Beyond

Professor Thomas Banchoff (Brown University)

Thursday, September 20 4:00-5:00 pm BSB D109

Abstract: Euclid's geometry is all right for people living on a flat plane but™.what if our three-dimensional universe turns out to be curved, maybe into a higher dimension? How can we deal with challenges of living in a curved universe? This exploratory talk will discuss these and other geometric issues and will feature scenes from the two animated movies ‘Flatland' and ‘Sphereland'.

Bio Sketch

Professor Tom Banchoff is a well-known geometer from Brown University, where he has taught since 1967. He is known for his research in differential geometry in three and four dimensions, for his efforts to develop methods of computer graphics in the early 1990s, and most recently for his pioneering work in methods of undergraduate education utilizing online resources.

After graduating from Notre Dame with his B.A. degree, he earned his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1964, where he was a student of SS Chern. He has also taught at Harvard University and the University of Amsterdam and held visiting professorships at Yale, Notre Dame, UCLA, Stanford, University of Georgia, and TU-Berlin.

Dr. Banchoff has won several professional and national teaching awards throughout his 45 year distinguished academic career, including the Lester R. Ford Award for excellence in expository writing in 1978, the MAA National Award for Distinguished University Teaching of Mathematics in 1996, and the NSF Director's Award for Distinguished Teaching Scholar in 2004. He has been recognized as both a Pew Scholar and a Carnegie Fellow from the Carnegie Foundation. Dr. Banchoff was President of the Mathematical Association of America from 1999-2000. He received the Lester R. Ford Award in 1978 for excellence in expository writing.