This is a preliminary schedule, subject to revision. We have a few math slots open, in which people can present a proof they find particularly beautiful (or ugly!). If you are interested please contact Manya (manya.sundstrom (at) umu.se).
Program WBEM, March 10-12, 2014
Last updated February 25, 2014
Guests arrive March 8 or 9. On March 9, anyone who wants can go out for dinner/drinks, meet at lobby of Scandic Plaza Hotel, 6 pm.
All talks take place in N 410, Naturvetarhuset, Umeå University, unless otherwise noted. Speakers are treated to lunches and the conference dinner on March 11. Breakfast is included in hotel. Other meals are not subsidized.
Monday, March 10
9 am Introduction (Manya and Lars-Daniel)
9:10 Marc Lange ” Aspects of mathematical explanation”
10:30 Juliette Kennedy: “Aesthetics and the Dream of Objectivity: Notes from Set Theory”
13:00 Marcus Giaquinto: Fragmentary remarks on beauty and explanation in mathematics
14:00 Boris Koichu: “Beauty appreciation and non-prototypical visualizations in problem solving”
15:30-16 Math Session (Lars-Daniel, perhaps others?)
16-16:30 Tord Sjödin: ”Explaning Kummer’s test”
Dinner: 18:30, Gandhi Restaurant, pay self
Tuesday, March 11
9 am Logan Fletcher: “Mechanistic understanding, visual proof, and mathematical beauty”
10:30 Mark Steiner: “Explaining and explaining away in mathematics: the role
13:00 Nathalie Sinclair, N460: “Sense and sensibility in mathematics”
14:00 Hendrik Lenstra, N460 : “Good taste in mathematics”
15:30-16:30 Two short presentations:
- Fenner Tanswell: ”Eliminating Diagrams and Formalising Proof”
- Kim-Erik Berts: ”Visual, informal, and formal: On the distinction between formal and informal mathematics.”
18:30 Extra event: Juliette Kennedy @ Bildmuseet (map)
“The drawing is a set of thoughts”: On reading mathematical constructions as works of art (see last page for abstract).
20:00 Conference Dinner: At Bildmuseet
Wednesday, March 12
10 am. Gila Hanna, “Beauty, explanation, and memorability in proof”
11-11:30 Lars Hellström, ”Beauty in What Lies Beyond”
13:00 Two short presentations:
- Josephine Salverda, ”Explanation & Visualization in mathematics: A Case Study”
- Daniele Molinini ”How Visualization can (help) Answer(ing) Why”
14:00-14:10 Coffee break
14:10-15:00 Discussion, and plans for dissemination.
End of workshop!
Wednesday, March 12 Evening: Two additional talks, sponsored by the Mathematics department and the Philosophical society, will take place in Hörsal D, Samhällsvetarhuset at Umeå University.
17:00-18:15 Hendrik Lenstra, “Escher and the Droste effect”
19:45-21:00 Marc Lange, “There sweep great general principles which all the laws seem to follow”
Abstracts for extra events:
- Juliette Kennedy, Bildmuseet March 11, 18:30-19:30
Title: “The drawing is a set of thoughts”: On reading mathematical constructions as works of art
Abstract: In this talk we consider the question how and why
mathematical constructions may be construed as artworks. Orozco’s remark that “the drawing is a set of thoughts” is one point of departure, as are the work and writings of the American sculptor Fred Sandback, and the painters Kate Shepherd and Kathrin Hilten.
2. Hendrik Lenstra, March 12, 17:00-18:15.
Title: Escher and the Droste effect
Abstract: In 1956, the Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher made an unusual lithograph with the title `Print Gallery’. It shows a young man viewing a print in an exhibition gallery. Amongst the buildings depicted on the print, he sees paradoxically the very same gallery that he is standing in. A lot is known about the way in which Escher made his lithograph. It is not nearly as well known that it contains a hidden `Droste effect’, or infinite repetition; but this is brought to light by a mathematical analysis of the studies used by Escher. On the basis of this discovery, a team of mathematicians at Leiden produced a series of hallucinating computer animations. These show, among others, what happens inside the mysterious spot in the middle of the lithograph that Escher left blank.
3. Marc Lange, March 12, 19:45-21:00
Title: There sweep great general principles which all the laws seem to follow
Abstract: The title comes from Feynman’s remark that the great conservation laws and symmetry principles in physics transcend ordinary laws of nature. My aim in this talk is to understand what it would be for the laws of nature to come in such a hierarchy. I will argue that science distinguishes conservation laws as constraints on the fundamental forces there could have been from conservation laws as coincidences of the fundamental forces there actually happen to be. I will unpack this distinction in terms of counterfactual conditionals, show the difference it makes to scientific explanation, and apply this account to various other cases from the history of physics.