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Mathematics : art or science?

Stanislav Smirnov

6 November 2020 - 18:30

Professeur à l’Université de Genève Médaille Fields en 2010

Mathematics is an amazing and mysterious science. Ever since the time of Plato, philosophers argue whether mathematical objects are imaginary,
or whether they come from the real world, while mathematicians mostly prove theorems without even asking about their link to reality. On the other hand, the Pharaohs of Egypt and the Kings of Babylon had already grasped the practical power of mathematics, and of course the technological advances of the past two centuries are built on successful applications of our science.

Where does mathematics come from?
Why is the “imaginary” science so useful in real life?
How mathematicians choose problems to work on, and why do they find their science so fascinating?
We will not be able to answer all these questions in our talk, but we will try
to give a glimpse of how mathematicians work.

Info : Simultaneous translation to French and English

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Previous editions

2018

Gravity, l'attraction universelle

2016

La révolution génomique

2014

Les secrets du soleil

2012

Architecture moléculaire

2010

La révolution quantique

2008

Grandes épidémies: le retour ?

2006

[r]évolution climatique ?

2004

Cellules souches et médecine rgénératrice

2002

Aux Portes du Nano-Monde