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Mathematics : art or science?

Stanislav Smirnov

Professeur à l’Université de Genève Médaille Fields en 2010

Free entrance, on registration

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.

Before the lectures, from 17:30, the University’s public science labs, Scienscope, offer activities.

6 November 2020 - 18:30

Venue : Auditoire Piaget, Uni Dufour 24 rue Général-Dufour, 1204 Genève

Info : Simultaneous translation to French and English
- Lecture live streamed on this page.

Due to the health situation:

  • Face mask is mandatory in university buildings and for the duration of the event.
  • Dispensers of hydroalcoholic solution are available at the entrance.
  • The cleanliness of the premises is ensured in accordance with the UNIGE protection plan.

Public talks

Chaos: unpredictable but understandable
Chaos: unpredictable but understandable

2 November 2020 - 18:30

Etienne Ghys

Research Director at CNRS,
Professor at the École normale supérieure in Lyon
Permanent Secretary of the Academy of Science of France

More information Registration
Disorder, chance and large numbers
Disorder, chance and large numbers

3 November 2020 - 18:30

Laure Saint-Raymond

Professor at the École normale supérieure in Lyon
Bôcher Memorial Prize in 2020

More information Registration
A mathematical journey From the infinitely small to the infinitely large
A mathematical journey From the infinitely small to the infinitely large

4 November 2020 - 18:30

Martin Hairer

Professor of mathematics at Imperial College London
Fields Medal in 2014 (obtained for research conducted at UNIGE)

More information Registration
The music of shapes
The music of shapes

5 November 2020 - 18:30

Alain Connes

Professor at the Collège de France,
at the Institut des hautes études scientifiques at the University of Paris-Saclay
and at Ohio State University, Columbus
Fields medal in 1982

More information Registration
MODERATION
MODERATION
OLIVIER DESSIBOURG

Scientific journalist, physicist, mathematician
Director of Science Communication at the Fondation Geneva Science and Diplomacy Anticipator.

More information
MODERATION
MODERATION
SARAH SERMONDADAZ

Scientific journalist, engineer, and head of the Science section at Heidi.news

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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 ?