Lecture on mathematics to be held Oct. 11

The Penn State Hazleton Faculty Lecture Committee is sponsoring a special talk on mathematics beginning at 12:15 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11, in Room 115 of the Evelyn Graham Academic Building. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Guest speaker is Vlastimil Dlab, a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and professor emeritus and distinguished research professor at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. He will speak on the topic of “Why are we afraid of mathematics? Cannot we enjoy it?”

During his lecture, Dlab will use interesting and surprising examples to articulate the nature, essence and depth of mathematics. He will stress the importance of a thorough understanding of fundamental mathematics in order to enjoy its beauty. The lecture will also try to dispel the often-common thought that elementary mathematics is difficult. Dlab will acknowledge that mathematics at the level of the top contemporary research is extremely difficult but discuss his belief that mathematics at the level of elementary and high schools, if taught properly and above all by fully qualified teachers with sound understanding of the subject, should be one of the easiest subjects to learn. The lecture will be enriched with historical remarks related to the presented illustrations.

Throughout his career, Dlab has held faculty positions and has served numerous fellowships and guest professorships at several universities worldwide. Prior to his role as distinguished research professor and professor emeritus at Carleton University, he served as chairman of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Carleton.

He has published numerous papers and received many honors throughout his career. As a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Dlab was recognized as having “made remarkable contributions in the arts, the humanities, and the sciences, as well as in Canadian public life.”

He is the founder of a biannual conference series, International Conferences on Representations of Algebras, established in 1974. The 19th conference is scheduled for July 2020 in Trieste, Italy.

The lecture is part of the Mylar Giri Lecture Series at Penn State Hazleton. Giri was a physics professor at Penn State Hazleton. The lecture series was established in 1988 to honor him by inviting a distinguished speaker in the natural sciences to Penn State Hazleton.