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Conway lecture opens workshop, April 11

Princeton mathematician John Conway will offer a public lecture on "All the Best Ways to Pack Spheres" at 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 11, in A10 Jadwin Hall. The lecture will open a workshop on packing problems that will take place the following two days.

Conway's lecture, which is aimed at a general audience, will provide an introduction to a subject that has long concerned people ranging from furniture movers to shopkeepers -- the optimal ways of arranging objects using the least possible space. The subject continues to intrigue scientists because of its connection to a host of problems that arise in the physical sciences and mathematics, such as communications theory and the arrangement of atoms in different states of matter.

Conway, the John Von Neumann Professor in Applied and Computational Mathematics, is passionate about bringing math to the public and routinely draws large crowds from the University and the surrounding community to his lectures.

The workshop on "Packing Problems, Classical Ground States and Glasses" will run Thursday and Friday, April 12-13, in Fine and Jadwin halls. Sixteen scientists from 10 institutions will participate in the event, which will be hosted by the Princeton Center for Theoretical Physics.

Attendance is free, but requires online registration by April 4. Visit www.pctp.princeton.edu/pctp/packing.html and click "Registration" at the top of the page.

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