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Contact: Scott Kenney (609) 258-4202
Date: October 7, 1999

Conway to Lecture on Philosophical and Historical Aspects of Math

PRINCETON, N.J. -- Mathematician John Conway will give a series of eight public lectures on Wednesday evenings, starting on October 13 with a talk entitled "The Archimedes Palimpsest: Why Should We Care?"

"Last year, an 800-year-old manuscript containing many of Archimedes' works was sold for over $2 million at Christie's Auction House in New York," Conway explains. "This lecture will discuss the palimpsest and the work of Archimedes, the most outstanding mathematician and scientist among the ancient Greeks."

Called "Thinking About Mathematics (And Many Other Things)," the series will address philosophical and historical aspects of math. All lectures will begin at 8:00 pm in A10 Jadwin Hall.

Conway, who is John von Neumann Professor of Mathematics, has been a member of the Princeton faculty since 1987. Best known for inventing the game of Life, he has made important contributions in work that "spans the gamut of mathematical disciplines, ranging from theorems about knots … to the discovery of a whole new class of numbers -- the aptly named surreal numbers," according to a profile in the April 1999 Scientific American.