Mathematician and MacArthur Fellow, Dr. Jeffrey R. Weeks, uses computer games and interactive 3-D graphics to explain "The Shape of Space" at Fairfield University


Jeffrey R. Weeks, a mathematician and MacArthur Fellow, will use computer games and interactive 3-D graphics when he speaks on "The Shape of Space," Tuesday, Oct. 6 at 5 p.m., in the Kelley Theater of the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. Admission is free.

During the first half of the presentation, computer games will introduce the concept of a "multi-connected universe." Then interactive 3-D graphics will take the viewer on a tour of several possible shapes for space. Finally, the audience will see how recent satellite data provide tantalizing clues to the true shape of the universe.

The only prerequisites for this talk are curiosity and imagination. Middle school, high school and college students, people interested in astronomy, and community members are welcome.

Dr. Weeks received his A.B. from Dartmouth College in 1978 and his Ph.D. from Princeton in 1985. He studies physical cosmology and the branch of mathematics known as 3-dimensional manifold geometry and topology. He was named a MacArthur Fellow in 1999 for his collaboration with cosmologists working to determine the topology of space from satellite measurements of the microwave background radiation.

Currently, he works as an independent mathematician, supported in part by the National Science Foundation. While still maintaining his collaboration with cosmologists, he now devotes most of his time to bringing the simplest and most beautiful ideas about topology and space to middle school and high school students.

Dr. Weeks's website www.geometrygames.org features many freely downloadable computer games and interactive 3D visualization software programs, as well as other links to related topics.

This program is being sponsored by The Science Institute of the College of Arts and Sciences, Public Lectures and Events, Sigma Xi, and the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Fairfield University. To learn more, please contact Assistant Professor Shawn Rafalski at srafalski@fairfield.edu or (203) 254-4000 ext. 2198.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on September 21, 2009

Vol. 42, No. 59