Author Derbyshire at Denison to Discuss 'Greatest Unsolved Problem in Mathematics'
Posted: January 27, 2003
The Denison University Doris G. Gordon Lectureship will host author John Derbyshire to discuss "Bernhard Riemann and the Greatest Unsolved Problem in Mathematics." Set for 7:30 p.m. on Thursday (Jan. 29) in Burton Morgan Lecture Hall, this convocation is free and open to the public.
Extensively studied by contemporary mathematicians, the Riemann Hypothesis was proposed by German mathematician Bernhard Riemann in 1859 as a way to calculate the number of "prime numbers" in any given quantity. For instance, there are eight prime numbers less than 20 (2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17 and 19), but how may are there less than 100 or a trillion? Riemann's Hypothesis has never been proven true nor has it been proven false. Derbyshire says it has become the "'great white whale' of mathematics -- the deepest, most subtle and difficult, most long-standing of all mathematical problems." Derbyshire addresses this hypothesis in his most recent bookPrime Obsession.
Derbyshire studied mathematics and linguistics at University College in London and works as a systems analyst and free-lance writer. His publications include the 1996 novelSeeing Calvin Coolidge in a Dreamand frequent contributions to the National Review and The New Criterion.
This convocation is sponsored by the Gordon Fund named in honor of Doris Gilbert Gordon, a former high school mathematics teacher and friend of the University. Gifts have been made to this fund by members of Gordon's family including L. James Gordon, a 1950 Denison graduate and Newark (Ohio) attorney, and his sister, Janet Gordon Forbes, a 1955 Denison graduate who resides in Rockville, Md.
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
For press inquiries:
- Barbara Stambaugh
- Position Title
- Director, Media Relations
- Primary Email
- Business Phone
- (740) 587-8575