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From Perspective Drawing to the Eight Dimension
Friday, October 1, 2010 - 3:15pm

Portland State University
Fariborz Maseeh Department of Mathematics & Statistics

The Maseeh Mathematics and Statistics Colloquium Series*
presents

John Stillwell, Ph.D.
Department of Mathematics, University of San Francisco

From Perspective Drawing to the Eight Dimension

Abstract:
The discovery of perspective drawing in the 15th century led to projective geometry, in which points and lines are the main ingredients. Even with this simple subject matter there are some surprises, where three points fall on the same line or three lines pass through the same point, seemingly for no good reason. The big surprises, or "coincidences", of projective geometry are the Pappus theorem, Desargues theorem, and the little Desargues theorem. Even more surprising, these purely geometric theorems were found (by David Hilbert and Ruth Moufang) to control what kind of *algebra* is compatible with the geometry. Compatible algebras live in 1, 2, 4, and 8 dimensions.

Friday, October 1st, 2010, 3:15pm
School of Business room 140
(Refreshments served at 3:00 in same location)

* Sponsored by the Maseeh Mathematics and Statistics Colloquium Series Fund and the Fariborz Maseeh Department of Mathematics & Statistics, PSU. This event is free and open to the public.