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The natural inspiration of mathematics

Galileo mused that in order to understand the universe, we must first understand the language that it is written in. That language? Mathematics. But, if we look to the universe first we can see the ways it has inspired new approaches to even the purest mathematics. Using ideas from quantum field theory, elementary particle physics and string theory we are able to solve deep problems in incredible ways.

On Wednesday March 5, 2015 as part of Perimeter Institute’s Public Lecture Series presented by Sun Life Financial, joint Dr. Robbert Dijkgraaf to explore how ideas from quantum physics are putting modern mathematical ideas in a natural context.

Robbert Dijkgraaf is a Director and Leon Levy Professor of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton. The Institute is one of the world's leading centers for theoretical research and intellectual inquiry and exists to encourage and support fundamental research in the sciences and humanities. Dijkgraaf is a mathematical physicist who has made significant contributions to string theory and to the advancement of science education. His research focuses on the interface between mathematics and particle physics.

He is Past President of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and, since 2009, has been the Co-Chair of the Interacademy Council, the global alliance of academies of sciences advising the United Nations and other international organizations.

Dijkgraaf is a distinguished public policy adviser and passionate advocate for science and the arts. Many of his activities – which have included frequent appearances on television, a monthly newspaper column in NRC Handelsblad, several books for general audiences, and the launch of the science education – are at the interface between science and society.

For his contributions to science and his leadership and outreach in science education and public policy, Dijkgraaf was awarded the Spinoza Prize, the highest scientific award in the Netherlands, in 2003. He was named a Knight of the Order of the Netherlands Lion in 2012 and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society.

Dijkgraaf’s lecture, entitled “The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Quantum Physics in Modern Mathematics,” will be held on Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at 7:00 PM EST in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Tickets will be available online starting February 18, 2014.

You can view past public lectures and events online here. Further details can be found at

À propos de l’IP

L'Institut Périmètre est le plus grand centre de recherche en physique théorique au monde. Fondé en 1999, cet institut indépendant vise à favoriser les percées dans la compréhension fondamentale de notre univers, des plus infimes particules au cosmos tout entier. Les recherches effectuées à l’Institut Périmètre reposent sur l'idée que la science fondamentale fait progresser le savoir humain et catalyse l'innovation, et que la physique théorique d'aujourd'hui est la technologie de demain. Situé dans la région de Waterloo, cet établissement sans but lucratif met de l'avant un partenariat public-privé unique en son genre avec entre autres les gouvernements de l'Ontario et du Canada. Il facilite la recherche de pointe, forme la prochaine génération de pionniers de la science et communique le pouvoir de la physique grâce à des programmes primés d'éducation et de vulgarisation.

Pour de plus amples renseignements, veuillez vous adresser à :
Mike Brown
Gestionnaire, Contenu des communications
519-569-7600 x5131