Oct 16th 2012

“The History, Theory, and Practice of Prime Numbers”

Karen Reimer’s site-specific installation at Gallery 400 is the latest entry in her ongoing series Endless Set (begun 2007), in which appliquéd pillowcases marry hand-sewn fabric’s domesticity to the infiniteness of the prime number sequence. In this lecture, Professor Ramin Takloo-Bighash provides insight into the mathematical concept of the prime number—a natural number greater than 1 that has no positive divisors other than 1 and itself. From Euclid’s Elements to Carl Sagan’s Contact, he explains why prime numbers are so frequently the subject of popular fascination, illuminating both their captivating history and current relevance.

Takloo-Bighash is Associate Professor of Mathematics at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Prior to joining UIC’s faculty in 2007, he worked at Princeton University first as an instructor and then as an assistant professor. He is the co-author of An Invitation to Modern Number Theory (with Steven J. Miller, Princeton University Press, 2006). Takloo-Bighash received a BS from Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran, and a PhD from Johns Hopkins University, both in Mathematics.

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