Jun 16 2014 7:30 pm
Credit: Mats Rudels 



Jordan Ellenberg

Monday, June 16, 7:30 p.m.

HOW NOT TO BE WRONG: The Power of Mathematical Thinking


How Not to Be Wrong presents surprising revelations using the mathematician’s method of analyzing life and exposing the hard-won insights of the academic community to the layman—minus the jargon.

Ellenberg chases mathematical threads through a vast range of time and space, from the everyday to the cosmic, encountering, among other things, baseball, Reaganomics, daring lottery schemes, Voltaire, the replicability crisis in psychology, Italian Renaissance painting, artificial languages, the development of non-Euclidean geometry, the coming obesity apocalypse, Antonin Scalia’s views on crime and punishment, the psychology of slime molds, what Facebook can and can’t figure out about you, and the existence of God.

Ellenberg pulls from history as well as from the latest theoretical developments to provide those not trained in math with the knowledge they need. Math, as Ellenberg says, is “an atomic-powered prosthesis that you attach to your common sense, vastly multiplying its reach and strength.”.

Jordan Ellenberg is the Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor of Mathematics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has lectured around the world on his research in number theory and delivered one of the plenary addresses at the 2013 Joint Mathematics Meetings, the largest math conference in the world. His writing has appeared in Wired, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, and The Believer, and he has been featured on the Today show and NPR’s All Things Considered. He writes a popular column called “Do the Math” for Slate.

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