How to Think Like a Mathematician – with Eugenia Cheng

Author: The Royal Institution

How does pure mathematics apply to our daily lives?
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For thousands of years, mathematicians have used the timeless art of logic to see the world more clearly. Today, truth is buried under soundbites and spin, and seeing clearly is more important than ever. In this talk, Eugenia Cheng will show how anyone can think like a mathematician to understand what people are really telling us – and how we can argue back. Taking a careful scalpel to fake news, politics, privilege, sexism and dozens of other real-world situations, she will teach us how to find clarity without losing nuance.

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Eugenia Cheng is Scientist In Residence at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She won tenure in Pure Mathematics at the University of Sheffield, UK, where she is now Honorary Fellow. She has previously taught at the Universities of Cambridge, Chicago and Nice and holds a PhD in pure mathematics from the University of Cambridge. Alongside her research in Category Theory and undergraduate teaching, her aim is to rid the world of “math phobia”. Her first popular math book, How to Bake Pi, was published by Basic Books in 2015 to widespread acclaim including from the New York Times, National Geographic, Scientific American, and she was interviewed around the world including on the BBC, NPR and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Her second book, Beyond Infinity, was shortlisted for the Royal Society Science Book Prize.

This talk and Q&A was filmed in the Ri on 2 July 2018.

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