Harvard Science Book Talk: Marcus du Sautoy, in conversation with Melissa Franklin,"Thinking Better: The Art of the Shortcut in Math and Life"


Monday, November 1, 2021, 5:00pm

Where Online: https://www.harvard.com/event/virtual_event_marcus_du_sautoy/
When November 1, 2021 @5:00PM
Organization/Sponsor Harvard Division of Science, Harvard Library, and Harvard Book Store
Speaker(s) Marcus du Sautoy (Oxford)
Melissa Franklin (Harvard)
Cost free
Contact Info science_lectures@fas.harvard.edu

We are often told that hard work is the key to success. But success isn’t about hard work—it’s about shortcuts. Shortcuts allow us to solve one problem quickly so that we can tackle an even bigger one. They make us capable of doing great things. And according to Marcus du Sautoy, math is the very art of the shortcut.

Thinking Better is a celebration of how math lets us do more with less. Du Sautoy explores how diagramming revolutionized therapy, why calculus is the greatest shortcut ever invented, whether you must really practice for ten thousand hours to become a concert violinist, and why shortcuts give us an advantage over even the most powerful AI. Throughout, we meet artists, scientists, and entrepreneurs who use mathematical shortcuts to change the world.

Delightful, illuminating, and above all practical, Thinking Better is for anyone who has wondered why you should waste time climbing the mountain when you could go around it much faster.


Marcus du Sautoy is a British mathematician and the Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science and Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford. He has also published a play I is a Strange Loop which was performed at the Barbican in London in which he was also lead actor. He has presented numerous radio and TV series including a four part landmark TV series for the BBC called The Story of Maths. He works extensively with a range of arts organisations bringing science alive for the public from The Royal Opera House to the Glastonbury Festival. He received an OBE for services to science in the 2010 New Year’s Honours List and was made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2016.

Melissa Franklin is an experimental particle physicist who studies proton-proton collisions produced by Large Hadron Collider(LHC). Professor Franklin, born and raised in Canada, received her B.Sc. from the University of Toronto and her Doctorate from Stanford University. She worked as a post-doctoral fellow at Lawrence Berkeley Lab, was an assistant professor at the University of Illinois in Champagne/Urbana and was a Junior Fellow in the Society of Fellows at Harvard, before joining the Harvard faculty in 1989.

For more information and videos of Harvard Science Book Talks, see https://science.fas.harvard.edu/book-talks.