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The Seduction of Curves: The Lines of Beauty That Connect Mathematics, Art and The Nude

Saturday 17 March: 3:00pm - 4:00pm

Department of Engineering, Trumpington Street, CB2 1PZ

There is a deep connection between the stability of oil rigs, the bending of light during gravitational lensing and the act of life drawing. To understand each, we must understand how we view curved surfaces. We are familiar with the language of straight-line geometry – of squares, rectangles, hexagons - but curves also have a language – of folds, cusps and swallowtails - that few of us know.

Allan will explain how the key to understanding the language of curves is René Thom’s Catastrophe Theory, and how – remarkably – the best place to learn that language is perhaps in the life drawing class. Sharing its title with Allan's new book, the talk will wander gently across mathematics, physics, engineering, biology and art, but always with a focus on curves.

Warning: this talk contains images of nudity.

Allan McRobie is Reader in Engineering, University of Cambridge

Booking Information

Telephone number:
01223 766766

Booking required

Accessibility

Partial access - please call for details
Phone: 01223 766766

Additional Information

Age: 15+, Talk, Arrive on time, Free

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