Nathan S. Feldman, professor of mathematics at Washington and Lee University, will give the Rupert and Lillian Radford Professorship Inaugural Lecture on Thursday, Nov. 1, at 4:30 p.m. in Northen Auditorium of Leyburn Library.
The title of Feldman’s lecture is “Beauty and Surprise in Mathematics.” The lecture is free and open to the public.
“Unfortunately, mathematics is often thought of as a dry subject with rules and restrictions in which everything is known,” Feldman said. “While it certainly is believed to be 'useful,' it is not often thought of as 'beautiful.’ I will present a few of the beautiful ideas and surprising theorems of mathematics from pretty patterns in numbers to beautiful equations and intricate graphics.”
“In addition, I will show how beautiful surprising answers to simple questions can be, for instance, ‘what is the smallest percentage of the popular vote that a presidential candidate can receive and still win the election’ or ‘how likely is it that two people who attend this talk will have the same birthday.’ I will show the beauty and surprise in mathematics.
Feldman joined W&L’s faculty in 1999. His research is in functional analysis, complex analysis and operator theory. Much of his work has focused on the chaotic dynamics of linear operators and matrices. Feldman has received funding from the National Science Foundation as well as Lenfest and Glenn grants for his research.
Feldman has co-authored one book, “The Hardy Space of a Slit Domain” (Birkhauser, 2009) and more than 30 research articles, including “Hypercyclic Tuples of Operators and Somewhere Dense Orbits” (Journal of Mathematical Analysis and Applications, 2008), “C*-algebras with Multiple Subnormal Generators” (Journal of Operator Theory, 2008) and “Subnormal and Hyponormal Generators of C*-algebras” (Journal of Functional Analysis, 2006).
Feldman received his B.S. from Utah State University and his M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee.
The Rupert and Lillian Radford Professorship in Mathematics was created in 1982 as the result of a generous gift from the Rupert Radford Trust, created by the late Rupert Radford of Houston.