Ravi Vakil, Stanford University

The Mathematics of Doodling

Doodling has many mathematical aspects: patterns, shapes,  numbers, and more.  Not surprisingly, there is often some sophisticated and fun mathematics buried inside common doodles.  I’ll begin by doodling, and see where it takes us.  It looks like play, but it reflects what mathematics is really about:  finding patterns in nature, explaining them, and extending them.  By the end, we’ll have seen some important notions in geometry, topology, physics, and elsewhere; some fundamental ideas guiding the development of mathematics over the course of the last century;  and ongoing work continuing today.

Speaker Profile

VakilDr. Ravi Vakil is Professor of Mathematics and the Robert K. Packard University Fellow at Stanford University, and was the David Huntington Faculty Scholar. Vakil has received many awards, including a National Science Foundation CAREER Fellowship, an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, an American Mathematical Society Centennial Fellowship, a G. de B. Robinson Prize for the best paper published in the Canadian Journal of Mathematics and the Canadian Mathematical Bulletin, and the André-Aisenstadt Prize from the Centre de Recherches Mathématiques at the Université de Montréal (2005). In 2012 he became a fellow of the American Mathematical Society.

Vakil is an algebraic geometer and his research work spans over enumerative geometry, topology, Gromov–Witten theory, and classical algebraic geometry.