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Oxford Mathematics Professor to Give
2003 UK Blazer Lecture

By Ralph Derickson

Photo of Sir Roger Penrose
Sir Roger Penrose

Penrose is the Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford. His 1989 book “The Emperor's New Mind” became a best-seller and won the 1990 (Rhone-Poulenc) Science Book Prize. His latest book (1994) is “Shadows of the Mind.” Among other published works, Penrose co-authored books with Stephen Hawking. He and Hawking shared the Wolf Prize for Physics in 1988. Penrose also has contributed a great deal to the understanding of so-called “black holes” in the universe.

 

March 3, 2003 (Lexington, Ky.) -- Sir Roger Penrose, a mathematics professor at the University of Oxford in England who is fascinated with what he calls “recreational mathematics,” is the 2003 University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences Blazer Lecturer.

Penrose’s talk is titled "The Fundamental Gap of 20th Century Physics: What Does This Tell Us About the Science of the Future?" The free, public lecture will be delivered at 8 p.m. Monday, March 10, in Memorial Hall.

Penrose, who earned his doctorate in algebraic geometry from Cambridge, was recently knighted for his outstanding contributions to mathematics. He works in relativity theory, quantum physics and the field of tessellation in geometry. Tesselation involves covering a flat surface with tiles so that there are no gaps and overlaps.

“There are several shapes that will do the job,” Penrose said, “including regular triangles, rectangles, hexagons and so forth. Or it can be done with combinations of shapes, resulting in a pattern that repeats regularly.”

Penrose is the Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford. His 1989 book “The Emperor's New Mind” became a best-seller and won the 1990 (Rhone-Poulenc) Science Book Prize. His latest book (1994) is “Shadows of the Mind.” Among other published works, Penrose co-authored books with Stephen Hawking. He and Hawking shared the Wolf Prize for Physics in 1988. Penrose also has contributed a great deal to the understanding of so-called “black holes” in the universe.

The Arts and Sciences Blazer Lecture Series in the Humanities was endowed 53 years ago by Paul G. Blazer Sr., founder of Ashland Oil Inc., and his wife Georgia Blazer, the first woman to serve on the UK Board of Trustees.


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