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Abstract mathematics is sometimes thought of being very far removed from real life, perhaps something that people think about with their head in the clouds as opposed to the sort of applied maths and science do when people are thinking about "reality". And yet, many of you who work in abstraction know how useful it is, as a discipline for thinking, but also for real practical purposes. In this talk Eugenia will describe ways she has found of convincing sceptics that abstraction has a purpose and that broad applicability is one of the powerful consequences. To demonstrate this, she will share with you how she applies abstract techniques to important questions of life such as prejudice, privilege, blame and responsibility.
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Keynote: Conveying the Power of Abstraction
Eugenia Cheng is a mathematician and concert pianist. She is Scientist In Residence at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and won tenure at the University of Sheffield, UK. She has previously taught at the universities of Cambridge, Chicago and Nice and holds a PhD in pure mathematics from the University of Cambridge. Alongside her research in Category Theory and undergraduate teaching her aim is to rid the world of "maths phobia". Eugenia was an early pioneer of maths on YouTube and her videos have been viewed over 10 million times to date. Her first popular maths book "How to Bake Pi" was featured on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and "Beyond Infinity" was shortlisted for the Royal Society Science Book Prize 2017. She also writes the Everyday Math column for the Wall Street Journal, and recently completely her first mathematical art commission, for Hotel EMC2 in Chicago. She is the founder of the Liederstube, an intimate oasis for art song based in Chicago. Her latest book, 'The Art of Logic: How to Make Sense in a World that Doesn't" was published in 2018.