Annual Sampson Lecture set at Bates

“Mathematics and Common Sense: What is Their Relationship?” is the topic of the annual Richard W. Sampson Lecture in Mathematics, to be delivered at Bates College March 27 at 7:30 p.m.

Presenting the talk will be Philip J. Davis, retired professor of applied mathematics at Brown University. The lecture, in the Edmund S. Muskie Archives, is open to the public at no charge. A reception will follow.

In addition, Davis will offer a colloquium, “The Spiral of Theodorus,” at 4 p.m. in Lecture Hall 104 of the Olin Arts Center.

Davis is the author of several books, including “The Mathematics of Matrices” and “Spirals: From Theodorus to Chaos.” Two books he co-authored with Reuben Hersh, “The Mathematical Experience” and “Descartes’ Dream,” have enjoyed worldwide popularity as explorations of the philosophy of mathematics and the role of mathematics in society. “The Mathematical Experience” won an American Book Award in 1983.

He also has written several books of satire, including the recent “Thomas Gray in Copenhagen.”

Before joining the faculty at Brown in 1963, Davis was chief of the numerical-analysis department at the National Bureau of Standards.

The annual Sampson Lecture at Bates is named in honor of Richard W. Sampson of Lewiston, a member of the Bates faculty from 1952 until his retirement as professor of mathematics in 1990.

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