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Session 60 - Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy.
Committee, Oral session, Wednesday, June 10

[60.01] The Mathematics of Truth and Beauty: Emmy Noether, Symmetry and the Seduction of a Science Writer

K. C. Cole (LA Times)

The universe is a complicated place, and journalists, astronomers, philosophers and poets are all preoccupied with trying to make sense of it. Curiously, many people outside the sciences do not make use of one of the most powerful tools available: the language of mathematics. Mathematics brings surprising clarity to an astonishing range of issues, from cosmic questions (the fate of the universe), to social controversy (race and IQ scores) to matters of public policy (voting and fairness). These tools are easily accessible to lay people--including even reporters, and females, despite persistent assumptions to the contrary. This writer, in particular became entranced by the connection between fundamental laws of nature and symmetry established by the mathematician Emmy Noether--and its implications "outside the walls" of science.

Program listing for Wednesday