Department of Mathematics

Abel prize winner John W. Milnor to Bergen

The Abel prize winner for 2011, John W. Milnor, holds a guest lecture, "SPHERES", in Bergen, THURSDAY May 26, 14:15, VilVite Auditorium.

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Throughout his career as a mathematician, Milnor has proved, time and again, highly surprising and unexpected results. He has come with insight and conjectures that have been understood only decades later by other mathematicians. In addition, Milnor has stood out as a brilliant lecturer and communicator of mathematics to general public.

The title, "Spheres", reflects one of Milnor's results, possibly the one with highest impact: The sphere (all points with unit distance from the origin) is a smooth surface, the question is: can it be smooth in several ways? This question might seem odd at a first glance - what does it mean "smooth in several ways"? That of asking questions is one of Milnor's strength, together with his determination to break the boundaries of mathematical knowledge: does the answer depend on the dimension of the underlying space?