Related Links:
William Marshall
Bullitt’s collection of rare mathematic and astronomy
books
Bullitt
Lecture in Physics
Bullitt
Lecture in Law
Bullitt
Lecture in Art


The William
Marshall Bullitt Lecture in Mathematics
2019
BULLITT LECTURE
The Fourth
Dimension and
the People You Meet
There
Dr.
Tom Banchoff
Brown
University
Thursday,
April 11th, 2019
6:307:30pm
Natural
Sciences Building
Room 112
University of Louisville
Abstract:
Fourdimensional space has challenged writers,
artists, geometers, philosophers, and
theologians. Modern graphical visualization
techniques make it possible for us to see and
interact with higherdimensional space and
figures in dramatic and illuminating ways.
Guides to this fourth dimension include Edwin
Abbott Abbott's _Flatland_, Madeleine L'Engle's
_A Wrinkle in Time_, and Salvador Dali's _Corpus
Hypercubus_, which have both embraced higher
dimensions as mathematical concepts and made
symbolic use of the fourth dimension as
representative of the frontiers of human
imagination and ability. This talk will explore
both the history of mathematical and
philosophical excursions into the fourth
dimension, and seek to answer the question:
"What lies ahead?"
FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
for more
information, contact math@louisville.edu or
call (502) 8526826
BIO: Dr. Tom Banchoff has
been a teacher and researcher of geometry,
expanding the horizons of understanding of
higherdimensional geometry in both
mathematics and the creative arts. Dr.
Banchoff was a pioneer in the field of
computer graphics, developing some of the
earliest visualizations of fourdimensional
solids. He has been recognized with the
Lester R. Ford award for mathematical
exposition and the Haimo Award for
Distinguished Teaching. He has served as the
president of the Mathematical Association of
America, as the editor of leading journals,
and as a consultant for the 2007 film
adaptation of _Flatland_.


History
of the Mathematics Department's Bullitt Lecture
Series
The Mathematics Department’s Bullitt Lecture is a
free, public lecture that has brought to Louisville
each year, beginning in 1993, a distinguished
mathematician to speak to 200500 audience members
about important and cuttingedge mathematics. Ronald
Graham, former Chief Scientist at AT&T, and
Indiana University College Professor of Cognitive
Science and Computer Science, author and computer
scientist Douglas R. Hofstadter (author of
Gödel, Escher, Bach) are former Bullitt Lecturers.
The emphasis has been drawing people from the
outside academia. Talented high school
students, area professionals, and other parties
interested in the impact and excitement that
mathematics has generated, especially in the last
decade, have attended the Bullitt Lecture in
surprisingly large numbers.
The Lecture is endowed through a grant from the
family of William Marshall Bullitt, the Solicitor
General of the United Stated under President William
Howard Taft. The first Bullitt
lecture was given by Jerry King of Lehigh University
(a native Kentuckian,
UK Ph.D) on the subject of his then
popular book "The Art of Mathematics," Plenum Press,
NY and London, 1992. It took place on April 5,
1993.
The
second lecture was given by Professor Fred Rickey,
one of the leading American historians
of mathematics who was then at Bowling Green
University (and is now at the United
States Military Academy at West Point), on the then
popular topic of the
history of Fermat's Last Theorem. Recall that Andrew
Wiles had announced his proof of
FLT in the summer of 1993. Professor
Rickey's talk took place in
April of 1994.
Paul
Humke gave the third lecture in 1995 on visualizing
the 4th dimension. After 1995, the Bullitt
Lecture was advertised via posters shown below.
Click on
photo to download PDF file containing the
poster.
(some of these files are large, > 1mb)
William
Marshall Bullitt, the Solicitor General of the United
Stated under President William Howard Taft, was a
Louisville native and an 1894 Princeton
graduate. He received his law degree from the
University of Louisville. Bullitt is descended from
one of the most prominent Kentucky families five
Kentucky counties bear the name of his direct
ancestors.
Bullitt was an authority on insurance law and wrote a
number of important pamphlets in actuarial
mathematics. He was a personal friend of a
number of important figures in twentiethcentury
mathematics, including G.D. Birkhoff, G.H. Hardy, and
Albert Einstein.
The Bullitt family had already compiled
collections of rare books in history,
horticulture, and other field when William Marshall
Bullitt decided to pursue acquisitions of rare
mathematical editions. Bullitt began by seeking the
aid of mathematicians and historians of mathematics in
determining a list of ``25 Greatest Mathematicians
(Excluding all Living Mathematicians)”. Prior to
World War II, Bullitt and his wife traveled
extensively in Europe; his cousin, William Christian
Bullitt, was the American Ambassador to France at the
time. Bullitt put together a magnificent
collection of rare and significant mathematics.
“Strangely enough, anyone wishing to write about
Galois in Paris would do well to journey to
Louisville, Kentucky,” wrote Leopold Infeld, author of
Whom the Gods Love, a fictionalized biography of the
celebrated French mathematician Evariste Galois.
A wellwritten account of Bullitt and his efforts to
obtain rare mathematics manuscripts is given in
``William Marshall Bullitt and His Amazing
Mathematical Collection”, by Richard M. Davitt
(Professor of Mathematics at the University of
Louisville), in The Mathematical Intelligencer, Vol.
11, No. 4, 1989.
In 1958, Bullitt’s wife gave the entire mathematics
collection and related correspondence to the
University of Louisville, where today it is the
William Marshall Bullitt Mathematical Collection.
Visitors from around the world visit the
Collection. Members of the Bullitt family are
frequent Lecture attendees. The mathematics
community—indeed, the entire Louisville
community—gratefully and gladly acknowledges the debt
to the family for the inestimable contribution.
