Exploring the Fourth Dimension

Thomas Francis Banchoff

MATH 195

Course Description:

In this seminar we will spend at least half of our time exploring ways writers and teachers have used the notion of dimension as a metaphor and more than a metaphor for something beyond our ordinary familiar experience. Topics will include art and music, psychology and literature,  physical, biological, and social science and philosophy and theology. The other side of these explorations will investigate patterns in geometry and arithmetic that give new meaning to all the math which students have already seen and also give insights into the new kinds of math being invented and discovered in the modern world.

Faculty Bio:

Thomas Francis Banchoff is an American mathematician specializing in geometry. He is a professor at Brown University, where he has taught since 1967. He is known for his research in differential geometry in three and four dimensions, for his efforts to develop methods of computer graphics in the early 1990s, and most recently for his pioneering work in methods of undergraduate education utilizing online resources.

Banchoff received his Ph.D from UC Berkeley in 1964, where he was a student of Shiing-Shen Chern. Before going to Brown he taught at Harvard University and the University of Amsterdam.