Alan McRae to Deliver Endowed Professorship Lecture McRae’s presentation “Waiting for Gödel” will be held in Chavis Hall on March 22.
Alan McRae, professor of mathematics, will present a public lecture to mark his appointment to the Cincinnati Professorship at Washington and Lee University on March 22 at 6 p.m. in Chavis Hall 105.
Titled “Waiting for Gödel,” McRae’s lecture explores the absurd and contradictory in mathematics and gives a glimpse of what the future might hold.
“It’s common to think that there is no place for the absurd or contradictory in mathematics, but in fact, mathematics has a long history of dealing with paradoxes, the impossible, and other ‘non-mathematical’ possibilities,” McRae said. “Join us for an hour of the crazy, the absurd, and the downright impossible, and hear a story about how the forces of imagination and logic have transformed mathematics over and over.”
McRae has been a member of the W&L faculty since 1997 and currently serves as the chair of the Mathematics Department. His research interests include geometric probability, logic, mathematics and art. He has authored or co-authored publications for notable mathematics journals and has been a member of Pi Mu Epsilon, the U.S. honorary national mathematics society, since 1998. McRae received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a doctorate in mathematics from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
The Cincinnati Professorship recognizes the gift of the Society of the Cincinnati of Virginia to Washington Academy, a predecessor to W&L. In 1802, the Society – a group of former officers of the Continental Army who were influenced by George Washington’s gift to the Academy – voted to turn over its assets to the school, and the gift helped the institution survive.
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