Many people are overwhelmed and mystified by mathematics, believing it to be an elite discipline inaccessible to those outside the field. This is a misperception, says Lu, who asserts that mathematics is like any other science: It tries to answer questions and help society better understand how the world works.
Lu will describe the general process mathematicians follow to solve problems. Using examples from his work in differential geometry and string theory, he will explain how mathematicians think, the utility of abstract concepts, and why all mathematical statements have to be “proven.”
Born and raised in China, Lu received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Shanghai Jiao Tong University. He earned a doctorate from the Courant Institute at New York University and taught at Columbia University before joining UCI in 2000. Lu won an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship in 2003 and a National Science Foundation Career Award in 2004.
UCI Student Center, Doheny Beach rooms A and B (bldg. 113, grid E8 on campus map (pdf)