at the University of Melbourne
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The question of why women and minorities are under-represented in mathematics is complex and there are no simple answers, only many contributing factors.
In this lecture, Dr Eugenia Cheng will draw on a combination of precise mathematical reasoning, techniques of abstract mathematical thinking, and my experiences as a woman in the male-dominated field of mathematics. She will argue that if we focus character traits rather than gender we can have a more productive and less divisive conversation, about math and beyond. She will present a new theory for doing so, showing that we can use abstract mathematical thinking to work towards a more inclusive society in this politically divisive era.
Dr Cheng will present the abstract field of Category Theory as a particularly inclusive subject area according to the dimensions of my new theory, and demonstrate its scope for deepening the curiosity and social awareness of high school students, rather than just pushing and evaluating them. This goes against the assumption that abstract mathematics can only be taught to high level undergraduates and graduate students, and the accusation abstract mathematics is removed from real life.
Dr Cheng is keen to bring mathematics to a wider audience and help reduce maths phobia. On top of her job teaching undergraduates and graduate students, she has volunteered helping with mathematics in primary school ever since she was a graduate student. She also founded the Sheffield Mathematics Academy to bring secondary/high school students to university for mathematics enrichment. Her job at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago involves teaching high level abstract mathematics to art students.
‘Threshold’ is a music work by Composer Noemi Liba Friedman commissioned by The Grainger Museum, University of Melbourne specifically for the microtonal Federation Handbells, percussion and voices, to be premiered as part of Multivocal, currently showing at the Old Quad Treasury gallery.
It will be performed in surround sound, integrating elements of Middle Eastern quarter-tone scales into an evocative and atmospheric contemporary new music work to welcome asylum seekers and immigrants arriving here from a life impacted by persecution or war.
Vocal improvisors/performers will be internationally acclaimed Gelareh Pour and Sarvenaz Monfaredi.
Percussion Soloists include Kaylie Melville (Speak Percussion, Rubiks) and Percussion Maestro Peter Neville (Elision).
Performed by the Melbourne Conservatorium Percussion Ensemble and community bells chorus under the baton of MCM head and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Percussionist Brent Miller.
The Federation Handbells are managed by Museums Victoria on behalf of Creative Victoria. Image: Creative Victoria. Source: Museums Victoria.