Why Do Golf Balls Have Dimples?
(And other mysteries of life that can be explained only with mathematics.)
July 1, 2009, 6:30 pm
Mathematical Association of America
This lecture is full. Thank you for your interest. We hope that you will join us at a future event.
Stanford mathematician and NPR “Math Guy” Keith Devlin will show you how mathematics can be used to answer some of life’s more puzzling mysteries, including, in addition to golf balls:
- What really keeps an airplane in the sky? (The answer you find in most math books — and many pilot instruction manuals — is wrong.)
- Where did Lance Armstrong find the 3 to 8 minutes by which he won each of his seven Tour De France victories? (It wasn’t drugs.)
- Where does a skateboard get the vertical upward force to leave the ground when its rider executes a jump?
- And just how does a bicycle turn? (This one is much more complicated than you ever imagined.)
Keith Devlin is the Executive Director of the H-STAR Institute at Stanford University and The Math Guy on National Public Radio's Weekend Edition. His most recent books are The Unfinished Game: Pascal, Fermat, and the Seventeenth Century Letter that Made the World Modern and The Computer as Crucible: an Introduction to Experimental Mathematics, with Jonathan Borwein. His 26 other books include Solving Crimes with Mathematics: The Numbers behind NUMB3RS, written with Gary Lorden; The Math Instinct; The Millennium Problems; The Math Gene; Infosense; Mathematics: The New Golden Age; Goodbye Descartes; and The Language of Mathematics.