Top Menu

Della Pietra Lecture Series Presents Dr. Cumrun Vafa: Puzzles to Unravel the Universe

The Della Pietra Lecture Series is pleased to present Cumrun Vafa, Hollis Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy in the Physics Department at Harvard University:

General Public Lecture

Date: Monday May 16, 2022
Lecture: 5:00pm, Simons Center Della Pietra Family Auditorium, Room 103
Title: “Puzzles to Unravel the Universe”
Abstract: Beneath all of the complex and formidable mathematical structures that formulate physical laws rest simple but deep nuggets of truth. It is these simple truths, and not the complicated technical details, that scientists strive for when uncovering the laws of nature. Fortunately, these core ideas can often be illustrated with simple mathematical puzzles. In this talk I discuss examples of these simple mathematical puzzles and show how they can shed light on some of the deepest concepts in physics.  Audience will be asked to participate in solving the puzzles during the talk!  (Based on my book “Puzzles to Unravel the Universe,” which is designed for the general public, and does not require extensive background in mathematics or physics—just a sense of curiosity!)

Special Presentation for High School Students

Date: Tuesday, May 17, 2022
Lecture: 10:00am, Simons Center Della Pietra Family Auditorium, Room 103
Title: “Puzzles to Unravel the Universe” 
Abstract: Beneath all of the complex and formidable mathematical structures that formulate physical laws rest simple but deep nuggets of truth. It is these simple truths, and not the complicated technical details, that scientists strive for when uncovering the laws of nature. Fortunately, these core ideas can often be illustrated with simple mathematical puzzles. In this talk I discuss examples of these simple mathematical puzzles and show how they can shed light on some of the deepest concepts in physics.  Audience will be asked to participate in solving the puzzles during the talk!  (Based on my book “Puzzles to Unravel the Universe,” which is designed for the general public, and does not require extensive background in mathematics or physics—just a sense of curiosity!)

Technical Talk for Faculty and Advanced Graduate Students

Date:  Tuesday, May 17, 2022
Lecture: 1:00pm, Simons Center Lecture Hall, Room 102
Title: “Geometric Obstructions to Scale Separation”