Gauß in Regensburg

The German Mathematical Society (DMV) offers twice a year the „Gauß Lecture“, an overview lecture with a well-known mathematician. The lecture is intended to show current developments in mathematics and addresses the interested public. At this link is the chronicle of previous lectures.

The last of this years lectures has been given by Cédric Villani at October 23. It was a big success with more than 350 listeners in the theatre of Regensburg, nicely located within the old town.

When organizer Bernd Ammann approached the speaker in early 2016, he could not guess that Villani would be a busy politician in 2017. Villani, who was elected to the Assemblée Nationale this summer, is now accountable for the plans to promote the development of artificial intelligence. And so he used the opportunity of his trip to Regensburg to discuss the subject in an organized round with local experts and leaders.

The public talk, however, was about mathematics. The problems of artificial intelligence only showed up in magician Thomas Fraps’ pre-programme, where a well-known online retailer and a well-known search engine were playing a role in some of the magic tricks.

Villani’s talk was “about triangles, gazes, prices and men”, according to Villani the story of the encounter of three a priori unrelated fields: non-Euclidean geometry, theory of gazes, and economics. (Or in mathematical terms: Ricci curvature, entropy, and optimal transport.)

All pictures below are Copyright by Raphael Zentner. The organizers have a website about the event.

Manuel Amann receives the von-Kaven-Preis from Christian Bär.

Magician Thomas Fraps …

… plays some cardgame with the prizewinner …

… and explains it mathematically.

Google knows the answer.

Organizer Bernd Ammann introduces Cédric Villani.

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