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Famous Talks & Conversation

Inspiring world towards science and mathematics

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In conversation with Maryna Viazoska

Maryna Sergiivna Viazovska is a Ukrainian mathematician known for her work in sphere packing. She is a full professor and Chair of Number Theory at the Institute of Mathematics of the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland.


She was awarded the Fields Medal in 2022. Maryna Viazovska, a mathematician at the EPFL in Switzerland, has won one of this year's Fields Medals at the International Congress of Mathematicians. She is only the second woman to receive a Fields Medal, following on from Maryam Mirzakhani who won it in 2014.


Venue: London Institute for Mathematical Sciences, Royal Institution, 21 Albemarle Street, London W1S 4BS


When too much material collapses into a too-small region, the result is a black hole, and internal space-time singularities are expected, where space-time curvatures appear to diverge to infinity. The mathematics works both ways in time yet the Big-Bang singularity was of a completely different character, and better understood in terms of conformal geometry, leading to a cyclic picture of the universe, now with considerable observational support. The mathematics of this picture leads to intriguing speculations involving different cyclic geometrical ideas.


Space-Time Singularities and cyclic geometry


Extraterrestrial Life: Are We the Sharpest Cookies in the Jar?


The search for extraterrestrial life is one of the most exciting frontiers in Astronomy. First tentative clues were identified close to Earth in the form of the weird interstellar object `Oumuamua. Our civilization will mature once we find out who resides on our cosmic street by searching with our best telescopes for unusual electromagnetic flashes, industrial pollution of planetary atmospheres, artificial light or heat, artificial space debris or something completely unexpected. We might be a form of life as primitive and common in the cosmos as ants are in a kitchen. If so, we can learn a lot from others out there through the new frontier of "space archaeology".

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