Upcoming Event

Shing-Tung Yau and Steve Nadis

present

The Shape of a Life:
One Mathematician's Search for the Universe's Hidden Geometry

This event includes a book signing

Date

Feb
26
Tuesday
February 26, 2019
7:00 PM

Location

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets

This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store welcomes renowned mathematician and Harvard professor SHING-TUNG YAU and science writer STEVE NADIS—contributing editor to Astronomy and Discover magazines—for a discussion of their new book, The Shape of a Life: One Mathematician's Search for the Universe's Hidden Geometry.

About The Shape of a Life

Harvard geometer and Fields medalist Shing-Tung Yau has provided a mathematical foundation for string theory, offered new insights into black holes, and mathematically demonstrated the stability of our universe. In this autobiography, Yau reflects on his improbable journey to becoming one of the world’s most distinguished mathematicians. Beginning with an impoverished childhood in China and Hong Kong, Yau takes readers through his doctoral studies at Berkeley during the height of the Vietnam War protests, his Fields Medal–winning proof of the Calabi conjecture, his return to China, and his pioneering work in geometric analysis. This new branch of geometry, which Yau built up with his friends and colleagues, has paved the way for solutions to several important and previously intransigent problems. With complicated ideas explained for a broad audience, this book offers readers not only insights into the life of an eminent mathematician, but also an accessible way to understand advanced and highly abstract concepts in mathematics and theoretical physics.

Praise

“The remarkable story of one of the world's most accomplished mathematicians, Shing-Tung Yau, who has made profound contributions in pure mathematics, general relativity, and string theory. Yau’s personal journey—from escaping China as a youngster, leading a gang outside Hong Kong, becoming captivated by mathematics, to making breakthroughs that thrust him on the world stage—inspires us all with humankind's irrepressible spirit of discovery.” —Brian Greene, author of The Elegant Universe

"Candid, deep, and truly inspiring, The Shape of a Life is studded with unexpected insights into Yau's thinking. An extraordinary story about an extraordinary person." —Gish Jen, author of The Girl at the Baggage Claim: Explaining the East-West Culture Gap

“Yau and Nadis’s The Shape of a Life opens a window into the fascinating mind and world of today’s equivalent of Apollonius of Perga, ‘The Great Geometer’ of antiquity.” —Mario Livio, author of Brilliant Blunders

Shing-Tung Yau
Shing-Tung Yau

Shing-Tung Yau

Shing-Tung Yauthe William Caspar Graustein Professor of Mathematics at Harvard University, is the winner of the Fields Medal, the National Medal of Science, the Crafoord Prize, the Veblen Prize, the Wolf Prize, and a MacArthur Fellowship. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, Yau has received honorary degrees from ten universities. He has helped establish six mathematical institutes in China and Hong Kong, and the Center for Mathematical Sciences and Applications at Harvard. Yau has written and edited more than twenty books and also edits numerous mathematics journals. He lives in Cambridge, Mass.

Photo Credit: Susan Gilbert

Steve Nadis
Steve Nadis

Steve Nadis

Steve Nadis, a graduate of Hampshire College, is a contributing editor to Astronomy and Discover. His work has appeared in dozens of newspapers and magazines and in the many books he has written or contributed to. Nadis has served as a staff researcher at the Union of Concerned Scientists, an MIT science journalism fellow, and a consultant to the World Resources Institute, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and WGBH/NOVA. He lives in Cambridge, Mass.

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes

As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.

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FAQ:

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