MATC Mathematics Club
Lecture #97

Madison Area Technical College
Madison, Wisconsin

 

Spring 2009 Presentation #97 (September 10, 2010)

Professor Thomas Drucker, UW-W

"Counting Bridges with Euler"

Abstract: With his paper on the problem of the Seven Bridges of Konigsberg Leonard Euler launched the study of graph theory. The surprising aftermath is that nothing came of Euler's paper for a century. If Euler was able to solve a whole class of problems in his paper, one is inclined to ask why others didn't take up the methods he introduced. For that matter, why didn't Euler himself continue to use those techniques? This talk will discuss some of the reasons that Euler tackled the problem of the Seven Bridges and offer some explanations for why graph theory went into hibernation for so long.

Biography: Thomas Drucker has been in the Department of Mathematical and Computer Sciences at the University of Wisconsin--Whitewater since 2001. He had previously served as assistant professor at Dickinson College (Carlisle, Pennsylvania) and University of Wisconsin--Extension. His undergraduate work was at Princeton University and Magdalen College, Oxford, and his graduate work at the University of Toronto and the University of Wisconsin. He edited 'Perspectives on the History of Mathematical Logic' and has written many articles and reviews in the areas of history and philosophy of mathematics. He is currently president of the Wisconsin Association of Scholars.

Ben Palmer won a book and Keari Bell-Gawne won the Scientific Notebook. Kimberly G. (with her child) won the big prize, Mathematica.


 

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