MAA North Central Section

2007 Summer Seminar


Experimental Mathematics in Action:

Insight through Computation


Principal Lecturer: Professor Jonathan Borwein, Dalhousie University

Location: Carleton College, Northfield, MN

Dates: July 16-20, 2007

Fees: Registration $300, Room and Board $325 (single), $300 (double)

Contact: Steve Kennedy


The Program: The influence of the computer on mathematics might be compared to the influence the discovery of the microscope had on biology, or the telescope on astronomy. Like those sciences we now have a tool that allows us to see previously unimaginable phenomena. We are still in the very early days of beginning to understand the effect and usefulness of this new tool. Jonathan Borwein is one of the leaders of this exploration and he argues, convincingly, that mathematics is becoming an experimental science. The workshop lectures will be based on his latest book Experimental Mathematics in Action and our principal goal will be to expose participants to the incredible mathematical insight that can be gained through computation and experimentation. Professor Borwein's goal in the workshop (and the book) is to "present a coherent variety of accessible examples of modern mathematics where intelligent computing plays a significant role and in so doing to highlight some of the key algorithms and to teach some of the key experimental approaches."



The Lecturer: Jonathan Borwein has taught at Dalhousie, Simon Fraser, Waterloo and Carnegie Mellon Universities. He has held visiting positions at University of Montreal, Australia National University-Newcastle, University of Limoges, Technion, and the New Media Innovation Centre in Vancouver. He is currently Research Professor in Computer Science and Canada Research Chair in Collaborative Technology at Dalhousie University. He is a member of the Bulgarian Academy of Science and Fellow of both the Royal Society of Canada and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Professor Borwein holds an honorary doctorate from Limoges and in addition to a Rhodes scholarship has won the APICS/Fraser Medal, the Coxeter-James Prize and the MAA's Hasse and Chauvenet prizes. He is listed on the ISI highly cited researchers database as one of the 200 most cited mathematicians: he has written ten books and over 250 research publications. Borwein is a past-President of the Canadian Mathematical Society, editor of the CMS/Springer-Verlag Books in Mathematics series, and on the editorial boards of a half-dozen journals including the Proceedings of the AMS and Experimental Mathematics.


Location: Northfield, Minnesota, located 40 miles south of the Twin Cities, is a nineteenth-century river town and home to two first-class liberal arts colleges, lending it a unique air of small town vibrancy. Information about Northfield can be found at


Lodging: Housing in Carleton dormitories is available for the conference duration. Check in starts at 5 p.m. Sunday night. College policy requires that dormitory residents purchase a college meal plan. The combined cost is $325 for an air-conditioned single, $300 for an air-conditioned double (5 nights, meal plan starts with Monday breakfast and ends with Friday lunch). There are a number of local hotels and motels, see lodging. Participants not staying in the dormitory may purchase a meal plan for the week for $160 (Monday breakfast through Friday lunch).


Schedule: (Tentative)


Registration: Please complete the online form. Send a check for $150, payable to Carleton College, to: Steve Kennedy, Math Department, Carleton College, Northfield, MN 55057. Registration confirmation will be e-mailed to ou upon receipt of this payment. The balance is due upon arrival for the workshop. Please be sure to indicate housing and meal options on the form.