Department of Mathematics FAS Harvard University One Oxford Street Cambridge MA 02138 USA Tel: (617) 495-2171 Fax: (617) 495-5132

Math table November 6, 2018

Glen Whitney, Harvard, will give a talk titled:
"Why Five Platonic Solids? (It's not as simple as you think!)"
Abstract: There are various things in math that you just know are true: among all shapes with a given surface area, the sphere encloses the most volume, a trefoil knot is really knotted, a continuous simple closed curve has an inside and an outside, etc. Yet when you try to prove them, you suddenly discover that you are sticking your toes into deep (and possibly shark-infested) waters. At this math table, I'll try to convince you that the familiar fact that there are just five regular solids is a fact of this particularly vexing character (and hopefully have a bit of fun along the way).


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