Mirror Image Symmetry from Different Viewpoints

Professor Erica Flapan will discuss mirror image symmetry in life, mathematics, and chemistry in the 68th Harry S. Kieval Lecture on Thursday, Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m., in Founders Hall Room 118. Flapan’s talk is free, will be accessible to the general audience and assumes no previous knowledge of the subject.

The Pomona College mathematics professor will explain why it is important to determine whether a molecule has mirror image symmetry, and discuss the differences between a geometric, chemical, and topological approach to understanding mirror image symmetry. Finally, she will present some of her results on topologically asymmetric molecules.

Flapan currently holds the Librun H. Burkhead professorship in the Department of Mathematics at Pomona College. After postdoctoral studies at Rice University and UC Santa Barbara she joined the Pomona faculty in 1986. Her research is in low-dimensional topology and knot theory.

Recognized for her ability to connect with students, she won the Mathematical Association of America’s Haimo Award for Distinguished Teaching in 2011. Flapan has also published numerous articles and four books, including 2015’s “Knots, Molecules, and the Universe: An Introduction to Topology.”

The Humboldt State University Department of Mathematics Harry S. Kieval Lecture is named for HSU Mathematics Professor Emeritus Dr. Harry S. Kieval, who taught at HSU from 1966 to 1979. The series includes topics on popular and/or broad aspects of mathematics attractive to undergraduates and the public.


When: Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Founders Hall Room 118, Humboldt State University
Download an HSU campus map PDF
Cost: Free
Website: http://www2.humboldt.edu/math/news-and-events/kieval-lecture
Contact: HSU Dept. of Mathematics 707-826-3143