Campus News

Mathematician will deliver 12th annual Cantrell Lectures

Fields Medal winner Stephen Smale, professor at Toyota Technological Institute and the University of Chicago, will deliver the annual Cantrell Lectures March 22-24.

Smale will deliver three lectures on human and machine learning. The first lecture, designed for the general public, is called “Learning and Intelligence,” and will be presented in room 101 of the Student Learning Center at 3:30 p.m. on March 22. It is open free to the public.

The second and third lectures are for more professional audiences. Smale will present “Fast Algorithms for Learning” on March 23 at 3:30 p.m. in room 150 of the SLC and “The Competing Roles of Statistics and Approximation” at 3:30 p.m. on March 24, also in room 150 of the SLC.

Smale, who received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 1957, has made significant contributions in the fields of topology, dynamical systems, geometry, econometrics, operations research and the mathematical theory of computer science. For his contributions to pure mathematics Professor Smale won a Fields Medal in 1966.

Awarded only once every four years, the Fields Medal is given only to mathematicians younger than 40 and is widely considered the equivalent of a Nobel Prize. Since winning the award, Smale has influenced many fields of mathematics, moving from pure to applied mathematics in the late 1960s.