The True Shape of Space

Independent mathematician Jeffrey Weeks will present the second annual Daniel Bartlett Memorial Lecture.
March 31, 2009
Jeffrey Weeks
Jeffrey Weeks

Jeffrey Weeks, an independent mathematician, will talk about the concept that while the universe appears to be an infinite space, this may well be an illusion.

Weeks, an independent mathematician, will be speaking at The University of Arizona as part of the second annual Daniel Bartlett Memorial Lecture.

The lecture, presented by the UA mathematics department, will be held April 1 at 6:30 p.m. in Room 211 of the Education Building, 1430 E. Second St. It is free and open to the public.

During his presentation, Weeks will involve attendees in computer games, interactive 3-D graphics and satellite data in an effort to help people understand the concept of a "multiconnected universe."

The event is meant to help people begin to conceptualize and understand the true shape of the universe.

In his work, Weeks collaborates with cosmologists to explore what astronomical observations imply about the large-scale structure of the universe.

Weeks is also actively involved in the field of education and has produced an educational multimedia component for middle schools on geometry and space. The unit uses classroom activities, computer games, and video to let students explore universes that are finite but have no boundaries.

Weeks earned his doctorate degree from Princeton University in 1985. During his time there, he worked with William Thurston, a recipient of the Fields Medal.

He is the author of numerous research publications as well as two books on the shape of space. In 1999, Weeks was awarded the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship and, in 2007, was awarded the American Mathematical Society's Conant Prize for an excellent expository publication. His current research is supported by the National Science Foundation.