NYU’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences will host a conference titled “Archimedes in the 21st Century” on Fri., May 31 (9 a.m.-5 p.m.) and Sat., June 1 (9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.),Warren Weaver Hall, Room 109, 251 Mercer St. (betw. W. 3rd and W. 4th Sts.).
This conference will pay tribute to Archimedes—regarded as the greatest mathematician, engineer, and scientist of antiquity—2,300 years after his birth. Conference speakers from the U.S. and Europe will demonstrate how the lifework of Archimedes is applied today.
Applied mathematician and Archimedes scholar, Chris Rorres, will chair the conference. Rorres has studied and extended the works of Archimedes for more than 40 years. He also created and maintains a web site on Archimedes.
This conference will emphasize modern applications of Archimedes’ works, principles, and inventions—and link them back to their historical beginnings. The Archimedes Water Screw, for example, used for centuries to lift water for irrigation purposes or to drain ships, swamp land, or mines, is being used today to lift debris-laden wastewater, including at the Hyperion Wastewater Treatment Plant in Los Angeles, which processes 400 million gallons of raw sewage every day. Archimedes Screws are also being operated in reverse to generate electricity—in Europe there are now nearly 200 sites where water screws are used to generate power for community electricity needs. And in the UK, Queen Elizabeth II recently had two Archimedes Water Screws installed on the Thames River to produce electricity for Windsor Castle.
The conference will also include demonstrations of small-scale, hand-wrought Archimedean machines: the Water Screw, the Screw Propeller, the Claw/Iron Hand, and the Archimedes Sphere, a planetarium that shows the motions of the sun, moon, and planets as seen from Earth and is a precursor of 21st century optical projection planetaria seen in science museums today.
The Saturday, June 1 session—“Teaching Archimedes”—is designed for high-school and university instructors of STEM subjects and will focus on how Archimedes’ laws (of the lever, buoyancy, centers of gravity, equilibrium/stability, floating objects, engineering works and others) can be taught in today’s classrooms.
The event is free and open to the public. To register (required) and for a more complete schedule of speakers, click here. For more information, call 610.896.5743. Subways: N, R (8th Street); 6 (Astor Place).
For images and graphics and to arrange interviews with conference speakers, contact Billie Rorres at 610.896.5743 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The event is sponsored by the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and Math for America.