Â??mathematics: Who NeedsitAnyway?Â?� is Topic of Discussion by Uk Numbers Expert at Colorado State’s Public Magnus Lecture

What is the beauty of math, and how does it relate to our everyday lives? These and other fundamental questions will be discussed by world-renowned mathematician John G. McWhirter when he presents "Mathematics: Who needs it anyway?" at Colorado State University’s 2004 Arne Magnus Lecture at 7 p.m. March 22 in the auditorium of Albert C. Yates Hall. The lecture, designed for a general audience, will be followed by a community reception. Both events are free and open to the public.

McWhirter, a Fellow of the Royal Society (the United Kingdom’s national academy of science) and a world leader in mathematical signal processing, will discuss the beauty of mathematics and how it relates to science and engineering. The public lecture will illustrate the vital contribution mathematics plays in day-to-day lives and argue the need to increase rather than decrease mathematical skills during the computer technology era.

"Colorado State and the Fort Collins communities are fortunate to have this opportunity to learn from such a distinguished and entertaining scholar for the 2004 Magnus Lecture," said Michael Kirby, mathematics professor at Colorado State.

While visiting Colorado State, McWhirter will also give a graduate student lecture, "The Mathematics of Independent Component Analysis," at 10 a.m. March 22 in room 202 of the Louis R. Weber building, and a research lecture, "A Novel Technique for Broadband Singular Value Decomposition," at 4 p.m. March 23 in room 202 of the Louis R. Weber building. Both presentations are open to the public but are highly specialized and technical.

Professor McWhirter is currently employed at the Malvern Technology and Training Centre, an organization encouraging IT-related companies to locate and develop in Malvern, England. He is a Senior Fellow at QinetiQ (Europe’s largest science and technology organization), a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the Institution of Electrical Engineers, and a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications where he recently served as the organization’s president.

McWhirter graduated with a First Class Honours Degree in Mathematics from the Queen’s University of Belfast in 1970. He gained a Ph.D. from the same university in 1973 for research on atomic collision theory.

McWhirter’s presentations are part of the Spring 2004 Magnus Lecture Series which is sponsored by the Magnus Memorial Lecture Series Endowment and the Colorado State University Guest Scholar program. The Magnus Lectures are delivered annually at Colorado State in honor of former mathematics professor Arne Magnus.  

Each spring since 1993, Colorado State’s mathematics department has welcomed outstanding researchers to campus to deliver a series of lectures for the general public as well as for professionals within mathematics and related fields.  

For more information on the Magnus Lecture Series and McWhriter’s presentations, call the mathematics department at (970) 419-1303.