Hendrik Lenstra, Ph.D.Professor Emeritus of Fundamental and Applied Mathematics, Mathematisch Instituut, Universiteit Leiden
Simons Foundation Lectures are free public colloquia related to basic science and mathematics. These high-level talks are intended for professors, students, postdocs and business professionals, but interested people from the metropolitan area are welcome as well.
In 1956, the Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher made an unusual lithograph. Titled “Prentententoonstelling” (or, “Print Gallery”), the piece shows a young man standing in an exhibition gallery viewing a print of a Mediterranean seaport. Among the buildings depicted in the twisting print, the man paradoxically sees the very same gallery in which he is standing. Curiously, Escher left the middle of the lithograph blank, filling it with only his monogram and signature.
In this lecture, Hendrik W. Lenstra will discuss interactions between mathematics and M.C. Escher’s artwork. A mathematical analysis of the methods used by Escher leads to a series of hallucinating computer animations that show, among others, what’s in the blurry blank hole in the middle of the piece.