Tetrahedra: From Aristotle’s Mistake to Unsolved Problems

  • Speaker
  • Bjorn Poonen, Ph.D.Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Date & Time


About Simons Foundation Lectures

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.

Tetrahedra are three-dimensional shapes with four triangular faces. Which tetrahedra can tile to fill a three-dimensional space? Which tetrahedra have rational dihedral angles (the angle between two intersecting planes)? Which tetrahedra can be sliced and reassembled into a cube? Each of these three problems has been around for at least 45 years, and one of them is over 2300 years old. In this lecture, Bjorn Poonen will discuss the status of these problems and explain how he solved one of them in collaboration with K. Kedlaya, A. Kolpakov, and M. Rubinstein.

Registration is required for this free event.
Further instructions and access to join the webinar will be sent to all registrants upon sign up.

About the Speaker

Poonen researches number theory and algebraic geometry at MIT. He has received the Guggenheim, Packard, Rosenbaum, Simons, and Sloan Fellowships, as well as the Chauvenet Prize, a Miller Professorship, and the MIT School of Science Prize in Undergraduate Teaching. He is a Simons Investigator, Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and founding managing editor of Algebra & Number Theory. Twenty-five mathematicians have earned a Ph.D. under his supervision. 

Advancing Research in Basic Science and MathematicsSubscribe to our newsletters to receive news & updates