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Mathematician Jeffrey Weeks engages young and old with 3-D graphics and games

A common lament about the American education system is that it fails to keep kids interested in math.

One prominent mathematician who has answered the call for more innovative and engaging approaches is Jeffrey Weeks, who uses 3-D graphics and games to explain the universe. His book, “The Shape of Space,” begins in “Flatland” and takes readers through an imaginative exploration of topology and geometry.

More recently, Weeks has used graphics and games to make his point that the impression we get sky-gazing on a clear night — that the universe is infinite — is an illusion.

Weeks is speaking Thursday in Minneapolis in connection with the public lecture series sponsored by the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA) at the University of Minnesota. The lecture “is appropriate for anyone fascinated with space and the universe — from middle school students to adults,” said the sponsors.

It is scheduled for 7 p.m. in Willey Hall, Room 125, 225 19th Ave. S., Minneapolis. More information on this lecture and others in the series is available here.

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