Lecture to examine 'Extreme Calculus' today

Paul Zorn
Paul Zorn

Paul Zorn, professor of mathematics at Saint Olaf College, will discuss "Extreme Calculus" in the fifth Pi Mu Epsilon lecture, 4 p.m., today in Avery Hall, room 115. The lecture, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Department of Mathematics and UNL's Pi Mu Epsilon chapter, which is part of the Math Club.

In the talk, Zorn will show that there is more to elementary calculus than may first meet the eye. He will show how well worn calculus techniques and topics — polynomials, optimization, root-finding, methods of integration, etc. — often point to deeper, more interesting and sometimes surprisingly mathematical ideas and techniques. These will be illustrated with figures, example and calculations that take elementary calculus to the extreme.

Zorn, who is also president of the Mathematical Association of America, was born and raised in India. He moved to the United States to attend Washington University in St. Louis, majoring in mathematics and English. He earned his doctorate in several complex variables at the University of Washington in Seattle. In 1981, he joined the faculty at St. Olaf.

Zorn's professional interests include complex analysis, mathematical exposition, textbook writing, and the role of mathematics among the liberal arts. He is also interested in using computer graphics and computer algebra systems to help students learn, explore, and "own" mathematical ideas. Zorn has served on many MAA committees and programs over the years.

Prior to the talk, Zorn will hold an informal discussion with undergraduate students. The student event is 12:30 to 2 p.m. in Avery Hall, room 348.

For more information, go to http://go.unl.edu/fk9 or send email to Petronela Radu at pradu3@unl.edu.