|Hidden in the heart of the theory of relativity, quantum mechanics, string theory, and modern cosmology lies one concept – symmetry. Symmetry has been a key idea for artists and musicians for centuries, but within mathematics it remained until very recently an arcane pursuit. In the 20th century, however, symmetry emerged as central to the most fundamental ideas in physics and cosmology.Ian Stewart is professor of mathematics at the University of Warwick and director of the Mathematics Awareness Center. He’s written many books on the subject, including From Here to Infinity, Does God Play Dice?, the Problems of Mathematics, and Letters to a Young Mathematician. His new book is Why Beauty is Truth, A History of Symmetry.
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Stewart joins Coy Barefoot on WINA’s Charlottesville–Right Now to discuss his work, and how he got started as a mathematician. He also offers recommendations to parents on how to get their children interested in math and science.