In his lecture entitled "A Mathematician's Divina Commedia and His Travels through the Three Realms: the Physical, the Virtual, and the Platonic" Schoutens will give the public his opinion on the true and natural beauty of mathematics, an idea that most high school algebra students are probably strangers to.
“The beauty is when you see how it fits so nicely together. When mathematicians talk to one another, that’s what they mean by ‘a beautiful theorem,’” said Schoutens, who has been named the 2010 Scholar on Campus at New York City College of Technology (City Tech).
In his lecture, which will be held on April 19th at 5 p.m. in the Atrium Amphitheater at 300 Jay Street in Downtown Brooklyn, Schoutens plans on discussing “the physical world, which produces geometry and physics; the virtual world, which produces the universe of finite fields; and the 'divine' sphere of pure mathematics, with its intrinsic beauty and irrefutable truth, and how, from my perspective, they are connected.”
Schoutens, a native of Belgium, came to the US in 1996 to visit. After meeting his fiancé, a history professor, Schoutens has since settled in New York.
Since he began teaching at City Tech in 2003, Schoutens co-founded two CUNY Graduate Center Initiatives. His Logic Workshop is considered to be one of the leading logic centers in the country and both programs have led to the hiring of 8 mathematicians who teach at City Tech.
Schoutens has spoken at seminars throughout the United States and internationally, including Canada, Costa Rica, and his home country of Belgium.
“I am a pure mathematician,” said Schoutens. “A pure mathematician is one to whom results - the applications of math - are not necessary,” a statement that students preparing for the math regents in June would most definitely agree with.