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MARCH 2013

Eminent String-Theorist Edward Witten Comes to Hunter College
By Dr. Pola Rosen

Edward WittenThe Hunter College Writing Center CE was honored the other evening to host Edward Witten perhaps the world’s greatest string theorist as part of its “Great Thinkers Of Our Time,” series which will also feature Nobel laureate Sheldon Glashow in April, and Alan Guth, winner of the $3 million dollar Fundamental Physics Prize in May. The enthusiastic audience filling the Faculty Dining room included such notables as author and Professor Michio Kaku, and sponsors of the series Jim and Marilyn Simons. Lewis Burke Frumkes Director of the Hunter Writing Center after thanking the Simons for their generosity introduced the evening by saying “Great thinkers think about great ideas” and after reminding the audience of Descartes famous “Cogito Ergo Sum” proof in 1644 for his own existence went on to say scientists and philosophers of today not only want to know that they exist and of what they exist … but why they exist? Why for that matter does anything or everything exist if it does, and what is it all about?” In other words” he continued “they want a theory of everything, a grand unified field theory which would unite the micro world of quantum mechanics with the macro world of relativity and gravity. “Some of the people best equipped to mine that field if you’ll excuse the pun” he quipped, “are the cosmologists and mathematical physicists who toil in these abstract worlds and speak the language of mathematics which seems to be the language in which many of the most important existential and universal questions are written. “ Edward Witten, Frumkes went on is uniquely qualified to speak on this subject. He is the Charles Simonyi professor of mathematical physics in the school of Natural Sciences at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton. He is a winner of not only the first Fundamental Physics Prize but the Fields medal, the highest award given in mathematics and usually reserved only for pure mathematicians. He is a Mac Arthur fellow, a winner of the Dirac medal, the Einstein medal, and the go-to person in supersymmetry, string theory, and M- Theory. The person everyone wants to hear from for the most advanced thinking on these subjects. Then without further adieu, Frumkes presented Edward Witten who spoke on “String Theory and the Universe.” #

The event is free, includes free refreshments and a book-signing. You can RSVP for the next two lectures at lfrumkes@hunter.cuny.edu.

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