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Leading Ideas Speaker Series:
Gunther Uhlmann – Harry Potter's Cloak

Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - 7:30 p.m.
Max Bell Auditorium
Donation at the Door Free Event

Leading Ideas Speaker Series: Gunther Uhlmann – Harry Potter's Cloak

Gunther Uhlmann from The Banff International Research Station for Mathematical Innovation and Discovery, explores the mathematics and the science behind the cloak that famously protects "The Boy Who Lived" in the popular series of children's novels.

The first part of the presentation Uhlmann will describe using several examples how inverse problems helps in making invisible objects visible. He will then  discuss the opposite issue, how to make visible objects invisible.

Uhlmann studied mathematics as an undergraduate at the Universidad de Chile in Santiago, gaining his Licenciatura degree in 1973. He continued his studies at MIT where he received a PhD in 1976. He held postdoctoral positions at MIT, Harvard and NYU, including a Courant Instructorship at the Courant Institute in 1977–1978. In 1980, he became Assistant Professor at MIT and then moved in 1985 to the University of Washington. He has been the Walker Family Professor at the University of Washington since 2006. During 2010-2012 he was on leave at the University of California, Irvine, as the Excellence in Teaching Endowed Chair.

Uhlmann has received several honors for his research including a Sloan Fellowship in 1984 and a Guggenheim fellowship in 2001. He was awarded the Bôcher Memorial Prize in 2011 and the Kleinman Prize also in 2011. Uhlmann delivered the American Mathematical Society (AMS) Einstein Lecture in 2012. He was awarded the Fondation Math'ematiques de Paris Research Chair for 2012–2013. He was elected to the Washington State Academy of Sciences in 2012 and is also an AMS Fellow since 2012.He was awarded a Simons Fellowship for 2013-2014.

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