You got to love Canberra, especially when 400+ Canberrans turn up to hear one of the greatest living Australians, UCLA's Professor Terry Tao, give the 2009 Clay-Mahler Lecture at ANU Tuesday night.
The doors were shut after mathematicians and general intellectuals jammed Manning Clark Lecture Theatre 1 to the point of fire regulation breaches due to overcrowding. More than one pure maths PhD wandered forlornly outside, refused admittance to Tao's packed prime numbers' tour de force.
Tao, the modest genius in the yellow polo shirt, awaits his introduction.
And then wows the crowd with his exposition on, inter alia, "pseudorandomness" and the "music of the primes".
Although he didn't air them last night, Tao has definite views on the state of maths education in Australia. Check them out at a blog he administers on the subject even as he does Fields Medal-winning mathematics living in the US. Someone ought to actually listen to him...
22 September, 2009
Pics: CS Wallace 2009 ©