The 2011 Mahler Lecturer, Peter Sarnak, will give a public lecture at UNSW on 25 August 2011 entitled "Chaos, quantum mechanics and number theory". The abstract is available from the School's Seminars webpage.
The Mahler lectures are a biennial activity organised by the Australian Mathematical Society and supported by the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute, enabling a prominent mathematician to tour Australian universities giving lectures at a variety of levels, including public lectures.
Professor Peter Sarnark grew up in South Africa and moved to the US to study at Stanford University, where he obtained his PhD in mathematics in 1980. After appointments at the Courant Institute, New York and Stanford, he moved to Princeton in 1991 where he has been ever since. Currently he is both the Eugene Higgins Professor of Mathematics at Princeton University and Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. In 2002 he was made a member of the National Academy of Sciences in the USA and a Fellow of the Royal Society.
Sarnark is a major figure in modern analytic number theory, with research interests also in analysis and mathematical physics. He has received many awards for his research including the Polya prize in 1998, the Ostrowski prize in 2001, the Conant prize in 2003 and the Cole prize in 2005. He has had 43 PhD students to date, including several who have become major figures in number theory themselves.
Full details of Professor Sarnak's Mahler lectures are available from the Australian Mathematical Society's website. (Photo credit: Cliff Moore.)