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University of Iowa News Release

Jan. 28, 2003

Phil Kutzko To Deliver Presidential Lecture Feb. 8

Phil Kutzko (left), University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Collegiate Fellow and professor in the mathematics department, will deliver the university's 21st annual Presidential Lecture at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 8 in the 4th Floor assembly rooms of the Levitt Center for University Advancement, Park Road at North Riverside Drive.

Kutzko will deliver a free, public lecture, "The Epsilon-Delta Blues: Math at the Crossroads," in which he will discuss the relationship of mathematics to the culture in which it is done and the implications of this relationship for the evolution of mathematics and other disciplines.

"One of the ways in which mathematics since 1650 is fundamentally different from mathematics in earlier times is in the breadth of what it studies," Kutzko says. "So words such as 'number,' 'function,' and 'curve' have broadened substantially in their meaning during that time and, because of that, intuition has sometimes faltered. In an effort to remedy this, we now have formal definitions which, ultimately, do capture what we intend but which are anything but intuitive to non-mathematicians."

"My talk is going to be about how this feel that recent mathematics has to it may be seen to be a consequence of the cultural context in which it is done, just like, for example, recent 'classical' music."

The talk will be preceded by UI assistant professor of voice Rachel Joselson, performing a selection of songs by Robert Schumann and accompanied by Uriel Tsachor. The lecture will be followed by a performance by vocalist and blues artist Tony Brown. The performances and lecture will be followed by a reception in the 1st Floor Wyrick Rotunda.

A UI faculty member since 1974, Kutzko was born and raised in New York City and is a product of the New York City public schools. He attended the City College of New York and received his master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Kutzko's research is in the area of pure mathematics known as "the representation theory of p-adic groups," an area with applications to the theory of numbers. He is the author, with Colin Bushnell, of a monograph in the "Annals of Mathematics Studies" (Princeton) and has lectured widely on his work.

Kutzko is a leader in the Department of Mathematics' activities in minority graduate education and in the extension of these activities to other departments at the three Iowa Regents universities. In this context, he directs the departmental Sloan Foundation minority fellowship program, as well as the National Science Foundation-funded Iowa Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate program, a large-scale project to increase the number of underrepresented minority graduate students in science, technology, engineering and the mathematical sciences at the three Iowa Regents universities.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires reasonable accommodations in order to participate in this program, please contact the President's Office in advance at 335-3549. The lecture will be interpreted in American Sign Language.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Gary Galluzzo, 319-384-0009,