Dr. Brian Greene Delivers Honors Day Keynote Address
Alma College Honors Day kicks off with the keynote address Wednesday, April 5, by Dr. Brian Greene, Columbia University physics and mathematics professor, noted for his research on quantum gravity and unified theories. His talk scheduled for 8 p.m. in the Remick Heritage Cente Presbyterian Hall is free and open to the public.
More than 120 Alma College students share their original research, creativity and talent with an audience of their peers in sessions spanning eight hours at various locations around campus during the 10th annual Kapp Honors Day Thursday. From 9:30-11:00 a.m. Honors Convocation recognizes individual and collective achievements, seniors reveal their choices for Outstanding Professors and the top students are recognized. The Barlow Trophy, Alma’s most prestigious academic honor, tops the college life of one graduating senior. Julie Bolitho of Cadiallac, Cameron Ray of Colorado Springs, Colo., and Kristie Trinkle of Manchester.
Greene is widely recognized for a number of groundbreaking discoveries in the field and also for his lucid presentations of cutting-edge research to scientists and fellow physicists as well as to general audiences. His books, The Elegant Universe and The Fabric of the Cosmos, each spent six months on The New York Times bestsellers list and have received much critical acclaim. The Elegant Universe was a Pulitzer Prize finalist and the winner of the 2000 Aventis Prize for Science Books.
In its review of The Fabric of the Cosmos, Publishers Weekly hailed “Greene’s unparalleled ability to translate higher mathematics and its findings into everyday language and images, through the adept use of metaphor and analogy, and crisp, witty prose.” The New York Times concurred, saying that Greene’s book “sends the reader’s imagination hurtling through the universe on an astonishing ride,” and The Washington Post calls Greene “the single best explainer of abstruse concepts in the world today.”
Greene's research interests focus on the quantum mechanical properties of space and time. In 1990, Greene and a Harvard colleague discovered mirror symmetry — a remarkable property of string theory that has launched a vibrant field of research in both mathematics and physics. In 1993 and subsequently in 1995, Greene and his colleagues discovered topology change. Whereas Einstein’s general relativity shows that the fabric of space can stretch in time (resulting in our expanding universe), it does not allow the fabric to rip. To the contrary, Greene and his colleagues showed that in string theory — by including quantum mechanics — the fabric of space can tear, establishing that the universe can evolve in far more dramatic ways than Einstein had envisioned.
Currently, Greene is co-director of Columbia's Institute for Strings, Cosmology, and Astroparticle Physics (ISCAP) and is leading a research program studying the cosmological implications of string theory.
Greene received his undergraduate training at Harvard University where he graduated Summa Cum Laude in 1984. He went on to graduate school at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar and received his doctorate in 1986. From 1987-90, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard, and in 1990 he joined the faculty of Cornell University as an assistant professor. By 1995 he had been promoted to tenured associate and then full professor, along the way winning an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship and a National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award. In 1996, Professor Greene left Cornell to join Columbia University, where he holds a full professorship in both the Physics and the Mathematics Departments. He has lectured in more than 25 countries at both a general and a technical level.
Posted: Tue, March 14th, 2006 at 2:36PM