Published October 17, 2017

Discover the magic

College to host talks on constellations, fourth dimension
MONMOUTH, Ill. – A pair of upcoming talks at Monmouth College will deal with the magic of the stars and the magic of mathematics.

In celebration of International Archaeology Day, Visiting Assistant Professor of Classics Jennifer Martinez-Morales will present a lecture on the “Archaeology of the Stars” at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 21 in the Pattee Auditorium, which is located on the lower level of the Center for Science and Business. Then at 7 p.m. Oct. 23, mathematician Paul Humke will present a lecture on visualizing the fourth dimension.

Both talks are free and open to the public.

In her Oct. 21 talk, Martinez-Morales will explore how ancient Greek and Roman civilizations interacted with the night sky. It will be followed by an observation session in the College’s Adolphson Observatory, also located in the Center for Science and Business.

The International Archaeology Day lecture is presented by the Archaeological Institute of America Western Illinois Society and the College’s Department of Classics, in collaboration with the Physics Department.

Humke, who is a mathematics professor at St. Olaf College, will present a lecture Oct. 23 on visualizing the fourth dimension.

Titled “A Voyager from the Fourth Dimension,” the lecture is for a general audience, said Monmouth Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science Trevor Richards, whose department is sponsoring the event.

“This talk will be accessible and entertaining for those with little or no mathematical background,” said Richards.

Richards explained that the physical universe we can perceive “has three dimensions. … we can move left or right, back or forth, up or down, or some combination of these three.

“A fourth dimension could be thought of as any fundamentally different quantity (or direction) which is not a combination of the other three, such as time, color, sound or some entirely new physical direction which we can neither move in nor perceive,” he said.

Added Humke: “When speaking about the fourth dimension, I’m invariably asked, ‘How do you know this is what the fourth dimension really looks like?’ My answer is, ‘I know because my students and I used the computer to make a four-dimensional world and then used the monitor as a window to view it.

“There is nothing magical or new in what we did – it is only elementary linear algebra – but there is a bit of magic in what you’ll see.”

Humke joined the St. Olaf faculty in 1980 after a nine-year stint at Western Illinois University. He served as the North American Director of the Budapest Semesters in Mathematics program for nearly 25 years and continued as CEO and president of the parent corporation, Pro Mathematica Arte, until last July.

An active real analyst, Humke is editor-in-chief of the research journal Real Analysis Exchange and has published extensively on classical real analysis, set theory, measure theory and dynamical systems, as well as articles on curricular topics ranging from calculus reform to the Budapest Semesters in Mathematics program.
Back to News & Events

Did you know?

  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Textbooks are included in the cost of tuition at Monmouth College. No need to try to plan for an additional expense, and our students start each semester fully prepared for classes. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/offices/student-financial-planning/tuition-fees/" target="_blank">Tuition & Fees</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> We’re no stranger to winning. Last year the Fighting Scots won Midwest Conference championships in Football, Women’s Soccer, Women’s Basketball and Men’s Track and Field. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_urls"><a href="" target="_blank">Fighting Scots</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> We offer a certified Peace Corps Preparation program that gives Peace Corps bound graduates a leg up in the application process.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/peace-corps-prep/" target="_blank">Peace Corps Prep</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> While we have the Wells Theater on campus, the Theatre department also uses the block-box auditorium Fusion Theatre downtown Monmouth.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/theatre/" target="_blank">Theatre</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College covers the cost for all current students to get a U.S. passport. Unlock access to over 198 different countries! We’ll even help with the paperwork :)</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/study-abroad/" target="_blank">Study Abroad</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College has an educational garden and 6.7 acre farm. Students grow and harvest fruits and vegetables to sell at the local farmer’s market. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_urls"><a href="" target="_blank">Garden & Farm</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College is the birthplace of the women’s fraternity movement. Kappa Kappa Gamma and Pi Beta Phi, two of the oldest sororities, were founded at Monmouth in the 1860’s. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/student-life/sororities-fraternities/" target="_blank">Sororities & Fraternities</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College offers several international trips each year during 2-week Scots Terms in January and May. Recently students have traveled to Botswana, Greece, Scotland, Japan, and more. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_urls"><a href="" target="_blank">Scots Term</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> 98% of Monmouth graduates were employed or enrolled in graduate school within six months of graduation.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/wackerle-center/career-services/" target="_blank">Career Services</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College is proudly test optional. Applicants may choose whether or to submit SAT or ACT scores for admission and scholarship consideration. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/admission/apply/test-optional/" target="_blank">Test Optional</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College offers unique academic minors in Global Public Health and Global Food Security for students who want to use their education to address global challenges. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/global-public-health/" target="_blank">Global Public Health</a></li><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/global-food-security/" target="_blank">Global Food Security</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> 99% of Monmouth students received some type of scholarship or financial assistance.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/offices/student-financial-planning/types-of-aid/scholarships/" target="_blank">Scholarships</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College has an active Pipe & Drum Band. Each year on Scholar’s Day in April the bagpipers wake students up at 6:00 a.m. by playing in the residence halls!</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/music/pipe-band/" target="_blank">Pipe Band</a></li></ul></div></aside>