Mathematics comes to life in a musically entertaining evening of education

Award-winning professor David Kung featured in Discover Science Lecture Series.

Mathematics comes to life in a musically entertaining evening of education

Award-winning professor David Kung featured in Discover Science Lecture Series.

Mathematician and musician David Kung will create an interactive learning experience in the University of Nevada, Reno's Discover Science Lecture Series Oct. 14. The presentation, "Harmonious Equations: A Mathematical Exploration of Music," focuses on musical experiences from a mathematical perspective. Throughout the lecture, these concepts will come to life with musical examples played by Kung, an accomplished amateur violinist.

Despite the perceived differences, Kung will explain the surprising commonalities between both areas. The lecture will explore the creative relationship between art and science through entertainment. From vibrating strings to musical overtones and harmonics, there is a variety of subjects covered. Kung highlights calculus, explaining the connection of instrument reverberation to extreme tides.  Also, how abstract algebra gives modern language to the structures beneath the surface of Bach's classic canons and fugues.

"I am very excited to welcome Dr. David Kung to the University of Nevada, Reno to speak in the Discover Science Lecture Series," Jeff Thompson, Dean of the College of Science said. " Dr. Kung is an engaging, witty and insightful speaker and he will bring his knowledge of mathematics and music together in ways that will surprise the audience. I am sure the audience will leave the talk with new ways to see a relationship between the beauty of mathematics and music."

Established in 2010, the overall purpose of the Discover Science Lecture Series is to make science accessible to the northern Nevada community in an entertaining way, presenting complex concepts in relatable ways allows for audiences of all ages to engage. Over the years, it continues to evolve with a diverse spread of topics and brilliant leaders from the scientific community. This powerful program provides an invaluable opportunity to experience learning from some of greatest minds of our time.

Kung fell in love with both mathematics and music at a very early age. The curiosity for both subjects formed in to a rare area of study.  Now a professor of mathematics at St Mary's College in Maryland, he has authored a variety of articles on topics in harmonic analysis and mathematics education. His professional accomplishments are highly regarded and solidified through his numerous awards.

He will present at the University of Nevada, Reno's Discover Science Lecture series, Oct. 14, at 7 p.m. in the Davidson Mathematics and Science Center's Redfield Auditorium. Now in its fourth year, the annual College of Science Discover Science Lecture Series features several presentations a year and has welcomed some of the world's leading scientists to the Reno-Sparks community to share their knowledge.

This year the series features three other extraordinary individuals from the scientific community:

  • Paul Wender is a professor of Chemistry and Chemical Systems Biology at Stanford University. He is a recipient of the Tetrahedron Prize for Creativity in Organic Chemistry, and was called one of the most creative synthetic organic chemists of our time. He will present Feb.12, 2015
  • David Pogue is the founder of Yahoo Tech and host of NOVA ScienceNow. He is a two-time Emmy winner, a Loeb Award for journalism, and an honorary doctorate in music. His lecture is scheduled for April 2, 2015.
  • Zeb Hogan is an assistant research professor at the University of Nevada, Reno, a National Geographic Society Fellow, and United Nations Convention on Migratory Species Scientific Councilor for Fish, and hosts the National Geographic television series "Monster Fish." His lecture will be May 7, 2015.  

The lecture is held at 7 p.m. in the Redfield Auditorium in the Davidson Mathematics and Science Center at the University of Nevada, Reno. Parking is reserved for the event on the top level of the Brian J. Whalen Parking Complex. Admission is free. For more information, call 775-784-4591 or visit the College of Science website at

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