Public lecture: Good and bad packings

Venue/Location: 702 - The 7th Floor, Ta Quang Buu Library

Speaker: Prof. Thomas Hales

Time:  09:00 - 11:00 Wednesday, 13/06/2018


It is easier to pack some shapes in the plane than others. For example, identical squares tile the plane, with no wasted space, but even the best packing of identical circular disks leaves about 10% of the plane unfilled.

This talk will discuss the problem of finding the best packings of regular pentagons in the plane and the worst possible convex shape for packing.

This talk is suitable for a general mathematical, engineering audience.


Brief Bio of Thomas C. Hales

Thomas C. Hales is the Mellon Professor of Mathematics at the University of Pittsburgh. He received B.S. and M.S. degrees from Stanford University, a Tripos Part III from Cambridge University,
and a Ph.D. from Princeton University in representation theory under R. P. Langlands. He has held postdoctoral and faculty appointments at MSRI, Harvard University, the University of Chicago,
the Institute for Advanced Study, and the University of Michigan. In 1998, Hales, with the help of his graduate student Samuel Ferguson, proved Kepler’s 1611 conjecture (and part of Hilbert’s 18th problem)
on the most efficient way to stack oranges. In 2014, he and his coworkers gave a formal proof of the Kepler conjecture in the computer proof assistant “HOL Light.”

Hales has received the Chauvenet Prize of the MAA (2003), the Moore Prize (2004), the Robbins Prize of the AMS (2007), the Lester Ford Prize of the MAA (2008), and the Fulkerson Prize of the MPS and AMS (2009).
He is an inaugural Fellow of the AMS (2012).

His current project is "Formal Abstracts in Mathematics" which will transform mathematical statements from journal articles into a form that can be processed and manipulated by formal proof systems.

Registration: here