Concepts familiar from grade-school algebra have broad ramifications in computer science.
Dr. James D. Livingston, author of the popular book Driving Force: The Natural Magic of Magnets, will give this year's Wulff Lecture tomorrow from 2:30-3:30pm in Rm 34-101.
The Wulff Lecture, which is open to the MIT community, honors the late Professor John Wulff, who originated the popular undergraduate chemistry subject 3.091 (Introduction to Solid State Chemistry). Freshmen are especially encouraged to attend. There will be refreshments offered before and after the lecture.
Dr. Livingston spent 33 years researching magnetic materials at GE's Research and Development Center before joining MIT in 1989. His lecture will present a historical account of our application of (and fascination with) magnets, from the natural magnets employed in an ancient Chinese compass-like device to the powerful "neo" (neodymium-iron-boron) magnets now used in many consumer products.
Coinciding with the lecture, the department will hold a drawing for students to win their own "magical magnet" toy or an autographed copy of Dr. Livingston's book.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on November 4, 1998.