Dr. Eugenia Cheng: “Using Logic to Find Clarity for Life’s Problems”

September 12, 2019


Dr. Cheng’s free, public presentation is at 5:30 P.M. in the DeLuca Forum of the Discovery Building, 330 Orchard Street.

With appearances on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert and Ted Talks, YouTube sensation Dr. Eugenia Cheng will show how anyone can think like a mathematician to understand what is buried under divisive arguments and fake news. Taking a careful scalpel to politics, privilege, sexism and dozens of other real-world situations, she shows us that math is not just about numbers and equations, but is about thinking better, and that it can help us find clarity without losing nuance in our complex world.

  • 5:30-6:30 PM FREE Public Presentation
    • “The Art of Logic: Using It to Find Clarity for Life’s Problems”
    • The Discovery Building, 330 Orchard Street, H.F. DeLuca Forum
  • 6:30-7:00 PM Reception & book signing immediately to follow

Eugenia Cheng is a mathematician and concert pianist. She is Scientist In Residence at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and won tenure at the University of Sheffield, UK. She has previously taught at the universities of Cambridge, Chicago and Nice and holds a PhD in pure mathematics from the University of Cambridge. Alongside her research in Category Theory and undergraduate teaching her aim is to rid the world of “math phobia”.  The author of several books including “How to Bake Pi” and “Beyond Infinity,” her most recent book “The Art of Logic in an Illogical World” was published in 2018.


Presented in partnership with the UW-Madison Department of Mathematics 


  • 3:00-4:00 PM Discussion with Math Dept. Faculty, Staff & Students
    • “Character vs Gender in Mathematics and Beyond”
    • 911 Van Vleck Hall

“This presentation will be based on my experience of being a female mathematician, and teaching mathematics at all levels from elementary school to grad school. The question of why women are under-represented in mathematics is complex and there are no simple answers, only many many contributing factors. I will focus on character traits, and argue that if we focus on this rather than gender we can have a more productive and less divisive conversation. To try and focus on characters rather than genders I will introduce gender-neutral character adjectives “ingressive” and “congressive” to replace masculine and feminine. I will share my experience of teaching congressive abstract mathematics to art students, in a congressive way, and the possible effects this could have for everyone in mathematics, not just women.” – Dr. Cheng