The lecture was called “Math and Beauty,” and from the description, I thought it would largely concern whether computers could discern “beauty” based on mathematical equations that typically denote it. There was some of that, in the form of 2 slides and 3 minutes of talking, but the lecture was mostly about the golden ratio and fibonacci rectangle found in nature, art, and the human body. Which is an interesting topic, but it’s one I already knew about.
I don’t travel to Morningside Heights from Midtown East and then to Astoria for things I already know. I do gladly and eagerly make the trip if I think computers-acting-as-humans are involved–so I guess good (albeit misleading) advertising on Barnard’s part.
Anyway, I can’t be too upset because the lecturer was absolutely adorable. She had about 56 typos in her slides (English isn’t her first language), which she didn’t realize, but about 2/3 of the way through the talk, she opened her powerpoint presentation in front of everyone so she could spell “Crystals” correctly. She even saved the presentation before going back to the slide show. Meanwhile, on the same slide, she also had “in the 70thies…” Two slides later, there was the heading, “Snow Flacks.” I already thought this woman was cute, but then she gave me snow flacks, and there was no turning back.
Don’t get me wrong; if she were my teacher, I’d go insane in class every week if the lecture slides were anything like her presentation. But for voluntary sitting-in-a-college-classroom-on-a-Thursday-evening purposes, I loved her.
Plus, after the lecture, the bus to take me home arrived only 26 seconds after I arrived at the stop. If that’s not beauty, I don’t know what is.