Events Calendar

2019 Nerenberg Lecture

Thursday, October 24, 2019
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
University College (UC)
Room: Conron Hall

The Department of Applied Mathematics and the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences at Western University announce that the 2019 Nerenberg lecture will be given on Thursday, October 24 in Conron Hall, University College at 7:30pm. 

The lecture is free and open to the public. The speaker is Prof. Tom Korner from Cambridge University and his topic is "Smallpox and Mathematics: Analyzing the Risks of Inoculation".


An abstract of Professor Korner's talk is given below:

Before vaccination was discovered in the fight against smallpox, people used inoculation in their efforts to avoid a terrifying disease which killed 1 in 8 children who became infected. Inoculation was the dangerous practice of deliberately passing the disease to healthy people, in the hope of controlling its effects while creating immunity. People had to decide whether to undertake one dangerous step, in the hope of avoiding a worse danger in the future. How to decide? The remarkable mathematician Daniel Bernoulli (1700-1782) chose to use mathematics to analyze the risks and benefits of inoculation. The Nerenberg lecture will describe Bernoulli's pioneering work in risk analysis and smallpox. Mathematics cannot make decisions for us, but it can inform our decisions. Daniel Bernoulli's discussion of smallpox inoculation raises issues still central today.

Department of Applied Mathematics & School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences
Sarah McKay - Administrative Assistant
519-661-2111 ext. 84363
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