skip to main content
Home  /  Campus Life & Events  /  Campus Announcements  /  CANCELED: Caltech Y Winter Friends Dinner

CANCELED: Caltech Y Winter Friends Dinner

January 13, 2019

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the Caltech Y Friends Dinner with Dr. Eugenia Cheng scheduled for February 7, 2019, has unfortunately been canceled. 

We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused. For questions, please contact us at [email protected] or 626 395 6163. 


Join us to hear mathematician and concert pianist Dr. Eugenia Cheng speak on the topic The Square Root of 2 and the Devil in Music. The square root of 2 is one of the great conundrums of mathematics.  So easy to describe but so difficult to pin down, but what actually is it?  The devil in music or "diabolo in musica" is the tritone, and it acquired this nickname because it is the most dissonant of all intervals.  With demonstrations on the piano and violin, Dr. Cheng will weave these two stories together.  We will see how mathematical understanding of irrational numbers leads to the well-tempered tuning system that inspired Bach to write preludes and fugues in every key (twice) and how the square root of two gives rise to the devil in music.

Dr. Cheng holds a PhD in pure mathematics from the University of Cambridge and is the Scientist In Residence at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Alongside her research in Category Theory and undergraduate teaching, her aim is to rid the world of "math phobia".  Her first popular math book "How to Bake Pi" was featured on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and "Beyond Infinity" was shortlisted for the Royal Society Science Book Prize 2017. Her latest book, "The Art of Logic" was just released in July 2018. Dr. Cheng's books will be available for purchase and signing at the event.