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Adam at Virginia Beach Center to Talk About His New Book

jadam-john-adamJohn Adam

John Adam, an Old Dominion University faculty member in mathematics, will present a free public lecture about his latest book, "X and the City: Modeling Aspects of Urban Life," on Thursday, Feb. 28, at the ODU Virginia Beach Higher Education Center.

The book, from Princeton University Press, is designed to answer the question: What has mathematics to say about life in the city? Adam's answer: More than you might expect.

Adam, who is University Professor of mathematics and statistics at ODU, won the Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia in 2007 largely because of his reputation for creating ways to make math interesting to the students in his classroom and to the readers of his popular books.

"Mathematics helps us understand how cities and their populations grow - both for people and bedbugs," he says in reference to the new book. "Or how traffic moves, or doesn't, or how air pollution spreads. This book discusses these topics and many others in short bites, and anyone with a background in basic calculus should find it easily digestible."

Adam says that after the publication of his "A Mathematical Nature Walk" (2009, Princeton University Press), his editor suggested that he write a book that might be called "A Mathematical City Walk."

"My first reaction was somewhat negative, as I am a country boy at heart, and have always been more interested in the modeling of natural patterns in the world around us than man-made ones. Nevertheless, the idea grew on me, especially since I realized that many of my favorite nature topics, such as rainbows and ice crystal halos, can have very different manifestations in the city."

Adam has current research interests associated with theoretical problems in meteorological optics. He is also a nature photographer who contributes to the Earth Science Picture of the Day website (http://epod.usra.edu). In addition to "A Mathematical Nature Walk," he is the author of "Mathematics in Nature: Modeling Patterns in the Natural World" and co-author of "Guesstimation: Solving the World's Problems on the Back of a Cocktail Napkin."

Adam's talk will begin at 12:30 p.m. in Lecture Hall 244 of the Virginia Beach center, which is at 1881 University Drive. There will be a reception and book signing following the lecture. Books sales will be handled by the University Village Bookstore.

The talk will be televised live at the ODU Tri-Cities Center, Room 2203, 1070 University Drive in Portsmouth; and the ODU Peninsula Center, Room 2233, 600 Butler Farm Road, Suite 2200, in Hampton.

Call 368-4100 for more information.