Forms of Imagination: University of Utah Symposium in Science and Literature Nov. 5-7

October 19, 2009

SALT LAKE CITY, Oct. 20, 2009 - The University of Utah will hold its fifth Utah Symposium in Science and Literature during Nov. 5-7. It will feature a poet, a composer and a mathematician discussing how their thinking is influenced by the different media they use to express their imaginations.

The symposium - titled "Mathematics, Language and Imagination" - will be keynoted by speakers Alice Fulton, a poet and English professor at Cornell University; Fred Lerdahl, a musical composition professor at Columbia University; and Barry Mazur, a mathematics professor at Harvard University.

"The form and language your thinking takes - whether poetic, musical or mathematical - necessarily helps to shape the thinking you do," says Katharine Coles, a symposium organizer and University of Utah professor of English.

"So the question is: what are the real, consequential differences?" says Coles, who also is Utah's state poet laureate. "How is a musical imagination different from a mathematical one or a poetic one? And what are the consequences of those differences both for the person doing the imagining and for the person who encounters the product of that imagining?"

The symposium is free and open to the public, but space is limited - especially for the keynote lectures and for the Friday, Nov. 6 live broadcast of a discussion by all three keynote speakers. So people interested in attending are asked to register at where more information and updates also will be available.

The symposium - which is designed to foster communication across different academic disciplines - is supported by several University of Utah entities, including the Office of the Vice President for Research, College of Humanities, Department of English, Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute, Utah Museum of Natural History, KUER-FM 90.1 and the School of Music. Other supporters include the Utah Humanities Council, King's English Bookshop, Utah Arts Council and Salt Lake County Zoo, Arts and Parks Program. The symposium schedule follows:

Thursday, Nov. 5

Friday, Nov. 6

Saturday, Nov. 7

University of Utah Public Relations
201 Presidents Circle, Room 308
Salt Lake City, Utah 84112-9017
(801) 581-6773 fax: (801) 585-3350

University of Utah

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