EAWLC Science Lecture: Is Mathematics Invented or Discovered?


On New Year’s Day in 2021, an article on mathematics rushed to the second place on the Zhihu Hot Question List, with over 15 million views and more than 1.3 million readings. The question was: Is Mathematics Invented or Discovered? (数学是人类的发明,还是发现?) 

What makes a mathematics question into the hot list that normally only social hotspots can enter?  The article neither lists abstract mathematical formulas nor rises to the level of obscure philosophy concepts.  Instead, it starts from Raphael’s masterpiece “The School of Athens”, and tells from the perspective of the history of science and technology, where mathematicians used “infinity” as a tool. From there, a whole new world has been created. 

The East and West Learning Connections proudly presents Mr Yingfeng Zhang, the author of the article in question, to give us an informative and insightful lecture on topics touched by the article yet have not been discussed in detail, such as: 

  • Do animals know mathematics?
  • How did early civilizations discover mathematics?
  • How did ancient Greeks invent infinity?
  • Why is our universe finite?
  • What other secrets are hidden in Raphael’s painting?

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EAWLC East & West Dialogue with George Elliott Clarke and Rosemary Sadlier

We are thrilled to kick off the East & West Dialogue in 2021 with two prominent Black leaders in Canada!  The monthly event invites people of different heritages to come over to our organization as guest speakers, and share their life stories, thoughts and suggestions with our audience, many of whom are immigrants.  We are deeply grateful to the guest speakers for volunteering their time and expertise to help immigrants learn more about Canadian society, people and customs, as well as to promote communications among people from different cultural backgrounds.

(Poster created by Christina Wang. Photos courtesy of Rosemary Sadlier and George Elliott Clarke.)

In This Dialogue:

George Elliott Clarke is a poet and professor.  Rosemary Sadlier is a social activist, Author, and Speaker.  They share many things in common: having had great achievements and received highly recognitions in their own fields across Canada, family trees dated centuries back in the country, and prominent advocates for social justice, among other traits.  They grew up in quite different environments.  Rosemary lived in a very white neighbourhood in Toronto when she was a kid, while George was familiar with both city and rural life of Black Nova Scotians from childhood.  How have their life experiences shaped their growth paths and perspectives of the world?  What are the driving forces behind their remarkable success?  What barriers have they experienced and how have they coped with them?  What opportunities and challenges do they see that the Black community in Canada is facing?  How do they feel about the Asian community with regards to stereotyping, marginalization  and racism?  What suggestions do they have for immigrants to live in Canada with a bit more ease and grace?


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