Researcher

Professor Norman J Wildberger

My Expertise

Geometry; harmonic analysis

Field of Research (FoR)

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Biography

Born and raised in Canada, I now enjoy the warmer Australian life-style, but still like to visit my home country. I was educated at Adam Scott High School in Peterboro Ontario, Richmond Hill High School in Richmond Hill Ontario, University of Toronto (BSC 1979) and Yale University (PhD 1984). I taught at Stanford University (1984-1986) and the University of Toronto (1986-1989) before coming to UNSW (University of New South Wales), Sydney, in...view more

Born and raised in Canada, I now enjoy the warmer Australian life-style, but still like to visit my home country. I was educated at Adam Scott High School in Peterboro Ontario, Richmond Hill High School in Richmond Hill Ontario, University of Toronto (BSC 1979) and Yale University (PhD 1984). I taught at Stanford University (1984-1986) and the University of Toronto (1986-1989) before coming to UNSW (University of New South Wales), Sydney, in 1990. My wife Kim and I have a daughter Ali.

ACADEMIC QUALIFICATIONS

University of Toronto, Bachelor of Science Yale University, Doctor of Philosophy

RESEARCH INTERESTS

Lie groups, representation theory, hypergroups, geometry, rational trigonometry, foundations of mathematics, mathematical physics, Old Babylonian mathematics

TEACHING DUTIES

  • Many undergraduate courses in the School of Mathematics, including Calculus, Linear Algebra, Several variable calculus, History of Mathematics, Differential Geometry, Groups and Transformations, Coding and Information theory, Harmonic Analysis, Lie Groups, Representation theory, Geometry, Algebraic Topology, Classical Themes in Mathematics, and Logic and Computability.

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

Divine Proportions: Rational Trigonometry to Universal Geometry (Wild Egg Books, 2015)

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Location

School of Mathematics and Statistics
University of New South Wales
Sydney NSW 2052
The Red Centre
Room 4108

Contact

9385 7098
9385 7123

Publications

by Professor Norman J Wildberger

Videos

Ancient Egyptian and Old Babylonian geometry had some important common features which are noticeably different from our modern geometry. They were larger motivated by the same kinds of problems, coming from surveying, building projects and making economic calculations. But a very important similarity they shared is their view towards an inclined plane: they did not use angles, and they also did not use our present day notion of "slope".

In this video Daniel and Norman explain some of the main aspects of OB geometry, touching base also with the Egyptian fascination with pyramid building, and the OB interpretation of quadratic algebraic problems using cut and paste geometry techniques. We also see clearly that they had a clear understanding of right triangles and Pythagoras' theorem--which they called the Diagonal Rule, and also knew how to generate what we call "Pythagorean triples", but which we really ought to start calling "Babylonian triples"! And it is quite clear that the understood "completing the square" techniques 3000 years before al Khwarizmi.