Mathematical Feelings of Space

IMéRA and FRUMAM, Marseille
10-11 October


Edmund Harriss, University of Arkansas, IMéRA
Pierre Arnoux, Aix-Marseille Université

If you are interested in coming please contact us so we can have a rough idea of numbers, also please contact if you are interested in giving a short presentation (5mins) on the second day.

The notion of space is a broad and complex one, in mathematics alone the word is used in many different ways. It can be regarded as one of the central motivating concepts, for the subject, as Poincáre said mathematicians

must aid the philosopher to fathom the notions of number, of space, of time.

Too often mathematical ideas about space and the different ways it can be perceived are buried under the algebraic notations that gain control of the ideas. Yet the mathematical approach, in large part because of this control, is able to distinguish many different flavours of what we might consider “space”.

The aim of this workshop is to bring together mathematicians of various disciplines with artists and scientists to explore the different ways we feel and understand space, in two directions : how the mathematical understanding allows us to express precisely many different common intuitions about space (continuity, discreteness, dimension, tangent line, shape, distance…), and also how logical exploration of mathematical concepts allows us to experiment with new intuitions never seen or felt before, for example, hyperbolic spaces, tiling spaces, Lie Groups, fractals, Cantor sets, Peano curves, devil staircases, p-adic numbers…

The workshop will be held over two days (10-11 October 2017), with time for discussion and conversation. The schedule is flexible on the 11th with space for quick talks and small group discussions. All participants are welcome to suggest a short (5min) talk for the morning on the 11th, or a question or discussion topic for the afternoon.



The gate to the St Charles Campu sis just down from the station to the North. We will have someone at the gate, and they have a list of registered participants. After going through the gate turn right and go as far as you can. Take the door in the corner on your left, FRUMAM is on the second and third floors.

Map for FRUMAM

for IMéRA:

You can enter from either the gate on Place LeVerrier or next to Parc Longchamp. If you come through the gate at LeVerrier climb the hill we will be starting in the Maison des Astronomes. If coming from the gate by Parc Longchamp, head straight on and slightly down the hill to get to the same place. Lunch and the afternoon sessions will be in the new building (the long building up the hill straight out of the Maison des Astronomes.


Mathematician, Teacher, Artist, Maker at the University of Arkansas. Author of the mathematical Colouring books Patterns of the Universe (Les Formes Magiques de L’Univers en Français) and Visions of the Universe with Alex Bellos, creator of Curvahedra.

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