This lecture will explore how humans have sought to make the Arctic legible (to borrow the phrase of James C. Scott), from pre-contact Inuit understandings of space and time, through the practices and instruments of European maritime explorers, through the introduction of aviation and the refinement of Arctic air navigation, to the age of satellites. By bringing history, geography, and geometry into dialogue, Professors Moraru and Lackenbauer will discuss how humans have measured, defined, and characterised space and time, and how mathematics continues to explain what is possible – and what is not.
Ruxandra Moraru is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pure Mathematics at the University of Waterloo. She also holds a cross-appointment with the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Waterloo, and is an Affiliate Member of the Perimeter Institute of Theoretical Physics. She completed her PhD in Mathematics at McGill University and has a Bachelor of Music from the Université de Montréal. Her research interests lie in complex geometry and its applications to physics. She is particularly interested in studying the geometric properties of the spaces of solutions to the Yang-Mills equations, which are a generalisation of Maxwell’s equations from electromagnetism.
P. Whitney Lackenbauer
P. Whitney Lackenbauer is a Professor in the Department of History and co-director of the Centre on Foreign Policy and Federalism at St. Jerome’s University in the University of Waterloo. He was the 2017-18 Killam Visiting Scholar at the University of Calgary in fall 2017, and is Distinguished Visiting Professor at Canadian Forces College in Toronto in winter/spring 2018. Whitney is Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel of 1st Canadian Ranger Patrol Group, which means regular visits to Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut. His research focuses on Arctic policy, sovereignty, security, and governance issues; modern Canadian and circumpolar history; and Indigenous-state relations in Canada.
St. Jerome's University
University of Waterloo, Faculty of Arts
University of Waterloo, Faculty of Mathematics
University of Waterloo, Faculty of Science