“Infinity” is a tricky thing to think about. It isn’t just really big, like the size of the universe or the number of atoms in a bowling ball. Infinity is Not Finite—a fantastically useful idea, but inherently theoretical. In fact, there are lots and lots of different infinities! It was Georg Cantor who gave us a beautiful way of understanding the different infinities, and was rewarded by being called a “corruptor of youth” and other such names by the mathematical giants of his day. But like all things mathematical, we will once again demonstrate that what inspired great controversy and rage a century and a half ago can now be communicated in 20 minutes or less to a slightly intoxicated but reasonably indulgent audience.

The presenter, Dr. Zajj Daugherty, is a professor of mathematics at The City College of New York and The City University of New York Graduate Center. She’s a theoretical mathematician, and her research has taken her all over the world. Having been raised by artists, though, she has devoted her career not just to pushing on the boundaries of mathematical understanding, but to making math more understandable and approachable for everyone.

This presentation is from Nerd Nite New York City.