Practically everyone, from mathematicians to theologians to children, has contemplated the infinite at some point. Religion offers many different conceptualizations of infinity, but so does mathematics. Do these two seemingly opposing perspectives have anything to say to each other? Throughout his career, mathematics Professor Larry Lesser has used Judaism to establish new inroads to the aspects of mathematics that laypeople often find the most theoretical and intimidating.

Dr. Larry Lesser is a mathematics education professor (and UTEP Distinguished Teaching Professor) at The University of Texas at El Paso. He has several awards for his teaching and outreach and his 115 papers include several on connections between mathematics and Judaism. In 2020, he released an album of original nonliturgical songs based on Jewish text/values.

 

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(This post is part of Sinai and Synapses’ project Scientists in Synagogues, a grass-roots program to offer Jews opportunities to explore the most interesting and pressing questions surrounding Judaism and science. “Divinity and Infinity”, a talk given at Temple Mount Sinai on March 18, 2021, is the first in the series Higher Meanings: Connecting Religion and Mathematics. The next event in this series, “Does God Live in Another Dimension? (How We Assume Shapes What We Conclude),” with Dr. Kim Regnier Jongerius, will be on April 25).

 

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