At The Frontier

7PM Thursday, November 13, 2008

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The laws of physics can’t account for any particular direction in which the universe develops. Therefore “time’s arrow” must somehow be a relic of the conditions at the moment of the big bang.

Dr. Brian

Columbia University

Brian Greene (born February 9, 1963), is a physicist and one of the best-known string theorists. Since 1996 he has been a professor at Columbia University. Born in New York City, Greene was a prodigy in mathematics. His skill in mathematics was such that by the time he was twelve years old, he was being privately tutored in mathematics by a Columbia University professor because he had surpassed the high-school math level. His father, Alan, was a one-time vaudeville performer and high school dropout who later worked as a voice coach and composer. After his tenure at Stuyvesant High School, Brian Greene entered Harvard in 1980 to major in physics, and with his bachelor's degree, Greene earned his Ph.D. at Oxford University in England in 1986, as a Rhodes Scholar.

Brian Greene’s lectures are "insightful and inspiring, and even offer a kind of enlightenment." His best-selling book, The Elegant Universe, recounts how the theories of general relativity and quantum mechanics transformed our understanding of the universe.

Dr. Brian Greene, a professor of physics at Columbia University, succeeds in making the most sophisticated concepts in theoretical physics accessible and entertaining, both to professionals and to audiences with no background in science. Through his artful metaphors and often humorous analogies, Greene takes audiences on a journey through hidden dimensions, superstrings, black holes, and punctures in the fabric of space-time in a quest to unify all the laws of nature.

Professor Greene’s work on the unified theory of superstrings is widely recognized for a number of ground-breaking discoveries in the field (with popular accounts being reported in Science, The Los Angeles Times, and elsewhere).

Greene’s communication skills come naturally. The son of a voice coach and former vaudeville performer, Greene was a prodigy who at age five could multiply 30 digit numbers by other 30 digit numbers. After graduating summa cum laude from Harvard University, he was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford and a full professor at Cornell, before his current position at Columbia University. An occasional actor in community theater productions, Greene also "punches up" scientific dialogue for John Lithgow on Third Rock from the Sun. "I consider lecturing," he says, "a form of performance."


Greene is the author of Elegant Universe and The Fabric Of The Cosmos.