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Calculus, the mathematical study of continuous change, underpins some of the most fundamental and miraculous achievements of humankind, from determining the area of a circle to enabling innovations in modern medicine, computing, and space travel. It can also illuminate the patterns of the universe, according to Steven Strogatz.

In a Chats in the Stacks talk presented at Mann Library, Strogatz discusses his new book, “Infinite Powers: How Calculus Reveals the Secrets of the Universe” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), which was listed as a New York Times Best Seller this year. The Jacob Gould Schurman Professor of Applied Mathematics and Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Fellow, Strogatz charts the thrilling multi-millennial history of calculus that’s filled with brutal competitions and glorious discoveries.