Online registration is closed for this event. If available, tickets on the day of the event may incur an additional charge.

Math Encounters:

"Optimal Tours: The Traveling Salesman Problem" with Bill Cook

Wednesday, August 4 at 4:00 pm ET (New York)


Is it possible to compute the shortest route through a large number of stops?  It sounds simple, but finding a method that can do this quickly for every example would be a stunning breakthrough in mathematics — and would earn you a million-dollar prize.  Join mathematician Bill Cook as we explore the history and applications of this fascinating challenge, and examine state-of-the-art approaches to solving it.

Special introduction by Alex Kontorovich, MoMath’s 2020-2021 Distinguished Visiting Professor for the Public Dissemination of Mathematics and Rutgers math professor.

This is a live-streamed event.  Occasional video recordings are made available for a fee at

This page is for the 4:00 pm ET (New York) session.  Click here to register for the 7:00 pm ET (New York) session instead.

By registering for a Math Encounters presentation, you agree that you may be photographed or videotaped by Museum staff and associates.

Math Encounters is MoMath's popular free public presentation series celebrating the spectacular world of mathematics, produced with support from the Simons Foundation.

For further information, call the National Museum of Mathematics at 212-542-0566 or email

Please check our online shop for books by Math Encounters presenters.

August 4th, 2021 from  4:00 pm to  5:30 pm
MoMath Online
United States