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

Math Encounters: "Tales of Impossibility: The Problems of Antiquity" with David Richeson
(4:00 pm)

“Nothing is impossible!"  While it is comforting to believe this greeting card sentiment — it's the American dream, after all — there are impossible things.  Ancient Greek geometers and future generations of mathematicians tried and failed to square circles, trisect angles, double cubes, and construct regular polygons using only a compass and straightedge.  Join David Richeson, Professor of Mathematics at Dickinson College and Editor of Math Horizons, to try your hand at some of these unusual geometric construction techniques.  But get ready to fail — after two thousand years, all four of these “problems of antiquity” have been proved to be mathematically impossible! 

November 2019 Math Encounters poster


This page is for the 4:00 pm session. Click here to register for the 7:00 pm session instead.

Light refreshments will be served after the 4:00 pm session and at 6:30 pm in advance of the second session.

Math Encounters is a public presentation series celebrating the spectacular world of mathematics, presented by the Simons Foundation and the National Museum of Mathematics.

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

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

November 6, 2019 4:00 pm   through   5:30 pm
National Museum of Mathematics
11 E. 26th St.
New York, NY 10010
United States
Phone: 212-542-0566