C U R T I S
T U C K E Y
HOW to COLOR a MAP
Tuesday, March 18, 5:30-8:30pm
Lounge at Iwan Ries, 19 South Wabash
Cocktails at 5:30, presentation 6:00-6:30
followed by discussion and more cocktails.
$40 includes drinks, two cigars, and sandwiches.
Imagine looking at a map of Africa’s Ivory Coast, where within a
few hundred miles you have Benin and Togo, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea
Bissau, and Equatorial Guinea... it becomes a blur to the mind
and the eye. How can one keep these countries straight?
On October 23, 1852, Professor Augustus De Morgan wrote a letter
to a colleague that included a problem posed by a former student
of his: what is the least possible number of colors needed to
fill in any map, real or invented, so that neighboring counties
or countries are always colored differently?
Despite being attacked, piece by piece, by the foremost
mathematicians of the world, the problem remained unsolved for
125 years. The final solution, was completed using
supercomputers at the University of Illinois in 1976.
Believe it or not, this story of math and maps is a real
page-turner, filled with colorful characters, dramatic twists
and turns, stunning setbacks and disappointments, heart-breaking
suicides and near suicides, and finally, success, here in