AURAK Reading Club: Zero – The History of a Divine Number

November 3, 2016,

The AURAK Reading Club this week held its latest public lecture, titled ‘Zero: The History of a Divine Number’, delivered by Dr. Ali Maalaoui, chair of the Department of Mathematics and Natural Sciences Department within the School of Arts and Sciences.

In his presentation, Dr. Ali, an assistant professor of mathematics, discussed the mythical nature of the zero, its history and origins, and even its impact on philosophy and its relationship with God. At the conclusion of his talk, he also engaged an enthusiastic audience in a question and answer session, exploring how some numbers are interpreted differently according to the cultural setting.

This latest talk, hosted by the AURAK Reading Club (ARC), is the latest in a series of events organized as part of the university’s participation in the UAE’s ‘Year of Reading’. As stated by chair of the club, Prof. Kamal Abdel-Malek, the Reading Club “aims to foster a love of reading in our university.  Catering to AURAK’s multinational and multicultural community, we are running a year-long program of events to celebrate the joy we share in reading.”

Prof. Abdel-Malek also appealed to students to join the club, emphasizing that it “is a meeting place for the students, faculty and staff of AURAK to explore our common interests in literature.”

The next Reading Club event is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, Nov. 16, in which members, having read the relevant articles, will discuss issues related to culture, such as openness and identity, as well as the perceived divide between East and West.