September 28, 2004
World-renowned physicist Bulent Atalay will speak at Oklahoma Baptist University from 9 to 11 a.m., Friday, Oct. 8, in the Bailey Business Center Auditorium.
Atalay's recent book, "Math and the Mona Lisa" explores the relationship between art and science through the works of Leonard Da Vinci.
Atalay is a scientist and artist, himself, with roots in Turkey, England, and the United States.
Atalay received an early classical education in England and the United States, attending Eton (UK) and St. Andrew's School (Delaware), site of the 1989 Robin Williams film, Dead Poet's Society. He went into physics by accident when a secretary in the college admissions office misread his career aspirations as "physicist" instead of "physician," but he found he had latent interests in physics. His professional training — BS, MS, MA, Ph.D. and post-doctoral work in theoretical physics — took place at Georgetown, UC-Berkeley, Princeton and Oxford. Now, he is a professor of physics at the University of Mary Washington, an adjunct professor at the University of Virginia, and a member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton.
An accomplished artist, Atalay has presented his works in one-man exhibitions in London and Washington, and his two books of lithographs — Lands of Washington and Oxford and the English Countryside — can be found in the permanent collections of Buckingham Palace, the Smithsonian, and the White House. He is currently working on a second book in the same genre as Math and the Mona Lisa with co-author, classicist Keith Wamsley.
Professor Atalay, whose permanent home is in Virginia, lectures around the world, mostly on the "A-subjects" — Art, Archaeology, Astrophysics, and Atomic physics. He has been a frequent keynote speaker to gifted students at the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth; he has addressed engineers at NASA and NIST, physicians at Johns Hopkins, and physicists at the University of Oxford, Caltech, Stanford, and the University of Vienna.