Jubilee United Church

40 Underhill Drive | Toronto, Ontario, M3A 2J5 | 416.447.6846

Lecture Series


(Cheques payable to Jubilee United Church)

 Jubilee United Church Office

40 Underhill Drive, Don Mills M3A 2J5

Cost of Series:  $20      Individual Lectures:  $8

At 1:00 p.m.


Wed., Mar. 7:  “Media and the Military”

Charles Dickens was the first to invent the phrase, “War Correspondent” in an essay written during his visit to the US in 1941.  Now, over 170 years later, no one can doubt the importance of the media to the military.  But the history of how the media got involved is only as old as journalism as the ability to distribute information about what was actually going on.  As Hiram Johnson said, the first casualty of war is truth.  But who in the final analysis defines truth, particularly when anyone with a cell phone can become a ‘war correspondent’?  Presenter:  Dr. Peter Silverman

Wed., Mar. 14:  “Consumer Advocacy – Important to All”

If you have ever had a telemarketer on the line, you know how much pressure there can be to buy, buy, buy.  From the Nigerian letters to the phony bank asking for information to the advent of the internet, consumers are subjected to or victims of a growing list of frauds.  How do we defend ourselves from being scammed?  Presenter:  Dr. Peter Silverman

Wed., Mar. 21 and Wed., Mar. 28:  “Mathematics:  Its Pleasures and Its Values”

School mathematics has often encouraged people to think of mathematics as a set of fixed procedures rather than as a way of thinking and analysis.  The purpose of this set of lectures is to challenge the common perception on two fronts:  recreational mathematics that embodies discoveries, puzzles, problems, and games that can go back centuries; and the many ways in which mathematics is applied in modern society.

While both recreations and applications can give you an appreciation of how mathematics is developed and used, a surprising amount of the material does not require significant technical background and is accessible to anyone who has engaged in intellectual activities what share features with mathematics, such as bridge, board games like chess and checkers, cryptic crosswords, Sudoku or kenken, or creative endeavours such as art, music and drama.

The first session will be on recreations and the second on the uses and misuse of mathematics in such areas as finance, climate science, politics, and risk evaluation.  Presenter:  Dr. Ed Barbeau

A few words about our presenters:

PETER SILVERMAN completed his doctorate in History at the U of T. As an exchange Junior Lecturer at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, the call of journalism summoned, and he began his television career at Global, and then joined City TV where he became the consumer Ombudsman on his show, Silverman Helps. His books include WHO SPEAKS FOR THE CHILDREN and VOICES OF A LOST GENERATION, both of which concern the state of child protection and welfare in Canada.  He has received a number of prestigious awards for journalism, was appointed to the Order of Ontario, and, most recently, received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for service to the community.  He has also worked on development projects, ranging from refurbishment of a hospital in Rwanda to housing in India to a bridge in Ethiopia.  In his multi-faceted career, he served with the Airborne Royal Engineers.  He has been or currently is on the boards of several NGOs, including Habitat for Humanity; CAR Help, Canada; and Save a Child’s Heart, Israel.

ED BARBEAU is a professor emeritus of mathematics, having joined the University of Toronto faculty in 1967. He obtained his doctorate at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK, in 1964, and subsequently spent a year as a postdoctoral fellow at Yale University. Having a deep interest in school education, mathematical competitions, and public perception of mathematics, he has written several books on mathematical problems and puzzles, and enrichment topics for students.  He was the academic chairman for the International Mathematical Olympiad, held in Toronto in 1995, and Co-chair of the 16th Study of the International Commission of Mathematical Instruction, “Challenging mathematics in and beyond the Classroom”.