Photo by ESO/Horalek
New York

Is the Universe made of math?

Science writer and artist Margaret Wertheim, along with jazz pianist Dan Tepfer, explore the nature of reality

The dream of a theory of everything has captivated physicists, who imagine a set of mathematical equations that would describe the universal whole from the microscopic to the cosmological scale. But how did Western scientific thinkers come to believe mathematics was the ‘language of reality’? Were there alternative paths science could have taken? And where is this mathematical journey leading us now in the age of ‘big data’?

Margaret Wertheim


Margaret Wertheim is a writer and artist whose work focuses on relations between science and culture. With degrees in physics and mathematics, she has authored three books on the history of physics. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Cabinet and Aeon. With her sister Christine she co-founded the Institute For Figuring, a practice devoted to the aesthetic dimensions of science. The Wertheims’ Crochet Coral Reef is a worldwide ‘science + art’ project that has been exhibited at the Venice Biennale and other international venues.

Margaret is on Twitter at @margaretwerth and on Instagram at @crochetcoralreef.

Dan Tepfer


Dan Tepfer has earned an international reputation as a pianist-composer of wide-ranging ambition, superb technique, individuality and innovation. His newest video album, Natural Machines, stands as one of his most ingeniously forward-minded yet, finding him exploring in real time the intersection between science and art, coding and improvisation, digital algorithms and the rhythms of the heart. Dan’s music-making navigates the divide between classical and improvisatory jazz worlds; this includes significant collaborations with classical and jazz luminaries Renée Fleming, Lee Konitz and Cécile McLorin Salvant, among others.

Dan is on Twitter at @tepferdan and Instagram at @dantepfer.

Sam Dresser


Sam Dresser is a senior editor at Aeon+Psyche. He enjoys, to a fault, taking interminable train rides and drinking good Scotch, both of which pair beautifully with what we do at Sophia Club New York: talk about meaningful ideas in a lively, playful way.

Event and ticketing details

Date and time

Wednesday 25 January 2023


Full – $25

Student – $18


The Georgia Room, 23 Lexington Ave, New York, 10010

  • Doors open: 6:30pm
  • Performance starts: 7:30pm sharp
  • Snacks and beverages will be available for purchase throughout the evening from the bar.
  • Please note that seating is unallocated.
  • Access your ticket for the event by clicking View order or Download PDF at the bottom of your ticket email
  • The Georgia Room is wheelchair accessible. For more information, please email
  • Please note: this venue has a 21+ age limit.
Wednesday, January 25, 2023
The Georgia Room,
Second floor, 23 Lexington Ave, New York 10010
6:30PM ’til late

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