Universiteit Leiden

nl en


Bas Edixhoven Memorial Symposium

Friday 2 June 2023
Gorlaeus Lecture Hall, Einsteinweg 57, 2333 CC Leiden
Lecture hall C4/5

A symposium in memory of Bas Edixhoven, who passed away on 16 January 2022, will be held in Leiden on the afternoon of Friday 2 June 2023. The symposium will be aimed at a broad mathematical audience. It is also the concluding event of the Lorentz Center workshop An Expedition into Arithmetic Geometry, which takes place at the Lorentz Center that week.

This afternoon will feature talks by Hendrik Lenstra and Jaap Top on mathematics with connections to art, a topic that Bas was particularly fond of. There will be a reception afterwards.


from 13:15 Doors open; coffee and tea
13:50–14:00 Opening words by Frans Oort
14:00–15:00 Hendrik Lenstra: Escher and the Droste effect
15:00–15:30 Break
15:30–16:30 Jaap Top: Lines between Math and Art
16:30–16:45 Slideshow and closing words
17:00–18:30 Reception

Symposium talks

Hendrik Lenstra: Escher and the Droste effect

In 1956, the Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher made an unusual lithograph with the title ‘Print Gallery’. It shows a young man viewing a print in an exhibition gallery. Amongst the buildings depicted on the print, he sees paradoxically the very same gallery that he is standing in. A mathematical analysis of the studies used by Escher leads to a series of hallucinating computer animations, which show, among others, what happens inside the mysterious spot in the middle of the lithograph that Escher left blank.

Jaap Top: Lines between Math and Art

Starting with a lecture entitled "Some elliptic curves from the real world" in 2014 during the annual Dutch Mathematical Congress, Bas Edixhoven presented several talks discussing the "torqued ellipses" made by the American sculptor Richard Serra. This resulted in a place for Bas among the artists with artworks on display in the Virtual Museum Tesseract.
The present talk aims to recall and explain these contributions by Bas, and place it in a more general framework of inspirations from math to art and, as in this case, vice versa. In particular, it should become clear what the mentioned works of art have to do with the title of the 2014 lecture by Bas.


The symposium will take place in the Gorlaeus Lecture Hall (Einsteinweg 57, Leiden), room C4/5.

(Note that the Lecture Hall is different from the new Gorlaeus Building. The Lecture Hall has its own entrance and is not accessible via the current main entrance of the new Faculty of Science building.)

The reception will take place at the FooBar in the Snellius building (Niels Bohrweg 1, Leiden).

Both locations can be found on this map; the Lecture Hall is number 7, the Snellius building is number 1.


Registration is free, but mandatory; use the registration form.

This website uses cookies.  More information.