I am in Ankara visiting my friends and colleagues at METU, and shamelesly reproduce chunks of my post about my previous visit. This is METU’s unofficial emblem:

It is derived from a sculpture Tree of Science by Turkish sculptor Tamer Basoglu; it marks the main entrance to the campus:

However, the sculpture was designed in 1965 as a monument to Ataturk, but came second in the official competition. The sculptor himself wrote:

This monument is the first example in Turkey signifying Atatürk’s revolutionary principles in an abstract way. The flourishing of Atatürk’s principles in a devastated Anatolian city during war times is expressed in this piece of work, as rooted firmly on strong grounds and growing fast like the mushroom of the atom bomb. Every outward projection on the sculpture symbolizes one of the revolutionary principles of Atatürk.

However, the interpretation as a Tree of Science, with all sciences, in all their diversity and unity, growing from the same root of knowledge, also works nicely. Even more important is the obvious reference to pre-Hittite and Hittite‘s tradition in art; it roots the modern Turkish science in the millenia old tradition of Anatolian civilisations. For comparison, here is a famous Bronze Age figurine from the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations:


and a Hittite sculpture:

And here is my favorite portrait of Ataturk:


I am here to give a talk Elementary mathematics as seen by a mathematician, based on a couple of chapters from my book.