Every once in a while one of us members of the Rotary Club volunteers to talk about a subject of interest. This time, it was my turn to entertain our members after lunch. As most of you know, I retired from my work as an electrical engineer designing electronics for research instrument in outer space. Once I had to deal with outer space environmental conditions, I naturally began to ask many questions; and so I became very interested not only about the space around our planet but what else is out there in our universe; in other words, I read much on the subject of Cosmology. Actually, mankind has been interested in outer space for thousands of years. You may recall the legend in Greek Mythology of Icarus from the Island of Crete who built a bird structure to fly high up into the sky. He came too close to the sun and the wings melted. The point of the story is that we human beings were always eager to free ourselves from our physical limitations and find out what else is there? Not until in recent history were we actually able to do just that. How exciting for our generation. We always felt the need to experience and know more about the world we live in. Of course, Isaac Newton, in 1687, wrote down the laws of motion and gravitation. Those laws were ironclad and indisputable until Einstein came along and expanded the understanding of the subject with his observations on relativity. Then came Steven Hawkins who, as far as I can judge, is the greatest cosmologist of our time. Interestingly enough Steven Hawkins occupies Newton’s chair at Cambridge 300 years later. Another strange fact is that Hawkins suffered Lou Gerick’s disease since early manhood and is still functioning. The usual life expectancy is but a few short years. Steven Hawkins sits in his wheelchair and can only converse with one of his dedicated students but claims that in spite of his condition, he is FREE; free in his ability to think and penetrate into the secrets of our universe. Before I ventured into some of Steven Hawkins’ thoughts, I wanted to explain to our audience the utter importance of mathematics. You see, math is the language of nature (or God, whichever you feel more comfortable with). With math we begin to understand how the universe behaves. We need math to understand the physical world we live in as much as we need English to communicate among ourselves. I showed a DVD produced by Hawkins where he explains his view of the immensity of our universe, the unimaginable distances between Galaxies and the enormity of our own Galaxy. That disc is several hours long and we will have to dedicate several Rotary lunch hours to listen to it. Next time we talk about it, I will continue to report to you.