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News from the Mathematics Department

Distinguished Mathematicians to Visit Department

Aug. 26, 2009

Three mathematicians will visit the department during the 2009-2010 year.

Fall News BrianConreyProfessor Brian Conrey, executive director of the American Institute of Mathematics, was the speaker in the second annual Baylor Undergraduate Lecture Series in Mathematics on September 9-10, 2009.

Conrey is a leading world authority on the Riemann Hypothesis, widely considered to be the most important and difficult unsolved problem in mathematics today. His two lectures will focus on this famous open problem. His first lecture, entitled "Primes and Zeros: A Million Dollar Mystery," was given on Wednesday, September 9 at 7 pm in D109 of the Baylor Sciences Building. His second lecture was at 4 pm on Thursday, September 10 in SR 344; the title of his second talk was "Random Matrix Theory and the Riemann Zeta Function."

He is the founding Executive Director of the American Institute of Mathematics in Palo Alto, California. He obtained his B.S. in Mathematics from Santa Clara University in 1976 and his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, under the supervision of Hugh Montgomery, in 1980. He has been on the faculty at Oklahoma State University (where he served as department head from 1991-1997) and at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom. Dr. Conrey is very active in outreach programs for high school and undergraduate students interested in mathematics.

Fall News MichaelBerryProfessor Sir Michael Berry, Melville Wills Professor of Physics at the University of Bristol visited Baylor from September 15-20, 2009. He was the featured speaker in the third annual Baylor Lecture Series in Mathematics. The title of his lecture on Sept 16, was "Making Light of Mathematics."

Berry is famous among other things for the Berry phase, a phenomenon observed in quantum mechanics and optics. He specializes in semiclassical physics (asymptotic physics, quantum chaos) applied to wave phenomena in quantum mechanics and other areas such as optics.

Among his many honors, Professor Berry became a member of the Royal Society of London in 1982, a Fellow of Royal Society of Arts in 1983, a Fellow of the Royal Institution in 1986, a member of the Royal Society of Sciences in Uppsala in 1986, a member of the European Academy in 1989 and a Foreign Member of the National Academy of Sciences in the United States. In 1996, he became a Knight Bachelor and, in 2000, he became a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Fall News George AndrewsProfessor George E. Andrews, Evan Pugh Professor of Mathematics at the Pennsylvania State University will be the speaker in the fourth annual Baylor Lecture Series in Mathematics on Wednesday, April 14, 2010. The title of Professor Andrews' lecture is "Ramanujan and His Amazing Lost Notebook."

Professor Andrews is the current President of the American Mathematical Society. He is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has been a Fulbright Scholar as well as a Guggenheim Fellow.

While visiting Trinity College in Cambridge (U.K.) in 1975, Professor Andrews discovered what is now known as 'Ramanujan's Lost Notebook.' This collection contains about 600 identities and equations that the famed and enigmatic Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan (1887-1920) had written during the last year of this life. Remarkably, yet mysteriously, nearly every for