2017-2018 Baylor Undergraduate Lecture Series in Mathematics


Professor Ken Ono was the speaker in the tenth annual Baylor Undergraduate Lecture Series in Mathematics when he visited our campus from January 17-20, 2018. He is currently the Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Mathematics at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. He specializes in number theory, especially in integer partitions, modular forms, Umbral moonshine, and the fields of interest to Srinivasa Ramanujan. Prior to his appointment at Emory University, he was the Manasse Professor of Letters and Science and the Hilldale Professor of Mathematics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Ken Ono

Dr. Ono received his BA from the University of Chicago in 1989 and he earned his PhD in 1993 at UCLA where his advisor was Basil Gordon. Ono's mathematical contributions include several monographs and over 160 research and popular articles in number theory, combinatorics, and algebra. He is an expert in the theory of integer partitions and modular forms. Recently he and his collaborators have announced a proof of the famous Umbral Moonshine Conjecture, a subject that he will address in his second Baylor lecture.

Dr. Ono has received many awards for his research. In April 2000 he received the Presidential Career Award (PECASE) from Bill Clinton in a ceremony at the White House, and in June 2005 he received the National Science Foundation Director's Distinguished Teaching Scholar Award at the National Academy of Science. He has also won a Sloan Fellowship, a Packard Fellowship, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. In 2012 he became a fellow of the American Mathematical Society. In 2011 and 2015 Ono gave TED talks.

Further information on Dr. Ono can be found one his Wikipedia page.

Dr. Ono stars in the 2013 docudrama The Genius of Srinivasa Ramanujan. He is profiled in the May 2014 issue of Scientific American. He was an Associate Producer and the mathematical consultant for the movie The Man Who Knew Infinity based on Ramanujan's biography written by Robert Kanigel. It is this movie and the work of Ramanujan that is the focus of Dr. Ono's public lecture on January 18.

For a poster advertising Professor Ono's public lecture, click here.

The titles, and abstracts, for Dr. Ono's two lectures are:

Friday, January 19, 2018 at 4:00 pm - MMSCi 101

PUBLIC LECTURE: Ramanujan: The Man Who Knew Infinity

Abstract: Ramanujan's work has had a truly transformative effect on modern mathematics, and continues to do so as we understand further lines from his letters and notebooks. In this lecture, the speaker will talk about Ramanujan matters today, and explain why Hollywood made the 2016 film about him. The speaker is an Associate Producer of the film The Man Who Knew Infinity (starring Dev Patel and Jeremy Irons) about Ramanujan. He will share several clips from the film in the lecture. The speaker will also share some of Ramanujan’s work which are most accessible to the general public.

Thursday, January 18, 2018 at 4:00 pm - SDRICH 344

DEPARTMENTAL COLLOQUIUM: Polya's Program for the Riemann Hypothesis and Related Problems

Abstract: In 1927, Polya proved that the Riemann Hypothesis is equivalent to the hyperbolicity of Jensen polynomials for Riemann's Xi-function. This hyperbolicity has only been proved for degrees d=1,2,3. We prove the hyperbolicity of 100% of the Jensen polynomials of every degree. We obtain a general theorem which models such polynomials by Hermite polynomials. This theorem also allows us to prove a conjecture of Chen, Jia and Wang on the partition function. This is joint work with Michael Griffin, Larry Rolen, and Don Zagier.


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