December 2019

Thursday 19 
14:00  PUBLIC LECTURE  Mathematics and Statistics Colloquium : A Tour of the Mandelbrot Set

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The beautiful and complicated Mandelbrot set has captivated
mathematicians since the first computer images of the set were drawn in the 1970s and 1980s. In this talk we’ll take a walk around the infinite intricacies of the Mandelbrot set, exploring the spirals, finding Fibonacci, and answering the question every maths student wonders when they first meet the Mandelbrot set: why do we care about this pretty picture?
Cheese and wine to follow in the Maths common room.


March 2020

Thursday 05 
16:00  PUBLIC TALK  Mathematics and Statistics Colloquium : It's a wonderful life!  Reflections on the career of a mathematician

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Followed by Cheese and wine in Maths Common Room
Abstract:
We all have our doubts off and on if life is really so wonderful. But that is not what I want to address here. Watching the Jimmy Stewart movie with this title, there was one scene which captured my imagination: the Guardian Angel shows George Bailey how the world would have been without him.
Personally, I never had much need to know how the world would have looked without me. However, all other things equal, how would life have been if I had lived in a different time and place, would be something of interest to me! This is the stuff of movies and fairy tales. But at least it is possible to play this as an intellectual game.
I was born and raised in Germany before WW II. After getting my Ph.D. in 1962, I married a fellow mathematician and we immigrated to the US one year later, where we taught at a university until our retirements, first at Ohio State and then at Binghamton University. What would life have been if I stayed in Germany, did not get married, were born fifty or one hundred years earlier, or were born in another country? Looking at actual and potential role models over the centuries helped me answer some of these questions. In essence, it got me back to the roots of what shaped my life.


April 2020

Thursday 23 
16:00  PUBLIC LECTURE  Mathematics and Statistics Colloquium : An invitation to finite geometry

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Finite geometry involves the study of finitely many objects  points, lines, planes, etc  in analogy with classical geometric language and concepts. The exciting aspect of finite geometry is that it often shares properties of the usual Euclidean geometry, yet the finiteness of the geometry enables us to exchange information with cognate disciplines such as coding theory, design theory, and finite group theory. This talk is an introduction to the world of finite geometry.


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