Devotional By Dr. Michael Dorff

The Andre Weil Lecture: Shou-Wu Zhang (Princeton University)

Title: Heights and L-functions

Abstract: Height and L-series are two of most important tools in number theory and arithmetic geometry. They were originally invented by Andre Weil in his Ph.D. thesis on Mordell—Weil theorem and his work on Weil conjecture. In this lecture, I will first review original work of Weil, and then survey recent developments.

Date: Tuesday, April 3
Time: 4:00 pm
Room: 135 TMCB

Focus on Math: Alissa S. Crans

Date:  April 12th, 2018 4:00 PM 1170 TMCB

Title:  Frosting Fairness, Finally!

Abstract:  Many of us are familiar with how to slice a cake ensuring equal sized slices for all.  But what about those of us who want an equal amount of frosting as well?!  This question is a classic with the problem solvers amongst us.  In 1975, Martin Gardner considered a square cake cut into 7 pieces in his Scientific American column.  More than a decade earlier, H.S.M. Coxeter posed the problem for a square cake sliced into 9 pieces as an exercise in his book, Introduction to Geometry.  Together, we will solve this problem for a square cake cut into 5 pieces, and investigate the other cake shapes for which the same procedure will produce slices with equal cake and frosting.

Bio:  Alissa S. Crans has been recognized nationally for her enthusiastic ability to share and communicate mathematics, having been honored by the MAA with the Hasse Prize and Alder Award. Her research lies in the field of higher-dimensional algebra and is currently supported by a Simons Foundation Collaboration Grant. Alissa is known for her active mentoring of women and underrepresented students, as well as of junior faculty as a member of the MAA Project NExT leadership team. When not enticing students with the beauty of mathematics at Loyola Marymount University or sharing her enthusiasm for math in settings ranging from “Nerd Night Los Angeles” to public school classrooms, you can find her rehearsing with the Santa Monica College Wind Ensemble or on her quest to find the spiciest salsa in LA.

Imitation Game Movie Screening

Join the Math Department for a special screening of the imitation game March 23rd 6:00PM in 1170 TMCB


In 1939, newly created British intelligence agency MI6 recruits Cambridge mathematics alumnus Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) to crack Nazi codes, including Enigma — which cryptanalysts had thought unbreakable. Turing’s team, including Joan Clarke (Keira Knightley), analyze Enigma messages while he builds a machine to decipher them. Turing and team finally succeed and become heroes, but in 1952, the quiet genius encounters disgrace when authorities reveal he is gay and send him to prison.

Statement on Women in Math

There is a poster from the “Women in Math” club circulating around the internet. The poster displayed the pictures of four faculty members in our department. It was done by a club member with good intentions. It was not meant to demean women or be satirical. We value women in mathematics and their contributions, and work to promote opportunities for women to succeed in mathematics.

The math department chair posted a statement on Facebook with more details about this issue.

Alumni Spotlight: Robert Luke Jr.

Robert Luke Jr. works as a senior e-commerce support specialist at WESCO distribution and loves that he gets to use the problem-solving skills he learned as a math major at BYU to find resolutions to challenging issues at work on a daily basis. 
“Sure, I am not doing epsilon-delta proofs every day, but that kind of thinking is what helps me resolve issues all the time,” Robert said. 
Robert graduated from BYU in 2013 with a bachelors in Mathematics with an emphasis in cryptography and is now enrolled in the MBA program at Duquesne University. He was recently given the Byrne Award for responsible leadership. He has big plans for the future and once he finishes graduate school he hopes to continue working for WESCO at a higher level and get involved with the video game industry.
Robert’s hobbies include snowboarding, soccer, and playing video games. In fact, he loves games like Final Fantasy and Elder Scrolls so much he once took a part-time job at GameStop just for fun. 
Robert currently resides in Pittsburg Pennsylvania with his growing family. 

Winter Social

Come break the ice at the Math Student Winer Social.  The party will be held at 6:30 PM on Friday, February 2nd 2018 in the Math Lab.  Enjoy Pizza, Brownies, and Games!

Colloquium: Dane Skabelund

Title: Algebraic Curves with Many Points over Finite Fields

Abstract: Algebraic curves with many points over finite fields have proven useful for creating good error-correcting codes and designing efficient algorithms for multiplication in finite fields. In this talk, I will discuss these applications, and describe the construction of two families of curves which meet the Hasse-Weil bound.

Date and time: Thursday, January 18 at 4:00 in room 135 TMCB.

Colloquium: Domingo Toledo

Title: Inequalities in Topology Motivated by the Schwarz Lemma

Abstract: We will discuss a number of inequalities that can be stated in purely topological terms, but their proofs may involve other ideas. The protoptype is Knesers inequality for the degree of a map of Riemann surfaces, published in 1930: if X, Y are Riemann surfaces of genus (gX,gY) > 1 and f : XY is a continuous map, then |degree(f)| ≤ (gX − 1)/(gY − 1). If X, Y have complex structures and f is holomorphic, then the inequality would be an immediate consequence of the Schwarz Lemma: holomorphic maps of the unit disk do not increase length in the Poincaré metric. We will discuss proofs of this inequality and related ones by various methods: bounded cohomology, harmonic maps, Higgs bundles. We will also indicate, as time permits, how these inequalities have motivated much work on the structure of the space of representations of the fundamental group of a surface in various Lie groups. This will be an exposition of work of Milnor, Wood, Dupont, Goldman, Gromov, Hitchin, and many others. It should be mentioned that some of the current work on this subject uses Ahlfors generalization of the Schwarz Lemma in a very essential way.

Date and time: Tuesday, January 16 at 4:00 in room 135 TMCB.

Careers in Math: Recursion Pharmaceuticals

Come hear from Mason Victors, Director of Data Science at Recursion Pharmaceuticals. The event will be held in TMCB 1170 at 4:30 on December 14th. Refreshments will be served.