Ruth Charney, vice president of the American Mathematical Society, presents two lectures at Bates on Friday, March 14.

Charney gives a talk titled “The Large Scale Geometry of Groups” at 4:30 p.m. in Room 104, Hathorn Hall, 3 Andrews Road (Alumni Walk). In the college’s annual Richard W. Sampson Lecture, she addresses the topic “From Robotics to Geometry: Building Models with Cubes” at 7:30 p.m. in the Keck Classroom (G52), Pettengill Hall, 4 Andrews Road.

Sponsored by the mathematics department, the talks are open to the public at no cost. For more information, please call 207-786-6237.

Charney’s research spans several areas of mathematics, including K-theory, algebraic topology and her current area of interest, geometric group theory. She has given more than 150 invited talks on her research, including two plenary lectures at American Mathematical Society meetings.

Many of Charney’s professional activities are aimed at encouraging and mentoring women in mathematics. She is currently an organizer of the Institute for Advanced Study’s Program for Women and Mathematics, an intensive research conference for young women entering the field.

Charney chairs the mathematics faculty at Brandeis University. She has served on the executive committee of the Association of Women in Mathematics, and is a trustee of the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute and a member of the U.S. National Committee for Mathematics.

Charney received her doctorate from Princeton University in 1977 and held a postdoctoral position at the University of California, Berkeley, followed by a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship at Yale.

She has served on the faculties of Ohio State University, the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, the Mathematical Institute at Oxford, the Institutes des Hautes Etudes Scientifiques in Paris and the Universite de Borgogne in Dijon. In 2003, Charney returned to Brandeis, her undergraduate alma mater.

The Richard W. Sampson Lecture at Bates honors the memory of Sampson, professor emeritus of mathematics, who served on the Bates faculty from 1952 until his retirement as professor of mathematics in 1990.

]]>Jennifer J. Quinn, executive director of the Association for Women in Mathematics, presents two lectures at Bates on Friday, Nov. 10.

At 4 p.m., she gives a talk titled “Synchronicity: Alternating Sums, Determinants, Continued Fractions and More.” At 7:30 p.m., in the college’s annual Richard W. Sampson Lecture, her subject is “Fabulous Fibonacci Numbers.”

Sponsored by the mathematics department, both talks are open to the public at no cost and take place in the Keck Classroom (G52), Pettengill Hall, 4 Andrews Road. For more information, please call the college concierge at 207-786-6255.

In addition to her position with the Association for Women in Mathematics, Quinn is on the mathematics faculties at Occidental College, Los Angeles, and the University of Puget Sound and Pacific Lutheran University, both in Tacoma, Wash. She is also co-editor of the Mathematical Association of America’s magazine, “Math Horizons.”

Quinn has received regional and national awards as a teacher, scholar and author. Most recently, the Mathematical Association of America honored her with one of its three 2007 Deborah and Franklin Tepper Haimo National Awards for distinguished teaching. Her book Proofs That Really Count: The Art of Combinatorial Proof, coauthored with Arthur T. Benjamin (Mathematical Association of America, 2003), received the MAA’s Beckenbach Book Prize.

Quinn earned her bachelor’s degree at Williams College, master’s at the University of Illinois at Chicago and doctorate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She lives in Tacoma.

The annual Richard W. Sampson Lecture at Bates honors the memory of Sampson, professor emeritus of mathematics, known for inspiring his students through his passionate and creative teaching.

]]>The title of Benkart’s lecture is *Women Mathematicians I Haven’t Known*. An algebraist, Benkart studied at Yale University, where she earned her post-graduate degrees, and Ohio State University, where she graduated summa cum laude with distinction. Active in the world of academic math, she has held visiting positions at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, Berkeley, Calif., and at Princeton University.

The annual Sampson Lecture at Bates is named in honor of Professor Emeritus Richard W. Sampson of Lewiston, a member of the Bates faculty from 1952 until his retirement as professor of mathematics in 1990.

For more information, please call 207-786-6255.

]]>Hilton will reminisce about his experiences helping to break high-grade German ciphers passing, in World War II, between the enemy High Command and their airforce, army and fleet (especially U-boats). He also will devote special attention to his recollections of working with the famous logician Alan Turing, with whom developed a close friendship.

Hilton’s principal research interests are in alegebraic topology, homological and categorical alegebra and mathematics education. He has published 15 books and more than 500 articles in these area, some jointly with colleagues. Hilton received his M.A. degree from Oxford University and his Ph.Ds from Oxford and Cambridge universities. He has received honorary degrees from North Michigan Univeristy and the Memorial University of Newfoundland, as well as a silver medal from the University of Helsinki.

The annual Sampson Lecture at Bates is named in honor of Professor Emeritus Richard W. Sampson of Lewiston, a member of the Bates faculty from 1952 until his retirement as professor of mathematics in 1990.

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Mathematicians regard knots as being tied in circular strings. In topology, a subspecialty within mathematics, the interest is in distinguishing one knot from another and finding a way to guarantee that a knot’s ends cannot be pushed through. Birman’s talk will focus on how mathematicians distinguish knots and the practical applications of knot polynomials.

Birman’s mathematical work has focused on low-dimensional topology: braids, knots surface mappings and three-manifolds. She is the author of *Braids, Links and Mapping Class Groups*.

The annual Sampson Lecture at Bates is named in honor of Richard W. Sampson of Lewiston, a member of the Bates faculty from 1952 until his retirement as professor of mathematics in 1990.

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