Richard W. Sampson Lecture

The Annual Richard W. Sampson Lecture Series

“Given by colleagues, students and friends of Professor Richard W. Sampson to establish an annual lecture in mathematics. The gift is given upon his retirement to honor Professor Sampson’s thirty eight years of teaching at Bates and his long involvement and commitment to the Outing Club.” (1990)

Thanks to the Sampson Lecture funds, we have been able to enjoy many great presentations by well known mathematical people for a number of years. The photo to the left was taken at the 2001 Sampson lecture. Pictured are Dick Sampson, George Andrews, Peter Wong and Warren Johnson.

Richard Sampson passed away on April 1, 2004. To read the Bates news story about Dick and his contributions to the College click here



Lecturer Date Title

Mike Hill, UCLA

Francis Su, Harvey Mudd College



“The Shape of Social Justice”

“Mathematics for Human Flourishing”

Rochelle Gutierrez, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign


“Rehumanizing Mathematics: What Might it Mean for Our Future?”

Carlos Castillo-Chavez,  Arizona State University


 “Challenges and Opportunities in Mathematical and Theoretical and Computational Epidemiology”

George Em Karniadakis, Brown University 11/2/2017 “Multiscale Modeling of Hematological Disorders”
Suzanne Weekes, Worcester Polytechnic Institute 11/30/2016 “Leaning Out: Connecting Outside the Ivory Tower”
Jill Pipher, Brown University 3/17/2016 “Cryptography: From Antiquity to Modern Times”
Michael Starbird, University of Texas at Austin 10/30/2014 The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking
Leila C. Schneps, Institut de Mathématiques de Jussieu 2/26/2014 Math on Trial: Probability in the Judicial Process
Colin C. Adams, Williams College 9/26/2012 Blown Away: What Knot to Do When Sailing
Washington Mio, Florida State University 9/22/2011 The Mathematics of Shape in Computer Vision, Biology, Medical Imaging, and More
Paul Nahin, University of New Hampshire 3/25/2011 How Computers Can Help Answer Mathematical Questions
Robert P. Moses, Founder and President of the Algebra Project 12/2/2009 Quality Public School Education as a Constitutional Right
Ubiratan D’Ambrósio, State University of Campinas in São Paulo, Brazil 9/18/2008 Ethnomathematics in a Global World
Ruth Charney, Brandeis University 3/14/2008 From Robotics to Geometry: Building Models with Cubes
Jennifer QuinnThe Association for Women in Mathematics 11/10/2006 Fabulous Fibonacci Numbers
Lisette de PillisHarvey Mudd College 10/13/2005 Cancer Growth and Treatment Modeling
Jeff WeeksFreelance Mathematician 10/28/2004 “Shape of Space”
De Witt SumnersFlorida State University 10/8/2003 “Calculating the Secrets of Life: Mathematics in Biology and Medicine”
Georgia BenkartUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison
10/23/2002 Women Mathematicians I Haven’t Known
George AndrewsPenn State University
10/8/2001 “Ramanujan, Fibonacci Numbers, and Continued Fractions ~or~ Why I Took Zeckendorf’s Theorem Along On My Last Trip To Canada”
Peter HiltonSUNY Binghamton
9/20/2000 Code-breaking in World War II
Constance ReidMathematical Writer
10/14/1999 Captured by Mathematics
Joan S. BirmanColumbia University
3/16/1999 Knots in Mathematics
Carolyn S. GordonDartmouth College
2/26/1998 “You Can’t Hear the Shape of a Drum”
Henri DarmonMcGill University
1/29/1997 “Fermat’s Last Theorem”
Howard EvesUniversity of Maine 2/25/1996 “The Book and the Beacon”
Kenneth P. BogartDartmouth College 3/15/1995 “What do Mathematicians count and how do they do it?”
Johnny L. HoustonElizabeth City State University, North Carolina 3/24/1994 “Underrepresented American Minorities in the Mathematical Sciences, 1925-1990”
Marilyn Durkin, ’71Bentley College
3/22/1993 “The Mathematics of Chaos”
John McClearyVassar College
2/10/1992 “The History of Mathematics (Who Cares?)”
Kenneth C. Millett, University of California, Santa Barbara
2/11/1991 “All Tied Up in Knots (Knotting Theory in the Natural Sciences: Untangling some of the Knotty Mysteries of DNA)”