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


Abba Gumel, University of Maryland


“Mathematics of Malaria Transmission Dynamics”

Mike Hill, UCLA


“The Shape of Social Justice”

Francis Su, Harvey Mudd College


“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 University11/2/2017“Multiscale Modeling of Hematological Disorders”
Suzanne Weekes, Worcester Polytechnic Institute11/30/2016“Leaning Out: Connecting Outside the Ivory Tower”
Jill Pipher, Brown University3/17/2016“Cryptography: From Antiquity to Modern Times”
Michael Starbird, University of Texas at Austin10/30/2014The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking
Leila C. Schneps, Institut de Mathématiques de Jussieu2/26/2014Math on Trial: Probability in the Judicial Process
Colin C. Adams, Williams College9/26/2012Blown Away: What Knot to Do When Sailing
Washington Mio, Florida State University9/22/2011The Mathematics of Shape in Computer Vision, Biology, Medical Imaging, and More
Paul Nahin, University of New Hampshire3/25/2011How Computers Can Help Answer Mathematical Questions
Robert P. Moses, Founder and President of the Algebra Project12/2/2009Quality Public School Education as a Constitutional Right
Ubiratan D’Ambrósio, State University of Campinas in São Paulo, Brazil9/18/2008Ethnomathematics in a Global World
Ruth Charney, Brandeis University3/14/2008From Robotics to Geometry: Building Models with Cubes
Jennifer QuinnThe Association for Women in Mathematics11/10/2006Fabulous Fibonacci Numbers
Lisette de PillisHarvey Mudd College10/13/2005Cancer Growth and Treatment Modeling
Jeff WeeksFreelance Mathematician10/28/2004“Shape of Space”
De Witt SumnersFlorida State University10/8/2003“Calculating the Secrets of Life: Mathematics in Biology and Medicine”
Georgia BenkartUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison
10/23/2002Women 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
9/20/2000Code-breaking in World War II
Constance ReidMathematical Writer
10/14/1999Captured by Mathematics
Joan S. BirmanColumbia University
3/16/1999Knots 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 Maine2/25/1996“The Book and the Beacon”
Kenneth P. BogartDartmouth College3/15/1995“What do Mathematicians count and how do they do it?”
Johnny L. HoustonElizabeth City State University, North Carolina3/24/1994“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)”