Mathematical society vice president offers lectures

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.

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