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Seminars, Colloquia, and Conferences

Guterman Lectures

Every academic year, the Department of Mathematics hosts the Martin Guterman lecture, funded by a gift from the Guterman family to commemorate our late colleague Martin Guterman and his exceptional ability to communicate real mathematics to a broad audience. For this lecture we invite a mathematician known as an engaging speaker.

2017 Guterman Lecture

Monday, March 6, 2017 | 4:00pm | Pearson Hall, Room 106
Susan Loepp (Williams College)
"The Key to Sending Secret Messages"
Watch live streaming video of the lecture >
Suppose Alice wants to send secret messages to Bob, but the channel over which they communicate is not secure. Suppose also that their arch enemy, Eve, can intercept all communication between them. It is perhaps counterintuitive that Alice and Bob can send secret messages to each other over their insecure channel with reasonable confidence that Eve cannot decipher their messages. In this talk, we will discuss the history of, and the ideas behind public-key exchanges; the first step Alice and Bob use to send their messages. No particular mathematics background will be assumed.


Past Guterman Lecturers

April 2016
John Urschel (MIT)
"Voronoi Tessellations in Today's World"
Watch the 2016 lecture >
[Read abstract]

March 2015
Eli Grigsby (Boston College)
"On Hairdos, Polynomials, and the Shape of the Universe"
Watch the 2015 lecture >

March 2014
Robert Devaney (Boston University)
"The Fractal Geometry of the Mandelbrot Set"

April 2013
Mike Hill (University of Virginia)
"Ruler, Compass, and Origami Constructions"

April 2012
Frank Morgan (Williams College)
"Soap Bubbles and Mathematics"

March 2011
John Meier (Lafayette College)
"Euler, Graphs, and Surfaces"

April 2010
William Dunham (Muhlenberg College)
"Newton's (Original) Method, or- Though this be Method, yet there is madness in't"

February 2009
Tom Banchoff (Brown University)
"Exploring Surfaces in Three and Four Dimensions"

April 2008
Colin Adams (Williams College)
"Blown Away: What Not To Do When Sailing"