Event Detail

Event Type: 
Lonseth Lecture
Date/Time: 
Tuesday, May 2, 2017 - 03:30 to 05:00
Location: 
LaSells Stewart Center

Speaker Info

Institution: 
University of Arizona
Abstract: 

Many different events impact your decisions (note the plural) to continue your studies in mathematics. The solitary work that you perform when you do homework, the interactions with peers and the feedback from your instructors all play a role in your self-assessment. These self-assessments continue through life. You find that you have a fondness for one subject but not another and decisions are governed by your own personal skill sets and passion. Yes, passion!

At the undergraduate level, mathematics is presented as discrete subjects with little connecting ideas, like algebra and analysis. Yet this is not how mathematical research is done. In this presentation I will spend most of the time giving an example where ideas from algebra, number theory, analysis all played a vital role in providing insight into factoring primes (What?). But, I also want to talk a bit about your role in mathematics.

Your self-assessment can be a boon or a bane. It can promote your mathematical growth or hinder it. I will give examples of what I used in my almost fifty years in the mathematical profession to give me an exciting mathematical career. I invite you to think about how you have arrived at this wonderful period in your lives of being mathematics majors, what the barriers you have surmounted. I invite you to write down your thoughts on why you became a mathematics major and why you have continued and email your thoughts to me at the above address.