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May 24, 2023

AWM Distinguished Speaker Series

Dr. Nancy Scherich, Elon University Department of Mathematics and Statistics will visit campus June 1-2, 2023 to deliver the spring term AWM Distinguished Lectures.

After completing her PhD in mathematics at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2019, Dr. Scherich completed postdocs at ICERM at Brown University and University of Toronto and was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Wake Forest University. She joined the faculty at Elon University as an Assistant Professor in the fall of 2022. Her research areas is in low dimensional topology and algebra in general and knot theory and braid group theory in particular.

Dr. Scherich will deliver two lectures at UO:

Thursday, June 1, 2023 at 3 pm

Title: How do mathematicians study braids?

University Hall 205

Undergraduate-level talk (graduate students also welcome!)

Abstract: Knots and braids are all around us, and believe it or not, they are very mathematical! In this undergraduate introductory talk, Dr. Nancy Scherich will describe how mathematicians build a model for braided objects and how we study this model. As both a mathematician and award-winning dancer, Dr. Scherich will use dance videos as visual aids to explain the higher math concepts.

Friday, June 2, 2023 at 12 noon

Title: Representations of the Braid Groups

University Hall 205

Graduate-level talk

Abstract: Why do braids show up in so many areas of Mathematics? In this graduate aimed talk, Dr. Nancy Scherich will give an introduction of braid theory and give some applications in different areas of algebra and topology. She will discuss recent advances in representation theory in the direction of quantum computing and address some open questions.

May 5, 2023

Niven Lectures – May 11-12

Eli Grigsby of Boston College will visit the UO Department of Mathematics to give the Niven Lectures, May 11-12. Professor Grigsby will present two lectures.

Lecture 1 : Neural networks and boolean functions
4pm, Thursday, May 11, 2023, 128 Chiles Hall
Lecture 2 : The topology, geometry, and combinatorics of feedforward neural networks
4pm, Friday, May 12, 2023, 128 Chiles Hall

For additional information on the lectures, please visit the Niven Lectures page.

A tea will precede both lectures at 3:15 p.m. in 219 Fenton Hall.

March 2, 2023

Moursund Lectures – March 7-10

Soren Galatius of Department of Mathematical Sciences KU will visit the UO Department of Mathematics to give the Moursund Lectures, March 7-10. Professor Galatius will present three lectures.

  • Lecture 1 : Topological Pontryagin Classes
    4pm, Tuesday, March 7, 2023, University Hall 208
  • Lecture 2 : Cohomology of moduli spaces of graphs and surfaces
    4pm, Wednesday, March 8, 2023, Tykeson Hall 204
  • Lecture 3 : On the homology of general linear groups of infinite fields
    4pm, Friday, March 10, 2023, Tykeson Hall 204

For additional information on the lectures, please visit the Moursund Lectures page.

A tea will precede all lectures at 3:30 p.m. and a reception will follow Tuesday’s lecture. Both tea and reception will be held in 219 Fenton Hall

November 1, 2022

Math Paper Marker – Apply in HANDSHAKE

A Paper Marker works under the direction of a course instructor to aid the instructor and graduate teaching assistants with student interaction. Major components of the Paper Marker’s duties are typically to work directly with students in scheduled help hours and assist with the evaluation of work. Other job duties, as determined by the course instructor, may include attending class, working and reviewing class problems, assisting a GE-T in scheduled lab, or other support for the class.


We are accepting applications through HANDSHAKE.

If you have questions or would like more information, please contact us at

October 27, 2022

AWM Distinguished Speaker Series

Dr. Emily Peters, Loyola University Chicago, will visit campus November 17-18, 2022 to deliver the fall term AWM Distinguished Lectures.

Dr. Peters earned a Ph.D. degree in mathematics in 2009 from the University of California at Berkeley where she worked with the distinguished mathematician and Fields Medal laureate Vaughan Jones. Currently she is an Associate Professor of Mathematics at Loyola University Chicago. Before going to Loyola, she worked at the University of New Hampshire, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and most recently was a Boas Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Northwestern University. Dr. Peters has received many awards for her work, including the Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor award at Berkeley, and she has received both graduate and postdoctoral fellowships for her research.

Dr. Peters’ research interests are in, broadly, quantum symmetry, and more narrowly, subfactors/fusion categories. She uses planar algebras and “proof by pictures” when possible, and also studies knots and their invariants. Her mathematical hobby is teaching geometric topics (polyhedra and polytopes, decomposition problems, Archimedian geometry, etc.) in math circles and summer programs.

Dr. Peters will give two talks at UO:

Title: Shapes of surfaces
Undergraduate lecture appropriate for a general audience
Thursday, November 17th, 2-3pm
208 University Hall

It is easy, as an outsider, to see that there is a qualitative difference between an apple and a donut. But now imagine that you are a nearsighted ant, walking around one of these surfaces: how can you be sure you are on a toroidal donut and not a spherical pastry? Happily, the tool we use to determine this – called the Euler characteristic – is straightforward enough that its computation is not much beyond the ability of an ant!

Title: Proof by pictures
Graduate level lecture
Friday, November 18th, 12-1pm
210 University Hall

Maybe you’ve heard of diagram algebras, diagram categories, spiders, planar algebras, or something similar. And you’re wondering, is this really math? Are the pictures an analogy or are they actual mathematical objects? Happily, there are rigorous mathematical frameworks that have pictures as their ingredients. I’ll tell you about some of the most exciting examples, including the Temperley-Lieb algebra (and its relation to knot theory), the color-counting planar algebra (and the five-color theorem), and the extended Haagerup subfactor (joint work with Bigelow, Morrison and Snyder).

April 11, 2022

AWM Distinguished Speaker Series

Julia Pevtsova, University of Washington, will visit campus April 13-14, 2022 to deliver the spring term AWM Distinguished Lectures.

Julia Pevtsova is a professor at the University of Washington, holding degrees from Saint-Petersburg State University and Northwestern University. Dr. Pevtsova’s research is in algebra and representation theory, and in particular, geometric aspects of representation theory of algebraic and finite groups, representation theory and cohomology of Lie algebras, Hopf algebras, Quantum groups, Supergroup schemes, and Triangular geometry.

Dr. Pevtsova has received many awards for her research, and for her teaching and mathematical outreach in her community. In 2017, she became a fellow of the American Mathematical Society for her contributions to modular representation theory. In 2018, she received the Distinguished Teaching Award from the Pacific Northwest Section of the Mathematical Association of America, and the Education Prize from the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences for her major role in encouraging activities that enhance public awareness and appreciation of mathematics.

Dr. Pevtsova will deliver an undergraduate lecture appropriate for a general audience on Wednesday, April 13, at 3pm in 105 Fenton Hall. The title of this talk is Math Outreach: local, global, and interconnected

Dr. Pevtsova will deliver a graduate level lecture on Thursday, April 14, at 4pm in 117 Fenton Hall. The title of this talk is Wild representation theories

April 4, 2022

Distinguished Lecture for Undergraduates

Anna Haensch, Tufts University, will give a broadly accessible talk in the Distinguished Lectures for Students series at 5 pm on Monday, April 4. After her hour-long talk, she will also be available to chat and answer questions.

Attendees must register in advance for this meeting.

Title: From Riemann zeta to big data: A journey through mathematics and the lessons learned along the way

Abstract: I recall being an undergrad math major, knowing that math was a simultaneously fun and powerful tool, but not quite understanding how I could be a “professional mathematician,” or what that even meant! Sure, math is everywhere *gestures vaguely in the direction of everywhere,* but I needed something a bit more concrete than that. Today, I still don’t know everywhere that math is, but I’ve found a few interesting places. In this talk, I’m going to share some snapshots from my journey in math. I’ll show you some of the specific ways that I’ve enjoyed math and how I’ve made a career out of that enjoyment. In particular, I’m going to share how I went from being an academic number theorist studying the cobweb covered equations of antiquity to becoming a cutting edge data scientist, often called the “sexiest job of the 21st century.” I’ll leave lots of space for questions and conversation!

January 10, 2022

AWM Distinguished Speaker Series

We are excited to announce that the AWM Distinguished Speaker for Winter 2022 is Jessica Sidman, Professor on the John Stewart Kennedy Foundation at Mount Holyoke College. Her areas of research include combinatorial algebraic geometry, computational commutative algebra, and rigidity theory. She will be giving two talks, one titled, “Geometric equations for matroid equations” on Monday January 10th at 4pm on Zoom, and one titled, “Frameworks in motion: theory, design, and fabrication” on Tuesday January 11th at 4pm on Zoom.

Click on the title for abstract, Zoom meeting number and passcode.

May 18, 2021
May 12, 2021

In Memoriam: Marion Walter, 1928–2021

We are saddened to report that Professor Emerita Marion Walter passed away recently at the age of 92. Marion was a world-renowned mathematics educator and a beloved teacher of teachers of mathematics. She received a master’s degree in mathematics at NYU in 1954 and a Doctorate of Education from Harvard in 1967. She taught high school mathematics while pursuing her master’s degree, was a teaching fellow at Cornell University, taught at Simmons College (where she created the math major), and was an assistant professor at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education where she taught prospective elementary and high school teachers.

Marion came to UO in 1977, where she specialized in the instruction of courses that trained future teachers. She retired in 1994. In her honor the UO Mathematics Department gives out the Marion Walter Future Teachers Award each year to a distinguished graduating senior who is beginning a career in teaching.

In addition to her teaching Marion is known for her wonderful books, such as “The Art of Problem Posing” that she wrote with Stephen Brown and “The Magic Mirror Book” which was aimed at teaching children about symmetry. Her most well-known contribution to mathematics is “The Marion Walter Theorem” (often affectionately just called “Marion’s Theorem”) which concerns the area of the hexagon created when lines are drawn from the vertices of a triangle to the trisection points on the opposite side. Marion was also very interested throughout her life in the connections between math and art.

Marion has her own Wikipedia page, so you can read about her life here:

Marion Walter Wikipedia

There are also good articles about her life at the following links:

Celebrating Marion Walter – and other unsung female mathematicians

MacTutor Biography

Introducing the Marion Walter Collection

Marion was a beloved member of the UO Math Department and will be missed terribly.

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