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AMS-MAA-SIAM Gerald and Judith Porter Public Lecture

This lecture on a mathematical topic accessible to the broader community is given each year at the Joint Mathematics Meetings. It is through the generosity and inspiration of Gerald and Judith Porter that MAA, AMS, and SIAM offer this series of annual lectures. Jerry is Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at the University of Pennsylvania where he taught for 41 years. He has served the MAA as Treasurer, as a member of the Board of Governors for 22 years, and as a member and chair of numerous committees, including chair of the Council on Prizes and Awards. Judith Porter is Professor Emerita of Sociology at Bryn Mawr College, where she taught for 44 years. Her research focuses on the relationship between AIDS and addiction.  She currently serves as Vice-Chair of the Mayor’s Drug and Alcohol Executive Commission of the City of Philadelphia.

List of Lecturers


Maria Chudnovsky, Princeton University
What Makes a Problem Hard?


Bernd Sturmfels, Max-Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences and University of California, Berkeley
The Quadratic Formula Revisited


Georgia Benkart, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Tropical geometry and shallow water waves


Trachette Jackson, University of Michigan
Turning cancer discoveries into effective treatments with the aid of mathematical modeling


Rajiv Maheswaran, Second Spectrum
The fantastic intersection of math and sports: Where no one is afraid of a decimal point.


Cathy O'Neil, ORCAA
Big data, inequality, and democracy


Moon Duchin, Tufts University
Political Geometry: Voting districts,"compactness," and ideas about fairness


Ingrid Daubechies, Duke University
Mathematics for Art Investigation


Jennifer Chayes, Microsoft Research
Network Science: From the Online World to Cancer Genomics


Donald Saari, University of California, Irvine
Voting Paradoxes to the Search for "Dark Matter"


Eitan Grinspun, Columbia University
Movie magic: The mathematics behind Hollywood’s visual effects


Kenneth M. Golden, University of Utah
Mathematics and the melting polar ice caps


Erik D. Demaine, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Geometric puzzles: Algorithms and complexity


Robert J. Lang
From flapping birds to space telescopes: The mathematics of origami


Steven H. Strogatz, Cornell University
The Story of a Mathematical Friendship