Colloquium / Speaker Series

The Stanford University Mathematical Organization hosts a weekly talk given by a professor, grad student, or visitor about undergraduate-accessible topics in pure and applied mathematics that go beyond the standard curriculum. The purpose of this series is to expose undergraduates to some topics not normally covered in the classroom, as well as to introduce them to Stanford’s faculty and community. Talks will be accessible to freshmen in the honors 50-series.

Speaker Series is held each Thursday from 4:15 to 5:05 PM in 380-380C (in the basement of the math building) during Winter and Spring quarters, unless otherwise noted. Food is provided afterwards.

If you have any suggestions or would like to suggest a speaker, please email Brian Wai at brianwai at

2008-2009 | 2009-2010 | 2010-2011 | 2011-2012 | 2012-2013 | 2013-2014 | 2014-2015

2014–2015 Schedule

Fall 2014

September 25 Jenny Wilson Combinatorics and Prisoners
October 2 Brian Conrad Flight Simulators via 4-D Geometry
October 9 Daniel Alvarez-Gavela The Wiggle is a H-Principle
October 16 Alex Wright The combinatorial Nullstellensatz and (restricted) subsets
October 23 Rafe Mazzeo Spectra, resonances, and geometry
October 30 Jan Vondrak A Game of Construction and Destruction
November 6 Persi Diaconis Adding Numbers and Shuffling Cards
November 13 Christian Zickert Polygons, polyhedra and scissors congruence
November 20 Jeremy Booher Square Roots Modulo n and Secure Coin Flipping
Thanksgiving Break :D No talk
December 4 Brian Conrad Fermat’s Last Theorem and Elliptic Curves
Note: Non-standard room location! The talk will be in 380-380W.

Winter 2015

January 8 Akshay Venkatesh Stick-breaking and Factoring
January 15 Jack Poulson A history of “large-scale” linear algebra and optimization
January 22 Simon Brendle Heat diffusion and geometry
January 29 Tom Church The prime-generating sequence that couldn’t
February 5 Benedict Gross p-adic numbers and p-adic groups
Note: Non-standard room location! The talk will be in 380-380W.
February 12 Brian Conrad Wer ist Grothendieck?
February 19 Daniel Litt Zeros of Integer Linear Recurrences
February 26 Kerstin Baer (Acumen LLC) Math, Politics, and your Health Care Data
March 5 Megan Bernstein Markov Chains in Action
March 12 David Arthur (Google) Speeding up Search Ads at Google

Spring 2015

April 2 Samuel Huneke Mathematics Education Under the Nazis
April 9 Eric Marberg Random Sorting Networks
April 16 Sander Kupers Polynomials and Braids
April 23 Kyler Siegel The Bernoulli Numbers
April 30 Rick Sommer Transfinite Tricks for Naming Large Numbers
May 7 Graduate School Panel Graduate School Panel
May 14 Joseph Victor (MemSQL) Hilbert Space Filling Curves and Geometric Data Storage
May 21 Robert Finn Capillary Surfaces
May 28 Daniel Bump Generators and Relations and Geometry
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