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Texas A&M University

2023 Sue Geller Undergraduate Lecture

April 19, 6pm, BLOC 117

Reception starts at 5:30pm

Photo of Reinhard Laubenbacher

Jesús A. De Loera

Professor of Mathematics
Department of Mathematics, University of California, Davis

will present

Easy to State but Very Hard to Solve: My Favorite Unsolved Problems about Polyhedra

Abstract:   Sadly the public has very little idea of what mathematicians do. Do they add bigger and bigger numbers? Do they balance big checkbooks?
In this talk I will try to give you a taste of my own research in computational geometry through objects that are very pretty and are familiar to everyone from a young age. Polygons, triangles, squares, cubes, or pyramids are familiar shapes from childhood. Polyhedra, are their high-dimensional versions,and turn out to be widely used in applied mathematics. Their beauty and simplicity appeal to all, but very few people know of the many easy-to-state but difficult-to-solve mathematical problems that hide behind their beauty. This lecture will have lots of nice pictures and will introduces the audience to some fascinating unsolved questions at the frontier of mathematical research and its applications. No prior knowledge beyond your memory of elementary school geometry will be assumed.

Bio of Jesús De Loera:    Jesús A. De Loera's is a professor of Mathematics at the University of California, Davis. In recognition of his contributions to Discrete Mathematics and Optimization, he was elected fellow of both the American Mathematical Society and the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics and is a winner of the Farkas Prize of the INFORMS optimization society. For his teaching and mentoring he won the Distinguished Teaching Award of the College of Letters and Science and the Golden Section Teaching award from the Mathematical Association of America. He is currently vice-president of AMS and editor for SIAM and Sociedad Matematica Mexicana. He has mentored more than 20 Ph.D students and dozens of undergraduates.

The Sue Geller Undergraduate Lecture Series is intended as a venue for undergraduate students to interact with a leading researcher from outside Texas A&M University who has also demonstrated a deep interest in mentoring students. Before 2018 it was known as the Mathematics Undergraduate Research Lecture Series.

Sue Geller, known to students as Dr. Sue, was Professor of Mathematics at Texas A&M. She was the founder and long-time Director of Honors in Mathematics, the first department-level honors program at TAMU. She has supervised more than 100 Masters students and has mentored an uncountable (although finite) number of undergraduates. Her honors include the Ron Barnes Distinguished Service to Students Award from the Texas section of the Mathematical Association of America, and the Texas A&M University Distinguished Service Award in Individual Student Relationships.

2022 Lecture. Reinhard Laubenbacher, Dean's Professor of System Medicine at University of Florida.
2019 poster. Laura DeMarco, Professor of Mathematics at Northwestern University.
2018 poster: Judy L. Walker, Aaron Douglas Professor of Teaching Excellence at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
2017 poster: Jeffrey C. Lagarias, Harold Mead Stark Collegiate Professor of Mathematics at the University of Michigan.
2016 poster: Richard P. Stanley, Norman Levinson Professor of Applied Mathematics at MIT.
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