CMU Mathematics Department Colloquia

2023 -- 2024


Meeting Times and Platforms

Typical Colloquium Talks are Thursday, 4:00–4:50pm, in person, virtual, or HyFlex format. Media is indicated under Remark.
The following table gives the information for all colloquium activities, and each Thursday event, including Department-wise Meetings (3:30pm).
This table includes also courtesy bookkeeping for Tuesday, if any, department-wise meetings (3:30pm).
For Graduate Student Seminar (GSS) schedule on Tuesdays, please click here.


Date Speaker Title (Scroll down for Abstract) Remark
9/7/2023 Special Department Meeting On Bylaws
9/14/2022 Department Meeting Department Meeting
9/21/2023 Curricular Meeting Curricular Meeting
10/5/2023 Department Meeting Department Meeting
10/12/2023 Special Department Meeting On Bylaws
10/19/2023 Faculty of Mathematics (CMU) Fall 24--Spring 25 Graduate Courses Exhibition
10/26/2023 Department Meeting Department Meeting
11/2/2023 Curricular Meeting Curricular Meeting
11/9/2023 Special Department Meeting On Bylaws
11/16/2023 Department Meeting Department Meeting
11/23/2023 Thanksgiving Holiday Thanksgiving Holiday
11/30/2023 Malabika Pramanik (University of British Columbia and Banff International Research Station) Points and Distances
(Presentation Recording)
12/7/2023 Special Department Meeting On Bylaws
1/11/2024 Department Meeting Department Meeting
1/25/2024 TBA (Adobe Specialist, CMU) Adobe Presentations
2/1/2024 Department Meeting Department Meeting
Rich Fleming Lecture Series Speaker
Etienne Ghys (CNRS, France)
Rich Fleming Lecture Series -- Day I
The Geometry of Soccer Balls
Location TBA
2/15/2024 Rich Fleming Lecture Series
Etienne Ghys (CNRS, France)
Rich Fleming Lecture Series -- Day II
Homeomorphisms of the Sphere
Location TBA
2/22/2024 Department Meeting Department Meeting
3/7/2024 Spring Recess Spring Recess
3/21/2024 Department Meeting Department Meeting
3/28/2024 Gentle Break Gentle Break
4/11/2024 Department Meeting Department Meeting


Speaker: Faculty of Mathematics (October 19, 2023)
Title: Fall 24 --Spring 25 Graduate Courses Exhibition
Abstract: In this exhibition, some of the faculty members who plan to teach elective graduate courses ​including MTH 520, MTH 578, MTH 627, MTH 637, MTH 645, MTH 732 will give a short presentation about the topics to be covered in the course. It is an opportunity for students to sample the course materials and ask questions to the instructors before they submit Graduate Student Survey Form on Friday, Oct 27, 2023. Pizza will be provided during the presentation. All graduate students and faculty are welcome!

Speaker: Malabika Pramanik (November 30, 2023)
Title: Points and Distances
Abstract: The Pythagorean theorem, dating back to before 500 BC, gives a formula for computing the Euclidean distance between two points. It is simply astounding that a concept so simple and classical has continued to fascinate mathematicians over the ages, and remains a tantalizing source of open problems to this day. Given a set E, its distance set consists of numbers representing distances between points of E. If E is large, how large is its distance set? How does the structure of a set influence the structure of distances in the set? Such questions play an important role in many areas of mathematics and beyond. The talk will mention a few research problems involving Euclidean distances between points and some landmark results associated with them. The presentation is intended to be an introduction to a vibrant research area; no advanced mathematical background will be assumed.

Speaker: TBA (January 25, 2024)
Title: Adobe Presentations
Abstract: TBA

Speaker: Etienne Ghys (February 14, 2024)
Title: The Geometry of Soccer Balls
Abstract: Have you ever considered the unique variations in soccer balls used throughout different World Cups? Take, for example, the iconic Telstar, crafted in 1970 for the Mexico World Cup, featuring distinctive black and white polygonal panels. Have you ever taken a moment to count the number of these panels? This curiosity extends to every other World Cup ball. Personally, I hold a special affinity for the Brazilian ball, affectionately known as the brazuca. We'll delve into the fascinating geometry of these soccer balls, uncovering intriguing connections that reach back to ancient Greek influences. We'll explore the contributions of renowned mathematicians such as Leonardo da Vinci and the American geometer William Thurston.

Speaker: Etienne Ghys (February 15, 2024)
Title: Homeomorphisms of the Sphere
Abstract: Groups of diffeomorphisms of compact manifolds have been a central object of study for many years. In this talk, I aim to provide an overview of some classical results, tracing their origins back to the 1970s. I will also highlight a recent result by D. Cristofaro-Gardiner, V. Humiliere, and S. Seyfaddini. One particularly surprising result is that the group of homeomorphisms of the 2-sphere, preserving both area and orientation, is not a simple group. This is truly remarkable, making the proof a tour de force! My presentation will be impressionistic, hopefully accessible to a wide audience. Rather than delving into technical details, my goal will be more to convince the audience that the problem and its solution are fascinating.


Past Department Colloquia: Spring 2023/Fall 2022 Spring 2022/Fall 2021 Spring 2020/Fall 2019 Spring 2019 Fall 2018 Spring 2018 Fall 2017 Spring 2017 Fall 2016

Look for Colloquia Archives for past activities