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Sent exclusively to alumni, the Department of Mathematics newsletter features alumni and department updates, as well as event information. If you are one of our alumni, update your contact information with the GW Office of Alumni Relations to start receiving this and other exclusive alumni benefits. And don’t forget to send an email to the department with your life updates for future newsletters.

Latest Issues:

20202019, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013


Upcoming Events

Fall 2020

Dynamics seminar

The second meeting will be Friday, September 25, , 2 to 3 pm on Zoom.

Speaker: Prof. Robbie Robinson, GWU
Title: Introduction to Entropy

I’ll discuss (or at least begin the discussion of) the notions of metric and topological entropy in ergodic theory and in dynamical systems. Mostly definitions and examples.

If you would like a Zoom invitation please write to [email protected].  If you received this message from [email protected] you will get a Zoom invitation automatically.

Applied Math Seminar

Yanxiang Zhao is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Applied Math Seminar

Time: Sep 25, 2020 02:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 966 8361 9015

Passcode: 098871

General (Main) Seminar MSRI program on DDC

Organizers: A. Shlapentokh and V. Harizanov

For link contact [email protected]

Friday, September 25, 12:00-1:00 on Zoom

Speaker:  Barry Mazur Harvard University

Title: Diophantine stability and unsolvability

Abstract: Following Karl Rubin’s lecture last week we will consider the “relative Diophantine notion”: a field extension L/K is Diophantine Stable for a variety V defined over K if V acquires no new rational points passing from K to L. I will discuss results, heuristics, conjectures related to Diophantine Stability, and especially: applications to Hilbert’s Tenth Problem. This consists of both joint work with Karl Rubin; and also a DDC workshop project with Karl Rubin and Sasha Shlapentokh.

Computability Seminar MSRI program on DDC

Organizer: V. Harizanov

For link contact [email protected]

Thursday, September 24, 12:00-1:00 on Zoom

Speaker:  Alexandra Soskova Sofia University, Bulgaria

Title: Effective coding and decoding in classes of structures

Abstract: The class of undirected graphs and the class of linear orderings both lie “on top” under Turing computable embeddings. The standard Turing computable embeddings of directed graphs (or structures for an arbitrary computable relational language) into undirected graphs come with uniform effective interpretations. We give examples of graphs that are not Medvedev reducible to any linear ordering, or to the jump of any linear ordering. Any graph can be interpreted in a linear ordering using computable Sigma_3 formulas. Friedman and Stanley gave a Turing computable embedding L of directed graphs in linear orderings. We show that there do not exist L_(omega_1,omega) formulas that uniformly interpret the input graph G in the output linear ordering L(G). This is joint work with J. Knight and S. Vatev.

Dynamics seminar

The form meeting of the Fall dynamics seminar will take place (next) Friday, September 18, 2 to 3 pm on Zoom.

Speaker: Prof. Nyima Kao, GWU
Title: Gibbs measures (I)

Gibbs measures, in mathematics, are important invariant measures which carry many physical and statistical properties. In this hour, we will discuss preliminaries and physics motivation about Gibbs measures. If time permits, we will discuss the mathematical construction of Gibbs measures (for symbolic dynamical systems). In the following weeks, we will discus more properties of Gibbs measures and their applications. The discuss will be mostly based on Rufus Bowen’s book “Equilibrium States and the Ergodic Theory of Anosov Diffeomorphism”.

(Note: This title is available as a downloadable e-book in Gelman)

Computability Seminar MSRI program on DDC

Organizer: V. Harizanov

For link contact [email protected]

Friday, September 18, 12:00-1:00 on Zoom

Speaker:  Wesley Calvert SIU

Title: Effective ringed spaces and Turing degrees of isomorphism types

Abstract:  The Turing degree spectrum of a countable structure A is the set of all Turing degrees of isomorphic copies of A.  The Turing degree of the isomorphism type of A is the least degree in this spectrum, if there is a least degree.  Frequently one can prove that, for a given class K of structures (e.g., the class of fields), for any Turing degree d there is an element of K whose isomorphism type has degree d.  Frequently this result is established by finding that K has certain combinatorial properties.  Here we show that this universality property holds for various classes of ringed spaces: unions of subvarieties of a fixed variety, unions of arbitrary ringed spaces, and schemes.



About Our Events

A green chalkboard covered in mathematical equations


Join us for lectures by visiting faculty on a variety of mathematical subjects and current research problems. Everyone is strongly encouraged to attend colloquia, and full-time graduate students are required to do so. Do not be discouraged if you do not understand talks in their entirety; the important thing is to gain initial exposure to different areas of mathematics and their basic problems. 

students and faculty attending Lois Curfman special lecture


Hear from distinguished GW scholars about their latest work in a variety of fields. Students are strongly encouraged to attend seminars to gain inspiration for future research projects and to network with experts in their area of interest. Find upcoming colloquia listed on this page when scheduled, and visit the Past Events page to explore past events by topic.

A coffee tumbler mug showing the words "Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, The George Washington University"

Coffee Hour

Since 2011, the weekly coffee hour has created opportunities for our faculty and students to meet regularly and interact with each other. It also serves as a platform for friends and guests to visit the department. We thank the Simons Foundation, whose collaborative grants have helped us to start the Coffee Hour. During the semester when campus is open, the coffee hour is held on Fridays from 2–3 p.m. or 3–4 p.m. in Phillips Hall 704/705.


Mathematics News

GW undergraduates Logan Bartholomew (left), Christianne Chua and Maggie Steiner

Three GW Students Named Goldwater Scholars

The prestigious award highlights the work of undergraduate researchers who plan to pursue careers in the natural sciences, engineering or mathematics. Maggie Steiner, a junior majoring in applied mathematics with minors in biology and economics, has been working as an undergraduate research assistant for the past three years.
Three student teams won funding for their startups as top winners in GW’s 2019 New Venture Competition.

Combatting Plastic Waste, Fighting Food Insecurity, Sweetening Corporate Gifts

GW’s New Venture Competition awarded three student companies funding and other prizes as top winners in the 2019 competition. Junior mathematics major Manyung Emma Hon’s Plast-Ways, a startup that uses plastic-eating microbes to expand the life of landfills by reducing the lifetime of plastic from 1,000 years to about six weeks, won for the tech category.
Samsara Counts, a senior majoring in computer science and mathematics

Computer Science for Social Good

Samsara Counts, a senior majoring in computer science and mathematics, used deep learning methods to develop tools that help patients with eating disorders avoid triggering images online.
Voting box

Making Election Math Add Up

Can mathematics save our election system? Professors Daniel Ullman and E. Arthur Robinson forecast the pluses and minuses of how we count votes.
Sophomores Aleksandra Dagunts (left) and Margaret Steiner started the GW Undergraduate Review

GW Undergraduate Review to Highlight Student Research

A student group is launching a new academic journal for undergraduates to showcase research papers, led by applied mathematics major Margaret Steiner.
Senior math major Isabelle Berger is a board member for the GW Association for Women in Mathematics

Making Women + Math = Opportunities

Despite advances in women studying STEM fields, a gender gap still persists among mathematics degree-holders and job-seekers. Columbian College students and faculty are searching for formulas to solve the women and math equation.



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