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Primes I have enjoy'd

Thu, February 23rd, 2023
4:15 pm
- 5:30 pm

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Prof. Goldmakher’s goal in this talk is to convey the beauty and euphoria of math research, in particular trying to explain his decades-long fascination with prime numbers. All are welcome—an open mind and elementary-school math background are all that’s needed to engage with the material.

Prior to realizing that he could get paid to play with puzzles for his own amusement, Leo Goldmakher pursued a number of other careers—astronaut, paleontologist, singer songwriter—all before the age of 5. A string of outrageous oversights by admissions officers led him to obtain degrees from Princeton and the University of Michigan, after which he was inexplicably hired by the University of Toronto as a postdoc and, subsequently, assistant professor. In 2014 he joined the Williams math/stat department, and has been inflicting mathematics and unforgivable puns on students ever since. He is the recipient of numerous awards, primarily for participation in little league soccer, and is one of the most highly-regarded mathematicians in his household. His primary research interests remain largely unchanged since middle school: to discover and quantify structure and randomness within the natural numbers.

This talk is presented as part of the spring 2023 Faculty Lecture Series. The series was founded in 1911 by Catherine Mariotti Pratt, the spouse of a faculty member who wanted to “relieve the tedium of long New England winters with an opportunity to hear Williams professors talk about issues that really mattered to them.” From these humble and lighthearted beginnings, the Faculty Lecture Series has grown to become an important forum for tenured professors to share their latest research with the larger intellectual community of the college.

The Faculty Lecture Series is organized by the faculty members of the Lecture Committee. The aim of the series is to present big ideas beyond disciplinary boundaries.  All lectures will begin at 4:15 p.m.  They are free and open to the public. The Faculty Lecture Series will be video recorded and posted on Williams YouTube.

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