Bernard Lecture

The annual Bernard Lectureship features a prominent authority on mathematics or computer science who engages members of the college community, including students, faculty, alumni, and the general public, in discussions and lectures.

2015 Lecture

Professor Susan Loepp
Professor of Mathematics, Williams College
Wednesday, Sept. 30 at 8 p.m.
C. Shaw Smith 900 Room, Alvarez College Union

Susan Loepp will deliver the annual Bernard Society of Mathematics Lecture entitled "Protecting Your Personal Information: An Introduction to Encryption". Dating back to the time of the Roman Empire, secret codes have been used to protect military communications. However, today the coding of information is not just important for the military, but is a commonplace (although mostly unseen) component of our modern existence. In her lecture, Professor Loepp will describe a method that Julius Caesar used to code messages to his military commanders, as well as ideas important for modern encryption. The talk will be aimed at a general audience; no prior knowledge of encryption, Julius Caesar, or specific mathematical background will be assumed.

The lecture is free and open to the public.

Previous Lectures

2014 - Professor Jesús De Loera
University of California (The combinatorial structure of convex polytopes)

2013 - Professor Emeritus Larry Baggett
University of Colorado Boulder ("In the Dark on the Sunny Side: A Memoir of an Out-of-Sight Mathematician")

2012 - Professor Paul Edelman
Vanderbilt University ("Mathematics and the Law: The Apportionment of the House of Representatives")

2011 - Professor Sue Whitesides
University of Victoria ("At the crossroads of geometry, discrete mathematics, and algorithm design")

2010 - Professor Manjul Bhargava
Princeton University ("Linguistics, Poetry, and Mathematics")

2009 - Professor Joseph Gallian
University of Minnesota Duluth ("Using Mathematics to Create Symmetry Patterns")

2008 - Professor Keith Devlin
Stanford University ("When Mathematics Changed the World")

2007 - Professor Francis Edward Su
Harvey Mudd College ("Preference Sets, Graphs, and Voting in Agreeable Societies")

2006 - Professor Jeffrey Lagarias
University of Michigan ("Mathematical Crystals and Quasicrystals")

2005 - Professor Ronald Graham
University of California, San Diego ("Searching for the Shortest Network")

2004 - Professor Georgia Benkart
University of Wisconsin ("Ladies of the Ring: A Tale of Two Women and Their Mathematics")

2003 - Professor Edward Scheinerman
Johns Hopkins University ("Mathematics Through Games")

2002 - Professor Underwood Dudley
DePauw University ("Why Teach Mathematics?")

2001 - Professor Emeritus Carl Pomerance
University of Georgia & Bell Laboratories ("Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Paul Erdos, and Me")

2000 - Professor Lenore Blum
Carnegie Mellon University ("Complexity and Real Computation--Where Turing Meets Newton")

1999 - Dr. William R. Pulleyblank
Director of Mathematical Sciences in IBM's Research Division and Director of the IBM Deep Computing Institute ("Duality and Mathematical Optimization")

1998 - Professor Maynard Thompson
Indiana University ("Stratified Population Models and Applications in Ecology")

1997 - Professor David Bressoud
Macalester College ("Alternating Sign Matrix Conjecture")

1996 - Professor Robert Bryant
Duke University ("The Notions of Area and Volume and Geometry: From the Greeks to the Moderns")

1995 - Professor William Dunham
Muhlenberg College ("A Tribute to Euler"), author of Journey Through Genius, The Mathematical Universe, and Euler: Master of Us All

1994 - Professor Robert Devaney
Boston University ("The Fractal Geometry of the Mandelbrot Set")

1993 - Professor Brian White
Stanford University ("On Beyond Infinity")

1992 - Professor Victor Klee
The University of Washington, Seattle ("Some Unsolved Problems in Intuitive Geometry")