Clanton Lecture Series

UPDATE: Due to COVID-19 and Furman restrictions (campus closed to off-campus visitors and gatherings), the in-person Clanton Visiting Mathematician program is cancelled for the 2020-2021 academic year. The next visit is being planned for Spring 2022. Details will be posted as they become available.


Dr. Daniel Litt

On Thursday, March 5, 2020, the Department of Mathematics welcomed Dr. Daniel Litt from the University of Georgia as our speaker for this academic year. There was an afternoon colloquium talk and also a general audience talk in the evening.

Afternoon Reception

3:15 p.m.
Mathematics Office Suite
Riley Hall, Room 205

Afternoon Colloquium Talk

4:00 p.m.
Riley Hall, Room 106

Primes and Geometry

A system of polynomial equations with complex coefficients defines a shape — namely, the set of solutions to this system of equations. What kind of shapes show up this way? It turns out that this (incredibly hard) question has deep connections to number theory. I’ll explain a little bit about how these connections arise, and what we can learn from them.

Evening Presentation

7:30 p.m.
Watkins Room, Trone Student Center

Impossible numbers and unknowable truths

Mathematicians pride themselves on certainty — we know that certain things are true because we can prove them. But it turns out that there are true things we can never prove — some of which are quite concrete. I’ll explain why this is true, and explain some of its implications, both in mathematics and outside of it.

Previous Canton Speakers

  • 2019-2020:  Daniel Litt, University of Georgia
  • 2018-2019:  Gigliola Staffilani, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • 2017-2018:  Jill C. Pipher, Brown University
  • 2016-2017:  William Trotter, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • 2015-2016:  Richarad Karp, University of California, Berkeley
  • 2014-2015:  Bryna Kra, Northwestern University
  • 2013-2014:  Avi Wigderson, Institute of Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ
  • 2012-2013: Ken Ono, Emory University
  • 2011-2012: William J. Cook, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • 2010-2011: J. Michael Steele, University of Pennsylvania
  • 2009-2010: Donald Saari, University of California, Irvine
  • 2008-2009: Stephen Stigler, University of Chicago
  • 2007-2008: Colin Clark, University of British Columbia
  • 2006-2007: Barry Mazur, Harvard University
  • 2005-2006: Peter Winkler, Dartmouth College
  • 2003-2004: Jeffrey Weeks, Mathematician and author of The Shape of Space
  • 2002-2003: Frank Morgan, Williams College
  • 2001-2002: George Andrews, Pennsylvania State University
  • 2000-2001: Kenneth Ribet, University of California, Berkeley
  • 1999-2000: Jonathan Borwein, Simon Fraser University
  • 1998-1999: Carolyn Gordon, Dartmouth College
  • 1997-1998: Mary Ellen Rudin, University of Wisconsin
  • 1996-1997: László Lovász, Yale University
  • 1995-1996: Frederick Mosteller, Harvard University
  • 1994-1995: Saunders MacLane, University of Chicago
  • 1993-1994: Persi Diaconis, Harvard University
  • 1992-1993: John H. Conway, Princeton University
  • 1991-1992: Paul Halmos, Santa Clara University
  • 1990-1991: Bradley Efron, Stanford University
  • 1989-1990: Carl Pomerance, University of Georgia
  • 1988-1999: Heinz-Otto Peitgen, University of Bremen
  • 1987-1988: Ronald Graham, AT&T Bell Laboratories