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UB to host major math meeting

By CHARLOTTE HSU

Published September 12, 2017

If you’re on the North Campus this coming weekend, you might notice huge crowds of mathematicians roaming the grounds and packing lecture halls.

For the first time since 1999, UB’s math department is hosting the Fall Eastern Sectional Meeting of the American Mathematical Society. The two-day conference is expected to draw as many as 400 participants from across the Northeast.

“It’s a great opportunity for the department — we'll have hundreds of people visiting UB who might never have come here,” says mathematics chair David Hemmer. “It’s great for our PhD students to have everything happen right here, and it gives our faculty a chance to easily organize special sessions, which is like hosting a mini conference in your area of research interest.”

The lineup of presentations includes plenty of intriguing titles: “Seaweed algebras and their associated meanders.” “Boundary maps for some hierarchically hyperbolic spaces.” “Toric ideals of neural codes.” “Games with oracles that lie.”

The conference includes a book sale in Knox Hall and a Saturday night reception in the Student Union, where menu highlights include Buffalo wing dip, mini beef on wecks and loganberry glazed meatballs.  

“We’re proud that the American Mathematical Society chose to come to Buffalo, and we managed to host at a time of year when the weather is great, so we think it’ll be a good thing for the department and the region,” Hemmer says.

UB’s math department has about 30 tenure-track faculty, with specialties in fields including applied mathematics, algebra, topology and analysis. According to Hemmer, the department has some 65 doctoral students, awards about 100 bachelor’s degree each year and teaches the most credit hours in the College of Arts and Sciences.

The region has a long history of hosting American Mathematical Society events. The society’s very first colloquium — at a summer meeting in 1896, two years after the society became a national organization — was held in Buffalo.