Georgia Tech to Host American Mathematical Society Spring Southeastern Sectional Meeting

The School of Mathematics will host 800 mathematicians on campus for a theorem-filled weekend of sessions and lectures — including one from a College of Sciences alumna — at the AMS Spring Southeastern Sectional Meeting.

February 22, 2023 | Atlanta, GA

This spring, Georgia Tech will host one of the largest regional meetings of mathematicians in the country. The 2023 Spring Southeastern Sectional Meeting of the American Mathematical Society (AMS) comes to campus March 18-19, 2023.

Approximately 800 mathematicians are expected to attend lectures and special sessions in Skiles and Clough Undergraduate Learning Commons, with a reception scheduled for Saturday evening at the Academy of Medicine.

Michael Wolf, professor and chair of the School of Mathematics, said the AMS meeting is shaping up to be one of the busier ones in recent memory.

"Georgia Tech is just thrilled to be hosting this sectional meeting of the American Mathematical Society, and we've been amazed at the response. This will be one of the larger sectional meetings to be held,” Wolf said. 

“Mathematics advances through sustained conversation, and one can see the hunger for personal connection that has built up over the pandemic,” he added, “reflected in the large number of special sessions and the robust attendance. We are looking forward to a wonderful event where we can all reconnect in person with mathematicians we have not seen in a while and younger people can join the community that has only recently opened up beyond the virtual."

41 special sessions are scheduled for the AMS meeting. Topics speak to a wide range of mathematics research interests: combinatorics, the intersection of math and biology, geometric group theory, quantum systems, disease transmission, big data, and new methods for teaching math to undergraduates.

Special AMS lectures on tap

A School of Mathematics alumna will deliver one of the four invited addresses at the Southeastern Sectional Meeting. Blair Dowling Sullivan graduated from Georgia Tech in 2003 with a double major in applied mathematics and computer science. 

Sullivan went on to receive her M.A. and Ph.D. in mathematics from Princeton University. After internships with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Microsoft, she served on the faculty of North Carolina State University. She is currently an associate professor in the School of Computing at the University of Utah. Her address, “Taking a Hard Look at Generalized Coloring Numbers,” is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 18 in Clough Room 152.

The AMS’s annual Erdős Memorial Lecture, named for prolific mathematician Paul Erdős (1913-1996), will be given by Amie Wilkinson, professor at the University of Chicago, at 5 p.m. on Saturday in Clough Room 152. Wilkinson’s Erdős Lecture is titled “Symmetry Rigidity.”

Wilkinson’s research interest is smooth dynamical systems and their relationship with other structures in pure mathematics — geometric, statistical, topological, and algebraic. 

“The basic idea of dynamical systems is that you do some ‘move’ to a ‘space’ over and over again, and try to figure out what will happen in the long term,” explains Dan Margalit, a School of Mathematics professor whose research topics include topology and geometric group theory.. “An example is what happens to the solar system in the long term? Will Jupiter fly out of the solar system, or will it stay in orbit around the sun forever?  Another example is the rolling of pastry dough, like a croissant. This is an example of a chaotic dynamical system.”

Margalit, a co-organizer of the meeting along with fellow School of Mathematics Professor Greg Blekherman, adds that Wilkinson has published many times in top journals such as Annals of Mathematics. She has also been very active with educational and public outreach. 

“It will be a very lively atmosphere,” Margalit added.

Learn more: 2023 AMS Spring Southeastern Sectional Meeting

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Writer/Media Contact: Renay San Miguel
Communications Officer II/Science Writer
College of Sciences