Public Lectures

IMA Public Lectures are free and open to the public.

The IMA Public Lecture Series features distinguished mathematicians and scientists who illuminate the role of mathematics in understanding our world and shaping our lives. The purpose of these talks is to give the public a better understanding about how contemporary mathematical ideas are applied to important technological and scientific problems, conveying the significance and excitement of these applications. These engaging and informative lectures are designed for a broad audience, appropriate for middle-school students and older. This well-established series regularly draws diverse audiences of several hundred people.

Videos for past public lectures are available. Please feel free to watch.

Thursday, November 3, 2022 - 7:00pm The Big Bang of Numbers: How to Build the Universe Using Only Math

Manil Suri (University of Maryland Baltimore County)

Tuesday, February 9, 2021 - 7:00pm Coding and Generative Design for 3D Printing
Laura Taalman (James Madison University)
Tuesday, January 12, 2021 - 7:00pm What We Talk About When We Talk About Math
Lillian Pierce (Duke University)
Wednesday, June 26, 2019 - 7:00pm Very Tiny Knots in Nature

Kenneth Millett (University of California, Santa Barbara)

Wednesday, February 21, 2018 - 7:00pm Impossible Objects: The Mathematics of 3D Illusions
Kokichi Sugihara (Meiji University)
Tuesday, December 5, 2017 - 7:00pm Snow Business: Scientific Computing in the Movies and Beyond
Joseph Teran (University of California, Los Angeles)
Monday, May 15, 2017 - 7:00pm How Quantum Physics Democratized Music: A Meditation on Physics and Technology
Michael Berry (University of Bristol)
Thursday, March 9, 2017 - 7:00pm Magic with Group Testing
Anna Gilbert (University of Michigan)
Monday, February 13, 2017 - 7:00pm Inverse Problems and Harry Potter's Cloak
Gunther Uhlmann (University of Washington)
Thursday, March 10, 2016 - 7:00pm Modeling Tsunamis and Other Geohazards
Tuesday, February 23, 2016 - 7:00pm I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that: Linguistics, Statistics, and Artificial Intelligence in the Big Data Era
Lillian Lee (Cornell University)
Wednesday, April 22, 2015 - 7:00pm The Living Art of Mathematics
Cédric Villani (Université Claude-Bernard (Lyon I))
Wednesday, March 11, 2015 - 7:00pm Waving Tails, Spiny Disks, and Sticky Situations: Explorations in Biological Fluid Dynamics
Lisa Fauci (Tulane University)
Thursday, October 30, 2014 - 7:00pm Toy Models
Tadashi Tokieda (University of Cambridge)
Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - 7:00pm How to Use Geometry to Get Rich Playing the Lottery*
Jordan Ellenberg (University of Wisconsin, Madison)
Tuesday, April 29, 2014 - 7:00pm Mathematics in Modern Architecture
Helmut Pottmann (Technische Universität Wien)
Wednesday, February 12, 2014 - 7:00pm Keeping Track of the Web
Carrie Grimes Bostock (Google Inc.)
Tuesday, October 8, 2013 - 7:00pm The Evolution of Cooperation: Why We Need Each Other to Succeed
Martin Nowak (Harvard University)
Thursday, September 19, 2013 - 7:00pm From Rubik to Escher to Security: Symmetry from Scratch
Brian Conrad (Stanford University)
Wednesday, April 3, 2013 - 7:00pm Mathematics and the Melting Polar Ice Caps
Kenneth Golden (The University of Utah)
Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - 7:00pm Math in China, India, and the West— Can We Compare Their Achievements Objectively?
David Mumford (Brown University)
Tuesday, December 4, 2012 - 7:00pm Alan Turing: The Power of Mathematical Discovery
Andrew Hodges (Wadham College)
Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - 7:00pm Private Data, Public Computation
Kristin Lauter (Microsoft Research)
Wednesday, April 25, 2012 - 7:00pm The Curious World of Probabilities
Jeffrey Rosenthal (University of Toronto)
Thursday, November 3, 2011 - 7:00pm Cryptography: Secrets and Lies, Knowledge and Trust
Avi Wigderson (Institute for Advanced Study)
Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - 7:00pm Flocks and Fleets: Collective Motion in Nature and Robotics
Naomi Leonard (Princeton University)
Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - 7:00pm Recommender Systems for Fun and Profit
Chris Volinsky (AT&T Laboratories - Research)
Wednesday, March 9, 2011 - 7:00pm Secrecy, Privacy, and Deception: The Mathematics of Cryptography
Jill Pipher (Brown University)
Tuesday, November 9, 2010 - 7:00pm Burst, Cascades, and Hot Spots: A Glimpse of Some On-line Social Phenomena at Global Scales
Jon Kleinberg (Cornell University)
Tuesday, September 21, 2010 - 7:00pm How Financial Engineering Can Cure Cancer, Solve the Energy Crisis, and Stop Global Warming
Andrew Lo (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Thursday, April 22, 2010 - 7:00pm Can Chocolate Save Your Life?
Nancy Reid (University of Toronto)
Tuesday, February 9, 2010 - 7:00pm From Flapping Birds to Space Telescopes: The Math of Origami
Robert Lang (Robert J. Lang Origami)
Thursday, November 12, 2009 - 7:00pm The Shape of Space
Tuesday, September 22, 2009 - 7:00pm Chaotic Elections: Why Don't We Elect Who Voters Really Want?
Donald Saari (University of California)
Tuesday, April 28, 2009 - 7:00pm Network Science: From the Web to Human Diseases
Albert-László Barabási (Northeastern University)
Wednesday, March 4, 2009 - 7:00pm Sports Scheduling and the Practice of Operations Research
Thursday, January 22, 2009 - 7:00pm Mathematics Making Sense of Sensors
Robert Ghrist (University of Pennsylvania)
Wednesday, October 29, 2008 - 7:00pm Surfing with Wavelets
Ingrid Daubechies (Princeton University)
Tuesday, March 4, 2008 - 7:00pm The Best of All Possible Worlds: The Idea of Optimization
Ivar Ekeland (University of British Columbia)
Wednesday, February 13, 2008 - 7:00pm Mathematical Modeling in Medicine, Sports, and the Environment
Alfio Quarteroni (Politecnico di Milano)
Thursday, November 1, 2007 - 7:00pm Screening of the Film Achieving the Unachievable with Writer/Director Jean Bergeron
Jean Bergeron (Alpha-Zoulou Films)
Tuesday, October 9, 2007 - 7:00pm Algebra, Statistics, Computation, and Biology
Bernd Sturmfels (University of California, Berkeley)
Wednesday, April 18, 2007 - 7:00pm Epidemics in Technological and Social Networks; the Downside of Six Degrees of Separation
Jennifer Chayes (Microsoft Research)
Wednesday, March 7, 2007 - 7:00pm Patterns Patterns Everywhere
Martin Golubitsky (University of Houston)
Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 7:00pm Making Sense of a Complex World
Christopher Budd (University of Bath)
Thursday, November 2, 2006 - 7:00pm How Hard Can it Be?
Margaret Wright (New York University)
Wednesday, April 19, 2006 - 7:00pm Mathematics and Magic Tricks
Persi Diaconis (Stanford University)
Wednesday, March 22, 2006 - 7:00pm Gravity's Cosmic Shadows: A Mathematical Unveiling
Arlie Petters (Duke University)
Wednesday, February 8, 2006 - 7:00pm Artful Mathematics
Daniel Rockmore (Dartmouth College)
Thursday, December 8, 2005 - 7:00pm Does Math Matter to Brain Matter?
Philip Holmes (Princeton University)
Wednesday, March 30, 2005 - 7:00pm Computers and the Future of Mathematical Proof
Thomas Hales (University of Pittsburgh)
Wednesday, February 9, 2005 - 7:00pm Math Behind the Curtains: Dynamic Simulation at Pixar Animation Studios
David Baraff (Pixar)
Thursday, November 18, 2004 - 7:00pm The Marriage Equation: A Practical Theory for Predicting Divorce and a Scientifically-Based Marital Therapy
James Murray (University of Washington)
Tuesday, October 5, 2004 - 7:00pm Does Mathematics Rule the World?
Roger Penrose FRS (University of Oxford)
Tuesday, March 30, 2004 - 7:00pm Behavioral Finance - The Closed End Fund Puzzle
Stephen Ross
Wednesday, January 7, 2004 - 7:00pm Sync: The Emerging Science of Spontaneous Order
Steven Strogatz (Cornell University)
Thursday, November 20, 2003 - 7:00pm Math at Top Speed: Breaking Myths in the Drag Racing Folklore
Richard Tapia (Rice University)
Monday, September 15, 2003 - 7:00pm After the Human Genome Project: Systems Biology and Predictive, Preventive and Personalized Medicine
Leroy Hood (Institute for Systems Biology)
Thursday, June 5, 2003 - 7:00pm Secrets of the Heart Revealed - by Mathematics and Computer Simulation
Charles Peskin (New York University)
Tuesday, May 6, 2003 - 7:30pm Advances in Whole Genome Sequencing
Gene Myers (University of California, Berkeley)
Wednesday, October 16, 2002 - 7:00pm The Traveling Salesman Problem
William Cook (Georgia Institute of Technology)
Monday, February 12, 2001 - 7:00pm Natural Laws of Digital Content: the Folly of Copy Protection on the Internet
Bruce Schneier (Counterpane Internet Security, Inc.)
Friday, October 22, 1999 - 7:00pm Fractals/Multifractals in Finance, the Internet & Other Wild Aspects of Man's Works
Benoit Mandelbrot (Yale University)
Wednesday, November 11, 1998 - 7:00pm How Mathematics Coupled with Experiment Revealed the Nature of HIV Infection
Alan Perelson (Los Alamos National Laboratory)
Thursday, April 23, 1998 - 7:00pm Life's Other Secret: The New Mathematics of the Living World
Ian Stewart (University of Warwick)
Wednesday, December 31, 1969 - 6:00pm