# Open Neighborhood Seminar

### Harvard University Math Department

## Fall 2020

### September 9

**Speaker:**Amie Wilkinson (UChicago)**Title:**Observations on dynamics, mathematical and existential.**Abstract:**I will report on a dynamical way of thinking and tell you a little about my own personal experience as a mathematician.

### September 23

**Speaker:**Ravi Vakil (Stanford)**Title:**Mathematics from doodling**Abstract:**We'll start with a type of doodle most of you have done since you were little, and start wondering about it. We'll be led through a number of questions I've heard starting from long ago, wandering through a number of different ideas, and hopefully ending in the vicinity of some of the groundbreaking ideas of Maryam Mirzakhani. This is what mathematics, and basic science, is really about --- observing something out there "in nature", wondering about it, explaining it, and realizing that it connects to other deeper questions, and then repeating the process.

### October 7

**Speaker:**James Maynard (Oxford)**Title:**Patterns in the primes**Abstract:**Several of the most famous open problems in mathematics are simple to state questions about patterns in the prime numbers. But why should we care about these questions? Why have mathematicians failed to prove them? And if we don't know how to prove them, why are we confident that we know what the right answer is? I'll give my take on these questions, as well as how the answers lead us to make partial progress on the original problems themselves. Video.

### October 21, 3:00pm ET (Note the unusual time!)

**Speaker:**Hélène Esnault (FU Berlin)**Title:**Geometry and Abstraction: Poetry, Conics of the Greeks, Congruences in China and modern Arithmetic Geometry**Abstract:**The lecture follows the title as a guiding thread.

### November 4

**Speaker:**Mike Hill (UCLA)**Title:**Ruler and Compass Constructions**Abstract:**I'll talk about basic ruler and compass constructions, about math as exploration, about making space in mathematics, and about Harvard. Oh, and of course, the election.

### November 18

**Speaker:**Fabian Gundlach (Harvard)**Title:**Pick's theorem and beyond**Abstract:**We will discuss the problem of counting integer lattice points in polygons and higher-dimensional polytopes. Guests will include Stokes' theorem and L'Hôpital's rule. In the process, we will perform an act of questionable legality on an infinite scale.

**Organizers:**Ana Balibanu (ana@math.harvard.edu) and Elden Elmanto (elmanto@math.harvard.edu).