Howard Rowlee Lecture 2018

Symmetry in Mathematics


The speaker for the 2018 Howard Rowlee Lecture is Dave Benson, professor emeritus of mathematics at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. The lecture will be held at 4 p.m. April 27 in Avery Hall, Room 115. All faculty, staff and students are welcome to attend.

Benson’s talk, “Symmetry in Mathematics,” will discuss symmetry and cohomology of groups in nature, music, first-grade arithmetic, and crystallography.

About the Speaker

His research area is group theory, broadly interpreted, including the cohomology theory and representation theory of such, and the connections of these topics with algebraic topology, algebraic geometry and commutative algebra. Benson received his Ph.D. from Cambridge University under the direction of John Thompson and was a professor at the University of Georgia before moving to Scotland.

Early in his career, Benson was involved in the famed classification of finite simple groups. He has nearly 150 publications to his name, including a popular two-volume manuscript on representation theory and cohomology. Benson is also the author of “Music: A Mathematical Offering,” a 500-page treatise on the mathematics of music, including applications of groups to music theory. In 2017, Benson was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

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