American Mathematical Society

My Account · My Cart · Customer Services · FAQ  

Arnold Ross Lectures

The purpose of this series of lectures for talented high school mathematics students is to stimulate their interest in mathematics beyond the traditional classroom and to show them the tremendous opportunities for careers in mathematics--as mathematics teachers and as researchers in government, industry, and university programs. The lectures are intended to illustrate some recent development in mathematical research. Read the background behind the Arnold Ross Lectures.

2017 Arnold Ross Lecture

Ken Ono

Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Mathematics, Emory University
Why does Ramanujan, "The Man Who Knew Infinity,’’ matter?
Orlando Science Center, Orlando, Florida
Wednesday, 15 November 2017.
Photo courtesy of Emory University

You'll want to click here to see the 2017 announcement and save the date!

Abstract:  Srinivasa Ramanujan is one of the most inspirational figures in the history of mathematics. Born in 1887, Ramanujan was a poor Brahmin from lush south India who left behind three shabby notebooks that engineers, mathematicians and physicists continue to mine today. His ideas came to him as visions from a Hindu goddess. As a two-time college dropout, he could have easily been lost to the world, a thought that scientists cannot begin to absorb. In this lecture, some of the studies of Ramanujan that are most accessible to the general public will be presented. The speaker, an Associate Producer of the film The Man Who Knew Infinity (starring Dev Patel and Jeremy Irons) about Ramanujan, will also share several clips from the film about this enigmatic hero. Most importantly, the speaker will explain why Ramanujan matters today. He will promote the “Idea of Ramanujan”: Talent is often found in the most unpromising circumstances. It must be located and then nurtured.

Biography:  Ken Ono is the Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Mathematics at Emory University. He is considered to be an expert in the theory of integer partitions and modular forms. He has been invited to speak to audiences all over North America, Asia and Europe. His contributions include several monographs and over 150 research and popular articles in number theory, combinatorics and algebra. He received his Ph.D. from UCLA and has received many awards for his research in number theory, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Packard Fellowship and a Sloan Fellowship. He was awarded a Presidential Early Career Award for Science and Engineering (PECASE) by Bill Clinton in 2000 and he was named the National Science Foundation’s Distinguished Teaching Scholar in 2005. In addition to being a thesis advisor and postdoctoral mentor, he has also mentored dozens of undergraduates and high school students. He serves as Editor-in-Chief for several journals and is an editor of The Ramanujan Journal.

Links of possible interest.

Past Arnold Ross Lectures

2016 Arnold Ross Lecture

Professor Nancy Kopell, Professor of Mathematics at Boston University gave the 2016 Arnold Ross Lecture at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History in Fort Worth, Texas.  She spoke about Brain Rhythms in Health and Disease to read more about her talk and the other events click here.

Nancy Kopell

© 2000 Boston University. All rights reserved.


2014 Arnold Ross Lecture

Henry Cohn

Henry Cohn, principal researcher and one of the founding members of Microsoft Research New England, gave the 2014 Arnold Ross Lecture at The Leonardo in Salt Lake City. He asked the question What’s the densest sphere packing in a million dimensions? For more about his Lecture and the Who Wants to Be a Mathematician game click here.

(Photo courtesy of Bryce Vickmark)

2013 Fall Lecture

Bryna Kra

Bryna Kra of Northwestern University gave the Fall 2013 Arnold Ross Lecture, Patterns and Disorder: How Random Can Random Be? The lecture was held at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, Illinois. To read more about her lecture and the Who Wants to Be a Mathematician game click here.

2013 Spring Lecture

Erik Demaine

Erik D. Demaine of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology gave the Spring Arnold Ross Lecture, Algorithms Meet Art, Puzzles, and Magic. The lecture was held at the new Museum of Mathematics in New York City. To read more about his lecture and the Who Wants to Be a Mathematician game click here.

2011 Lecture

Joan P. Hutchinson

Joan P. Hutchinson, Professor Emerita, Macalester College, gave the Arnold Ross Lecture, From crayons to color graphics: How mathematicians use color. The 2011 Lecture was held at the Science Museum of Minnesota in St. Paul. Photo courtesy of Macalester College

2010 Lecture

Thomas C. Hales

Thomas C. Hales, Mellon Professor of Mathematics, University of Pittsburgh, gave the 2010 Arnold Ross Lecture, Can Computers Do Math? The Lecture was held at the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Thursday, October 14, 2010. To find out more click here.

Photo Copyright ©, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 2010, all rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.

2009 Lecture

Dana Randall

Dana Randall of the Georgia Institute of Technology, gave the Arnold Ross Lecture, Domino Tilings of the Chessboard: An Introduction to Sampling and Counting at the National Science Center/Fort Discovery in Augusta, Georgia, on Thursday, October 29, 2009. Click here to read more of the days events at Fort Discovery.

2008 Lecture

David C. Kelly with Hartman Halo

David C. Kelly, Hampshire College, gave the 2008 Arnold Ross Lecture, From Pascal's Triangle to Sierpinski's Triangle in Base 2 at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry on Thursday, October 23. To read more click here.

2007 Lecture

Barry Mazur

Barry Mazur, Harvard University, gave the 2007 Arnold Ross Lecture on How many prime numbers are there? at the Museum of Science in Boston, MA on Thursday, November 1. To read more click here.

2006 Lecture

Manjul Bhargava

Manjul Bhargava, Princeton University, gave the 2006 Arnold Ross Lecture on The Mathematics of Rhythm at the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago on Tuesday, October 24. To read more click here.

2005 Lecture

Kenneth Ribet

Kenneth A. Ribet, University of California, Berkeley, gave the 2005 Arnold Ross Lecture on Fermat's Last Theorem and Beyond at the New York Hall of Science on Thursday, November 3. To read more click here.

2004 Lecture

Elwyn Berlekamp

Elwyn Berlekamp, University of California at Berkeley, gave the 2004 Arnold Ross Lecture on The Dots and Boxes Game: Sophisticated Child's Play at the St. Louis Science Center on April 21. Following the lecture AMS Public Awareness Officer Mike Breen emceed the "Who Wants To Be A Mathematician" game, during which five talented high school students won a total of $7,000 from the AMS. As a grand finale to the day's events, Berlekamp played many of the high school students in the audience in a simultaneous game of Dots and Boxes. To read more click here.


2003 Lecture

Paul Sally

Paul J. Sally Jr., University of Chicago, gave the 2003 Arnold Ross Lecture on Problems in Mathematics from Zero to Infinity to an enthusiastic crowd of approxomately 250 high school students and teachers. This lecture was further enhanced by a game show that was held after refreshments.

The successful mathematics game show, Who Wants to be a Mathematician, was run in conjunction with the lecture by the AMS Public Awareness Office. The exuberant student audience contributed to the atmosphere of excitement and enjoyment as they cheered on the contestants.

Comments from students who attended a recent Arnold Ross Lecture:

"We are three students who attended the recent Arnold Ross Lecture at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago and wanted to thank you for bringing the lecture here. It was a great experience and we had a lot of fun.We hope the lecture returns soon."

To read more click here.

Earlier Arnold Ross Lectures:   2002 and 2001 .


In the late 1980s, with the encouragement of Professor Paul J. Sally, Jr., (1933-2013) of the University of Chicago, the American Mathematical Society instituted a series of lectures aimed at talented high school mathematics students. In 1993, the series was dedicated to Professor Arnold E. Ross of Ohio State University for his many contributions to the development of mathematical and scientific talent.

As chairman of the mathematics department at the University of Notre Dame, Dr. Arnold Ross started a mathematics enrichment program for high school teachers in 1947. He started his multi-level summer program for gifted high school students in 1957 and ran it every summer until 2000, giving the number theory lecture each morning.

In keeping with this prestigious tradition, the American Mathematical Society is proud to present the annual Arnold Ross Lecture for talented high school mathematics students. These lectures are sustained, in part, by an endowment established in 1996, by Professor Sally.

This is a time of exciting progress in the mathematical sciences. Mathematical research has stimulated new ideas in many subject areas--computer science, physics, engineering, biology, the behavioral sciences, and other disciplines.
For additional information contact Robin at the American Mathematical Society.

Committee for Arnold Ross Lectures

David E. Marker, Chair, University of Illinois at Chicago
Steven Joel Miller, Williams College
Mark Tomforde, University of Houston
Glen T. Whitney, Tesseract Management


AMS for Students
AMS for Teachers and Parents
Mathematical Imagery
Who Wants to Be a Mathematician
On Teaching and Learning Mathematics Blog

Updated 06/19/17-rha

Comments: Email Webmaster

© Copyright , American Mathematical Society
Contact Us · Sitemap · Privacy Statement

Connect with us Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn Instagram RSS feeds Blogs YouTube Podcasts Wikipedia