Gentry Lectures

The Ivey and Nell Gentry Lectureship

The Ivey and Nell Gentry Lectureship was established in 1986 by the generous gifts of relatives and friends of Ivey and Nell Gentry.  The purpose of this lectureship is to bring to campus annually an outstanding scholar in mathematics.

Ivey Gentry (1919-1998) graduated from Wake Forest College in 1940.  Service in the Army Air Corps during World War II was followed by enrollment at Duke University from which he received the Ph.D. in mathematics in 1949.  After Duke, he joined the faculty at Wake Forest College where he remained until retirement in 1989.  From 1956-81, he was chairman of the Department of Mathematics.

Professor Gentry’s tenure as chairman spanned the most formative years of the college, later university.  His most important responsibility was to build a departmental faculty and curriculum for a growing institution on a new campus.  When the college became a university in 1967, Professor Gentry recognized the importance of research and publication.

Until her death in 1983, Professor Gentry’s wife, Nell, was constantly at his side as helpmate and advisor.  Her interests were his interests, and her tireless efforts on behalf of the department were legion and great.  Nell Gentry’s attention to detail and propensity for candid verbal expression were the perfect complement to Professor Gentry’s gentle and informal approach. Ivey and Nell were devoted not only to each other, but also to Wake Forest and all this fine institution represents.  Even to this day, we are the beneficiaries of their lives and service.

Gentry Lectures


Mark Newman, Anatol Rapoport Distinguished University Professor of Physics
Department of Physics and Center for the Study of Complex Systems at the University of Michigan
Epidemics, Erdos numbers, and the Internet: The New  Science of Networks, Wednesday, November 30th at 4:00 pm in Pugh Auditorium
Structure, phase transitions, and belief propagation in networksThursday, December 1st at 11:00 am, Room B02, Kirby Hall



Past Gentry Lectures

Cameron Gordon, Ph.D., University of Texas, Austin, Tuesday, April 19 & 20, 2016

Dr. Maria Chudnovsky, Columbia University, Tuesday, Oct. 28

 Professor Nick Trefethen, Oxford University, April 1 & 2, 2014

Dr. Jill Pipher, Professor of Mathematics, Brown University, 2012-2013
Mathematics and the computer: some unexpected pay-offs of an old relationship
The mathematics of public key cryptography and digital signatures

Dr. Raymond J. Carroll, Texas A & M University, 2011-2012
“Statistical Methods for the Interactive Effects of Genes and the Environment on Risk of Disease”
“Deconvolution, Measurement Error and Classification”

Dr. Ravi Vakil, Stanford University, 2010-2011
The Mathematics of Doodling
Murphy’s Law in Geometry

Efim Zelmanov, University of California, San Diego, 2009 -2010
What is Abstract Algebra?
Asymptotic Properties of Finite Groups

Dr. Ken Ono, University of Wisconsin at Madison, 2008-09
“Freeman Dyson’s Challenge For The Future: The Mock Theta Functions”
“Unearthing The Visions Of A Master: The Web Of Ramanujan’s Mock Theta Functions In Number Theory”

Dr. Jeffrey R. Weeks, Freelance Mathematician, Canton, New York, 2007-08
“The Shape of Space”
“Beginners Tour of Curved Space”

Dr. Jeffrey Rosenthal, Department of Statistics University of Toronto, 2006-07
“What is MCMC?”
“Coupling and Convergence of MCMC”

 Dr. Arthur Benjamin. Harvey Mudd College, 2005-06
“Proofs That Really Count”, The Art of Combinatorial Proof
“Counting on Determinants”

Dr. Gene H. Golub, Stanford University, 2004-05
“A History of Numerical Linear Algebra”
“Solution of Non-Symmetric, Real Positive Linear Systems”

Dr. John Conway, Princeton University, 2003-04
“Some Things You Can’t Hear The Shape Of”
“From Elementary Particles to Free Will”

Dr. Jerrold E. Marsden, California Institute of Technology, 2002-03
The 3-Body Problem:  Transport, and Space Mission Design
Geometric Mechanics, Variational Integrators, and Asteroid Pairs

Professor Michael Artin, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2001-02
What is a Stack?
Geometry of NonCommutative Surfaces

Dr. Andrew Granville, University of Georgia, 2000 – 01
Number Races
Catalan’s Conjectures, Fermat’s Last Theorem, Other Equations, and the “abc” Primes in the New Millenium

Ingrid Daubechies, Princeton University, 1999-00
Surfing with Wavelets
Quantizing Redundant Representations

Frank Morgan, Williams College, 1998-99
The Soap Bubble Geometry Contest
Ideal Shapes

Margaret Wright, Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies, 1997-98
Better and Faster: Interdisciplinary Research for Fun and Profit
The Interior-Point Revolution in Constrained Optimization

Richard Brualdi, University of Wisconsin, 1996-97

Doris Schattschneider, Moravian College, 1995-96
The Fascination of Tiling
Visions of Symmetry: Mathematics in the Art of M. C. Escher

Georgia Benkart, University of Wisconsin, 1994-95
Life in the Aftermath – The World Beyond the Symmetric Group
Commuting Actions – A Tale of Two Groups

Jack Hale, Center for Dynamical Systems, 1993-94
Elementary Dynamics and Bifurcations
Asymptotic Behavior of Dissipative Systems

Bradley Efron, Stanford University, 1992-93
Shakespeare and the Case of the Suspicious Statisticians
Survival Analysis of the Gamma-Ray Burst Data

Robert Bryant, Duke University, 1991-92
How Warped Must a Surface Be?
The Geometry of the Willmore Problem

Ron Graham, AT&T Bell Labs and Rutgers University, 1990-91
Computers and Combinatories
Quasi-Random Graphs

Paul Waltman, Emory University, 1989-90
Modeling Competing Populations
Competition in the Gradostat

Lance Small, University of California, San Diego, 1988-89
Rings and Things
Traces and Triangularization

Phillip Griffiths, Duke University, 1987-88
The Unity of Mathematics: Poncelet’s Porism
The Unity of Mathematics: Linearizing Flows and Algebraic Curves

Carl Pomerance, University of Georgia, 1986-87
Public Key Cryptography and How to Crack It
Factoring Integers with Elliptic Curves

Walter Rudin, University of Wisconsin, 1985-86
Holomorpic Maps from Cn to Cn
Sets of Distance