# Open Neighborhood Seminar

### Harvard University Math Department

(Roughly) every other Wednesday, 4:30-5:30 p.m. (We alternate with Math Table.) Talk begins at 4:30, social hour begins at 5:30. You can find the zoom link on the College Calendar, or by subscribing to our mailing list.

## Next talk: March 3

**Speaker:**Jenny Wilson (UMichigan)**Title:**Save the Pilgrim!**Abstract:**An evil mathematician has kidnapped the Harvard Pilgrim! To win his freedom, a group of undergrads must each find their name in a row of boxes. The odds look dire—but we’ll use some probability theory and combinatorics to find a strategy that dramatically improves our chances. Can you help save our hapless mascot?

## Past and future talks:

### February 3

**Speaker:**Melanie Matchett Wood (Harvard)**Title:**Universality in random algebraic structures**Abstract:**We will explore the idea of universality in probability theory, as seen in the central limit theorem, in which wide and varied input distributions can all give identical limiting outputs. We will then explore examples of universality in random algebraic structures, such as random vector spaces over finite fields. We will explain how this is connected to recent research on random integral matrices and distributions of class groups of number fields.

### February 17

**Speaker:**Alex Wright (UMichigan)**Title:**Universes of evenly curved surfaces**Abstract:**We will begin by discussing hyperbolic geometry, and how it can be used to build "evenly curved" metrics on a donut with one point removed. We will then discuss Maryam Mirzakhani's computation of the "size" of the universe of all such metrics (the Weil-Petersson volume of the moduli space of complete hyperbolic metrics on a punctured torus).

### March 3

**Speaker:**Jenny Wilson (UMichigan)**Title:**Save the Pilgrim!**Abstract:**An evil mathematician has kidnapped the Harvard Pilgrim! To win his freedom, a group of undergrads must each find their name in a row of boxes. The odds look dire—but we’ll use some probability theory and combinatorics to find a strategy that dramatically improves our chances. Can you help save our hapless mascot?

### March 17

**Speaker:**Matt Emerton (UChicago)**Title:**TBA**Abstract:**TBA

### April 7

**Speaker:**Jordan Ellenberg (UW Madison)**Title:**TBA**Abstract:**TBA

### April 21

**Speaker:**Akhil Matthew (UChicago)**Title:**TBA**Abstract:**TBA

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