Math Science Literature Lecture Series


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May 6, 2020 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Robert Griess - University of Michigan

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TitleMy life and times with the sporadic simple groups

Abstract: Five sporadic simple groups were proposed in 19th century and 21 additional ones arose during the period 1965-1975. There were many discussions about the nature of finite simple groups and how sporadic groups are placed in mathematics. While in mathematics grad school at University of Chicago,  I became fascinated with the unfolding story of sporadic simple groups. It involved theory, detective work and experiments. During this lecture, I will describe some of the people, important ideas and evolution of thinking about sporadic simple groups. Most should be accessible to a general mathematical audience.


Written articles will accompany each lecture in this series and be available as part of the publication “History and Literature of Mathematical Science.”

The schedule will be updated as talks are confirmed.