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K-State Today

September 15, 2021

Emily Riehl to present 27th Harry E. Valentine lecture

Submitted by Reta McDermott

Emily Riehl, associate professor of mathematics at Johns Hopkins University, will present the 27th Harry E. Valentine Lecture as part of the Mathematics Department Women Lecture Series in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Association for Women in Mathematics.

Riehl will present "Contractibility As Uniqueness" from 2:30-3:20 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 16, via YouTube Live.

The abstract for the lecture is: What does it mean for something to exist uniquely? Classically, to say that a set A has a unique element means that there is an element x of A and any other element y of A equals x. When this assertion is applied to a space A, instead of a mere set, and interpreted in a continuous fashion, it encodes the statement that the space is contractible, i.e., that A is continuously deformable to a point. This talk will explore this notion of contractibility as uniqueness and its role in generalizing from ordinary categories to infinite-dimensional categories.

The math department is a part of K-State's College of Arts and Sciences. To learn more about opportunities in math at K-State, visit the math department website.

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