The Fields-Carleton Distinguished Lecture is an annual lecture sponsored by the Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences and Carleton University. The series features internationally-renowned speakers with expertise in mathematics, statistics and theoretical computer science. Each guest speaker delivers a public lecture as well as a research lecture, which is more technical in nature.

2023 Guest Speaker

Dr. Chelsea Walton

Professor of Mathematics
Rice University

Chelsea Walton was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, and attended Michigan State University for her undergraduate education. She obtained her Ph.D in Mathematics from the University of Michigan in 2011, with thesis advisors, Toby Stafford and Karen Smith. She was also a visiting student at the University of Manchester (UK) for half of her graduate training. She was then an NSF postdoc at the University of Washington, Seattle in 2011-2012 (mentor: James Zhang), an MSRI/SLMSI postdoc in Spring 2013 (mentor: Sarah Witherspoon), and a NSF postdoc/ Moore Instructor at MIT in 2012-2015 (mentor: Pavel Etingof). Walton has held positions at Temple University (2015-2018) and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2018-2020), before joining Rice University in 2020. She currently lives with her spouse, two dogs, and other creatures in Houston, Texas.

2023 Fields-Carleton Distinguished Lecture: Public Talk

Modernizing Modern Algebra, I: Category Theory is coming, whether we like it or not

Featuring Dr. Chelsea Walton, Professor of Mathematics at Rice University
October 26, 2023, 7 p.m. to 8:15 p.m.
274, 275 Teraanga Commons, Carleton University

Inspired by my past stays at the University of Hamburg, I will chat about the development of the field, Modern Algebra, starting with the foundations set in Germany in the 1920s. Through the work of E. Artin and E. Noether, and through the writings of B. L. van der Waerden, Modern Algebra launched onto the mathematical scene as a sort of Haute Couture fashion in the 1930s. These days, this field is certainly presented as fashion for the masses, as is included in any standard undergraduate curriculum in mathematics. In fact, the contents of van der Waerden’s landmark 1931 textbook “Moderne Algebra” is much in line with our syllabi for algebra courses today. Now at the 100 year mark since the emergence of Modern Algebra, one might wonder: What’s next? I believe it’s Category Theory, whether we like it or not. To support this belief, I’ll present a case study for “algebras” in various settings.


2023 Fields-Carleton Distinguished Lecture: Mathematics Colloquium

Modernizing Modern Algebra, II: Category Theory is coming, whether we like it or not

Featuring Dr. Chelsea Walton, Professor of Mathematics at Rice University
October 27, 2023, 1:30 p.m. (coffee/tea starting at 1 p.m.)
4351 Herzberg Building, Macphail Room, Carleton University

Continuing Part I of the talk, “Modernizing Modern Algebra”, I will discuss the history of “representations” in modern algebra, and will lead into the categorical versions of these structures. Recent joint work with Robert Laugwitz and Milen Yakimov (arXiv:2307.14764) on categorical representations will be presented.


Past Lectures

Recent guest speakers include:

Leon Glass, McGill University
Charmaine B. Dean, University of Waterloo
Gang Tian, Peking University
Uffe Haagerup, University of Copenhagen
Thomas C. Hales, University of Pittsburgh
Kenneth R. Davidson, University of Waterloo
Donald Dawson, Carleton University
V. Kumar Murty, University of Toronto
Philippe Flajolet, INRIA
Jerrold Marsden, California Institute of Technology
Donald Saari, University of California, Irvine