Fifty-three women mathematicians from throughout the United States will gather at the Institute for Advanced Study from Monday, May 15 to Friday, May 26, to study zeta functions. This 11-day Program for Women and Mathematics is meant to encourage women to pursue careers in mathematics by emphasizing learning and research, mentoring, and peer relations. For information call 609-734-8118.

Zeta functions are, according to a press release, “extremely special functions of mathematics and physics that are intimately related to the prime number theorem. Primes are whole numbers that can only be divided evenly by themselves and one. Because large prime numbers are important for cryptography and the security of Internet transactions, many people (including those at the National Security Administration or those involved with the TV show Numbers) are interested in the mysteries of zeta functions.”

Among the five organizers is Sun-Yung Alice Chang of Princeton University. Also on the committee are Katherine Bold and Ingrid Daubechies of Princeton University, Nancy Hingston of the College of New Jersey, Rhonda Hughes and Lisa Traynor of Bryn Mawr College, and Robert MacPherson of the Institute’s School of Mathematics.

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