News & Events
Edward L. Reiss Memorial Lectures

Edward ReissEdward L. Reiss was a distinguished applied mathematician at Northwestern who passed away in 2000. To honor his memory, the Edward L. Reiss Memorial Fund was established to support the Edward L. Reiss Memorial Lectures in Applied Mathematics as an annual event.

Reiss Lecturers give two seminars, usually on consecutive days:

  • The first lecture is a general talk, open to the public and accessible to the wider scientific community, covering broad topics in applied mathematics. 
  • The second lecture is a more technical lecture discussing recent research results.

2022 Reiss Lecture

As a part of the Reiss lecture series, Professor Steven Strogatz delivered lectures on Writing About Math for the New York Times and Networks of Oscillators That Synchronize Themselves on May 2nd and 3rd respectively

Steve Strogatz

Jacob Gould Schurman Professor of Applied Mathematics, Cornell University  

Writing About Math for the New York Times

In the spring of 2010, Steven Strogatz wrote a 15-part series on the elements of math, from basic to baffling, for the New York Times. To his surprise - and his editor's - each piece climbed the most emailed list and elicited hundreds of appreciative comments. In this talk Prof. Strogatz will describe his adventures in bringing math to the masses, and will share the lessons he learned about what works… and what does not. 

Networks of Oscillators That Synchronize Themselves

Populations of coupled oscillators are pervasive in the natural world, from swarms of rhythmically flashing fireflies to groups of pacemaker cells in the heart. Some systems of oscillators have the amazing ability to synchronize themselves, such that all the oscillators end up firing in unison, no matter how disorganized they were at the start. Prof. Strogatz will discuss the simplest mathematical model of a self-synchronizing system, the so-called Kuramoto model, and discuss how it behaves on different kinds of networks. Using techniques from nonlinear dynamics, numerical linear algebra, and computational algebraic geometry, he will discuss new bounds, conjectures, and open problems about synchronization on dense deterministic networks and sparse random ones, based on his joint work with Alex Townsend, Mike Stillman, and Martin Kassabov.

Previous Speakers

April 19-20, 2021
Quantifying Patterns in Biological Systems
Localized Pattern Formation
Professor Björn Sandstede, Department Chair, Division of Applied Mathematics, and Professor of Applied Mathematics, Brown University

May 6-7, 2019
From Differential Equations to Data Science and Back
Accelerated Simulation for Plasma Kinetics
Professor Russel Caflisch
, Director, Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University

April 9-10, 2018
Fluid Mechanics at the Scale of the Cell
Upside-Down and Inside-Out: The Biomechanics of Cell Sheet Folding
Professor Raymond E. Goldstein, Schlumberger Professor of Complex Physical Systems, Department of Applied Math & Theoretical Physics, University of Cambridge

May 15-16, 2017
The Swim Pressure of Active Matter
The "Super-Fluid" Like Behavior of Active Matter
Prof. John F. Brady, California Institute of Technology

May 9-10, 2016
Predicting Shape: Geometry, Physics and Biology
Programming Shape: Geometry, Physics and Engineering
Prof. L. Mahadevan, Harvard University

May 11-12, 2015
Surface Nanobubbles and Nanodroplets: The Big Picture
The Phase Space of Turbulent Taylor-Couette Flow
Prof. Detlef Lohse, University of Twente, Netherlands

May 19-20, 2014
Spatially Localized Structures: Basic Theory
The Phase Space of Turbulent Taylor-Couette Flow
Prof. Edgar Knobloch, University of California, Berkeley

April 29-30, 2013
Beyond All Orders: The Future of Asymptotics?
Localised Pattern Formation and Snaking Bifurcation Diagrams
Prof. S. Jon Chapman, University of Oxford

April 30, 2012 & May 1, 2012
Confined Colloid Suspensions: Some Equilibrium Properties
Confined Colloid Suspensions: Some Out-of-Equilibrium Properties
Prof. Stuart Rice, University of Chicago

April 11-12, 2011
How The Leopard Got Its Spots
Mathematical Modeling of Tumor Dynamics
Prof. Philip Maini, University of Oxford

April 15-16, 2010
The Challenges of Sustainability
Collective Motion in Animal Populations
Prof. S. Levin, Princeton University

April 6-7, 2009
Frontiers in Complex Systems Research
Kinetics of Transitions Across a Barrier in the Presence of Time Dependent Forcing
Prof. G. Nicolis, Universite Libre de Bruxelles

May 5-6, 2008
Emergence of Spatial Patterns in Physical, Chemical and Biological Systems
Dymical Systems Invariant Curves as Barriers to Transport in Oceanic Flows
Prof. Harry Swinney, University of Texas

June 7-8, 2007
Polarization fingerprints in the clear blue sky
Physics of non-Hermitian degeneracies
Prof. Sir Michael Berry, University of Bristol

May 22-23, 2006
Flapping Flight as a Bifurcation in Reynolds Number
Paired Vortices, Vorticity Growth, and Hovering Flight
Prof. Stephen Childress, Courant Institute, NYU
This lecture was co-sponsored by the IGERT program.

May 23-24, 2005
Bifurcations and Geometry
Continuum Equations for Rarefied Gases
Prof. Edward A. Spiegel, Columbia University

May 17-18, 2004
Passive and Active Array Imaging in Clutter
High Capacity Communication Systems in Complex Environments
Prof. George C. PapanicolaouStanford University

May 12-13, 2003
Adaptive and Parallel Discontinuous Galerkin Methods for Conservation Laws:
Fundamental Computational and Theoretical Properties
A-Posteriori Error Estimation and Superconvergence
Prof. Joseph E. Flaherty, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

May 13-14, 2002
The Mathematics of Visual Perception:
Binocular Vision
Color Vision
Prof. Joseph B. Keller, Stanford University

May 14-15, 2001
Continuation, Bifurcation and Homotopy in Scientific Computation
The Recursive Projection Method: Stabilization and Acceleration of Iterative Processes
Prof. Herbert B. Keller, California Institute of Technology & University of California, San Diego