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The Clifford Lectures

Alfred Hoblitzelle Clifford

Alfred Hoblitzelle Clifford was an analyst by training but soon became interested in ordered semigroups and eventually in semigroups in general. He is best known for his work on this subject, which is among the most penetrating and insightful. His book, The Algebraic Theory of Semigroups, vol. 1 (1961), vol. 2 (1967), with G.B. Preston, became the first and foremost text on the subject in the West.

Alfred Clifford joined Tulane University in 1955 as head of the Mathematics Department at Newcomb College until its merger with the Arts and Sciences Mathematics Department. In the early 1980's Alfred Clifford made a generous donation to the Department, the income from which has been used to organize an annual Lecture series. Two years after his death in 1992 a special conference on semigroups was held in his memory.

The Lectures

Since 1984 the Mathematics Department at Tulane University has held the annual Clifford Lectures, a week-long series of talks by a distinguished mathematician. A mini-conference is held in conjunction with each of the Clifford Lecture series. A unique feature of the conference is that the other invited speakers are selected by the Clifford Lecturer. Past Clifford Lecturers have included Field Medalists, members of the National Academy of Sciences and many other distinguished scientists. The complete list is below.

The Lecturers

1984
Charles Fefferman | Princeton University
“The Uncertainty Principle”

1985
*S. T. Yau | University of California, San Diego
“Function Theory on Complete Manifolds with Non-Negative Ricci Eurvature”

1986
*William Thurston | Princeton University
“Three Dimensional Manifolds”

1987
Saharon Shelah | Hebrew University
“Non-Structure Theory: How to Build Many Complicated Structures”

1988
Clifford Taubes | Harvard
“Moduli Spaces and Mapping Spaces: Topology and P.D.E.”

1989
Charles Peskin | Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences
“Mathematical Biology”

1990
Haim Brezis | Université de Paris VI
“Liquid Crystals”

1991
Sylvian Cappell | Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences
“Singular Spaces and Intersection Homology”

1992
Nigel Hitchen | University of Warwick
“Flat Connections and Their Applications”

1993
Persi Diaconis | Harvard University
“Geometry and Randomness”

1994
Conference on Semigroup Theory and Its Applications in Memory of Alfred H. Clifford

1995
Peter Sarnak | Princeton University
“General Overview of Spectral Problems Coming from Arithmetical Manifolds”

1996 (Spring)
Dan Volculescu | University of California, Berkeley
“An Introduction to Free Probability Theory”

1996 (Fall)
Paul Fife | University of Utah
“Mathematical Issues in the Dynamics of Phase Transitions”

1997 (Spring)
"Spring Clifford Conference in Partial Differential Equations"

1997 (Fall)
Peter Kronheimer | Harvard University
“Four-Dimensional Geometry and Symplectic Topology”

1998
Peter Bickel | Univeristy of California, Berkeley
“The Method of Sieves in Non and Semiparametric Statistics”

1999
Alexandre J. Chorin | Univeristy of California, Berkeley
“Optimal Prediction”

2000
Robert Friedman | Columbia University
“Lie Groups, and String Theory”

2002
Sergei N. Artemov | City University of New York
“Explicit Logic for Computer Science”

2003
T. J. Pedley | Cambridge University
“Theoretical Fluid Mechanics in Biology”

2004
Yakov Eliashberg | Stanford University
“Symplectic Field Theory”

2005
Jonathan Borwein | Dalhousie University
"Experimental (Computational) Mathematics - and Its Philosophical Implications"

2006
Not held due to Katrina

2007
Eitan Tadmor | University of Maryland
"Computational and Analytical Strategies in Nonlinear Time-Dependent Problems"

2008 (Spring)
Samson Abramsky | University of Oxford
"Information Flow in Physics, Geometry, Logic and Computation"

2008 (Fall)
Bernd Sturmfels | UC Berkeley
Tropical Algebra

2010 (Spring)
Richard Stanley | MIT
Lattice Point Enumeration

2011
Christopher Fuchs | Perimeter Institute
SIC Representations of Quantum States

2012
Shmuel Weinberger | University of Chicago
Quantitative and Applied

2013 (Spring)
Chi-Wang Shu | Brown University
Numerical Methods for Convection Dominated Partial Differential Equations

2013 (Fall)
Peter Constantin | Princeton University
Local and Nonlocal, Deterministic and Stochastic Evolution Equations

2015
Michel Brion | University of Grenoble
Algebraic Groups: Structure and Actions

2016
Pierre van Moerbeke | Universite catholique de Louvain and Brandeis University
Random Matrices, Combinatorics and Tiling Problems

2017
Randall J. LeVeque | University of Washington, Seattle
Hyperbolic PDEs, Software, and GeoHazard Applications

*Fields Medal winners

View Past Years