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Friday Science Seminar: Anybody Can do Research

Join us in welcoming Davis S. Watkins, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics, Washington State University.

Let's suppose you have some mathematical question you'd like to resolve.  What should you do?  Nowadays you can go online and often find the answer pretty quickly, but I want to argue against that practice.   Here's my suggestion:  Before looking anything up, try to solve the problem yourself.   In other words, do some research!  Anybody can do research.  If you can figure it out for yourself, the reward in satisfaction will be substantial. And it doesn't matter whether you discover something new or rediscover things that have been known for a thousand years.  Either way, the level of satisfaction is the same. I will illustrate this principle by telling you about one of my own research experiences, in which I rediscovered some interesting facts connected with the concept of perfect and not-so-perfect numbers.   This topic dates back at least to Euclid's “Elements” around 300 BC. 


Professor Watkins is an internationally recognized expert in scientific computing, numerical analysis, and, especially, numerical linear algebra.  He is the author of three books in the field and more than one hundred mathematical and scientific publications.  With several co-authors he was honored recently by the award of a SIAM Outstanding Paper Prize for work in eigenvalue computations.  


Friday Science Seminar is a free event and open to the public. Light refreshments provided by the STEM Division.

Please visit our website for future lecture series details.

Friday, May 3, 2019 at 3:30pm to 5:00pm

SOU Science Building, Auditorium 1250 Ashland Street, Ashland, OR 97520

Event Type

Lectures & Presentations

Target Audience

Faculty/Staff, Alumni, Students, Community



Free event

STEM Division


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