Rowlee Lecture explores symmetry of mathematics

Dave Benson
Dave Benson

The speaker for the 2018 Howard Rowlee Lecture is Dave Benson, professor emeritus of mathematics at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. The lecture will be held at 4 p.m. April 27 in Avery Hall, Room 115. All faculty, staff and students are welcome to attend.

Benson’s talk, “Symmetry in Mathematics,” will discuss symmetry and cohomology of groups in nature, music, first-grade arithmetic, and crystallography.

His research area is group theory, broadly interpreted, including the cohomology theory and representation theory of such, and the connections of these topics with algebraic topology, algebraic geometry and commutative algebra. Benson received his Ph.D. from Cambridge University under the direction of John Thompson and was a professor at the University of Georgia before moving to Scotland.

Early in his career, Benson was involved in the famed classification of finite simple groups. He has nearly 150 publications to his name, including a popular two-volume manuscript on representation theory and cohomology. Benson is also the author of “Music: A Mathematical Offering,” a 500-page treatise on the mathematics of music, including applications of groups to music theory. In 2017, Benson was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Sponsored by the Howard E. Rowlee Jr. Fund and Nebraska Department of Mathematics, the Howard Rowlee Lecture is an annual event that seeks to bring internationally acclaimed scholars in the mathematical sciences to Nebraska to promote public understanding of mathematical research and to stimulate the environment for mathematics research at Nebraska.

To read more about the Rowlee Lecture Series, please visit: