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What is... a seminar?

An Online Seminar

An online seminar inspired by the AMS Notices column "What is...?"

The Zoom link for the seminar is here. The password is the number twenty-four.

*Please note that you have to click the register button to be added to our mailing list. Clicking the Zoom link only takes you to the meeting currently in progress, if there is one.

The goal of this seminar is to introduce early-career researchers to a variety of mathematical objects, topics, and fields of study. Inspired by the AMS Notices "What Is...?" column, speakers will give non-technical expository talks aimed at grad students, that give listeners a launching point from which to explore more.

We want to build an encouraging, supportive environment for everyone. Please sign up to give a talk (even if you've never given a talk before!) on one of the topics from the AMS list, or any other mathematics that excites you. The seminar is explicitly not subfield specific, so feel free to talk about anything ranging from Cayley graphs to K3 surfaces and everything in between.

Please feel free to email us with questions, comments, or suggestions at

For speakers:

  • Sign up to give a talk accessible to beginning grad students (or advanced undergraduates.) Assume that your audience has taken undergraduate level algebra/analysis/etc. courses, but is, for example, unfamiliar with what a quasigroup is.

  • You can use the list of topics here or here for ideas, or just come up with a completely different topic of your own!

  • Talks can be 20 minutes or 50 minutes, with 10 minutes for questions after each. We will book the whole hour slot but please feel no pressure to fill the time.

  • If you would like us to record your talk, please email us to let us know in advance. Our default is to not record the talks unless asked.

For attendees:

  • Please use your full professional name on Zoom in order to be admitted from the waiting room.

  • Ask questions! We want this to be a conversation, not a monologue. If you've never heard of the topic before, that might exactly be the reason to attend!

  • Talks will be either 20 minutes or 50 minutes, with 10 minutes for questions. Feel free to stick around for informal discussion after the talk or to meet other attendees.

  • These talks will not be recorded, unless specifically requested by the speaker, in which case we will let you know at the beginning of the talk.

  • Please suggest topics you'd like to hear about in future talks using the registration form or by emailing us your suggestions.

To leave feedback, contact us here.

Register to attend or speak