Dead Mathematicians' Society Schedules Free Lecture Nov. 19

Posted: November 13, 2013

The Dead Mathematicians' Society at Mt. Hood Community College (MHCC), invites the public to the first in a series of free and engaging presentations on math.

Each year, the college's math department schedules the Infinite Enrichment Series on topics that are not typically included in the math curriculum.

The first presentation of the academic year will be held Nov. 19, 3:15 - 4:15 p.m. in room AC2608 on the Gresham Campus, 26000 S.E. Stark St. Refreshments will be provided. Parking is free on all campuses, no permit required.

Derek Garton, Ph.D., from Portland State University, will talk about the Goldbach Conjecture. He explained it this way:

  • In 1742, Goldbach wrote a letter to Euler in which he claimed "every even integer greater than two can be written as the sum of two primes." Euler responded, "I regard this as a completely certain theorem, although I cannot prove it." Despite Euler's certainty, the theorem is still unproven today.
  • The Weak Goldbach Conjecture is the easier statement: "Every odd integer greater than three can be written as the sum of three primes."
  • In May 2013, Harald Helfgott released a proof of this theorem.

 Society Formed in 1986
Nick Chura, MHCC math instructor, leads the Dead Mathematicians' Society. Two MHCC math instructors, now retired, were instrumental in forming the Society in about 1986 to make math fun and interesting: Bill Covell, who teaches part-time at MHCC, and Paul Porch.

Individuals requiring accommodations due to a disability may contact the MHCC Disability Services Office at 503-491-6923 or 503-491-7670 (TDD). Please call at least two weeks prior to the event to ensure availability.

 For more information, media professionals may contact the Office of College Advancement at 503-491-7204 or

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 Last Modified: 11/13/2013 02:15:25 PM