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Junior Colloquium

The Junior Colloquium is a series of talks intended for students interested in mathematics or related subjects, started in the fall of 2002. The JC takes place roughly every other Thursday in Ayres Hall. The JC attracts a large and diverse audience, and students at all levels (and even faculty) are invited to attend. Anyone interested in receiving e-mail announcements about the JC (who is not already on the UTKMATH, seminarlist or pmail e-mail lists) will find information on the Tennessee Today web site.

For those interested in speaking, here are some hints about what is expected:

1. Talks should be accessible to anyone with a good understanding of basic calculus. If substantial portions of the talk require a higher level of mathematics then the necessary background should be mentioned in the abstract.

2. Ideally, talks should appeal to a wide audience, which often includes engineering and other non-math majors.

3. Faculty may give talks as often as they wish--keep your notes/slides for future use! However, the same talk may be given at most once in any two consecutive years.

4. It is OK to use a talk to advertise an area of mathematics or a career field, but the main purpose of the talk should be to to tell an interesting story about problem(s) in pure or applied mathematics.

Anyone who would like to receive notices about the JC should go to and add his/her e-mail address to the JRCOLL listserv.

Previous subjects have ranged from quaternions to soap bubbles to tornadoes, and previous speakers have included UT faculty and invited visitors from other universities. Potential speakers should contact Dr. Jochen Denzler in the Math Department for more information.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

TITLE: Why should (1/2)! be something like 0.886227 (aka sqrt(pi)/2)) ?
SPEAKER: Jochen Denzler, Un of Tennessee
TIME: 4:30 pm
ROOM: Ayres 110
Abstract: This presentation gives a well-motivated proof of a theorem by Bohr and Mollerup according to which there is only one `good' way of interpolating n! for non-integers n (and this includes motivating the proper definition of `good'). Other properties of this interpolation, the Gamma function, will be discussed. While complex variable techniques like analytic continuation will be referenced, the exposition will not depend on familiarity with complex variables.


Previous Junior Colloquiums:







last updated: October 2020

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