Maxson Lecture Series
The Maxson Lecture Series honours Professor Emeritus
Carl Maxson, who
was a member of the Texas A&M Mathematics Department from 1969 until
his retirement in 2002. This annual event is made possible by a
generous endowment from Dr. Maxson's first doctoral student, Professor
Ponnammal Natarajan of Chennai, India.
The Maxson Lectures for the year 2019 will be delivered on September 25 and 26
by:
David A. Cox
William J. Walker Professor of Mathematics, Emeritus
Amherst College

Date Time 
Location  Speaker 
Title – click for abstract 

09/25 4:00pm 
BLOC 117 
David A. Cox Amherst College 
Maxson Lecture #1: Moment Maps of Toric Varieties, Linear Precision, and Maximum Likelihood Degree One
I will begin with a question about the moment maps of toric varieties (from
symplectic geometry). To get some preliminary insight, I will relate this question to the
concept of strict linear precision (from geometric modeling). However, the best result so far
uses a result of June Huh on maximum likelihood degree one (from algebraic statistics). I
will also discuss the more general notion of rational linear precision and pose some open
problems. This is joint work with Patrick Clarke of Drexel University. 

09/26 4:00pm 
BLOC 117 
David A. Cox Amherst College 
Maxson Lecture #2: Geometric Modeling, Rees Algebras, and Rational Normal Scrolls
In the first part of the lecture, I will consider a parametrized quartic curve in
the projective plane from three perspectives:
• Geometric modeling, where we find the implicit equation using moving curves.
• The Rees algebra, where we consider its defining equations.
• Curves on rational normal scrolls, where we get insight into the Rees algebra.
The goal is to link the algebra and geometry. The second part of the lecture will focus on
the role of singularities and end with an unsolved problem about sextic plane curves with
10 double points. This is join work with Teresa Cortadellas and Carlos D’Andrea of the
University of Barcelona. 