Jim Coykendall to present L.P. Woods Endowed Lecture at NSU on April 12
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. —Dr. Jim Coykendall, professor of mathematical and statistical sciences at Clemson University, will present at the 2023 L.P. Woods Endowed Lectureship for Mathematics at Northeastern State University on April 12.
The lecture will take place at 4 p.m. in the lower level of the Science Building on the Tahlequah campus. A reception at 3:30 p.m. will precede the lecture and the event is free and open to the public.
Established in 1999 by the late Dr. L.P. Woods Jr. and his wife Ann in memory of former NSU professor L.P. Woods Sr., the lectureship brings renowned experts and lecturers in mathematics to NSU to benefit students, faculty, staff, alumni and other community members.
Coykendall will present “How Big is Big? Surprising Perspectives on ‘Large’ Numbers.”
“With the advent of powerful hand-held calculators and the general increase in computing power, we humble humans have become somewhat jaded with respect to these large numbers that are now at our fingertips,” Coykendall said. “In the 1980s, most standard calculators could not handle numbers over 10100, but now most calculators will do anything except make you a ham sandwich. But how big is 10100? What does a number like that even mean?”
He added his presentation will look at some large numbers that can come up naturally and give some insight as to the truly astounding size of these behemoths in “real world” terms. The presentation will also use these numbers to give some non-intuitive facts about probabilities.
Coykendall obtained his undergraduate degree from the California Institute of Technology and his doctorate from Cornell University. After graduation, he was the C. C. Hsiung Visiting Professor of Mathematics at Lehigh University in 1995-1996 before moving to North Dakota State University where he spent 17 years of his career.
In 2013, he moved to Clemson University as chair of the Department of Mathematical Sciences and now is a professor in the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences.
His research is in the fields of commutative algebra and algebraic number theory and his interests are in multiplicative ideal theory, integrality, dimension theory, and factorization. He has written more than 50 papers, edited two research volumes, is an associate editor at the journal Communications in Algebra and is the managing and founding editor of the Journal of Commutative Algebra.
Coykendall has been recognized for his research and teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels and has won a number of awards, including the Carnegie Foundation U.S. Professor of the Year (North Dakota winner). He has graduated 13 doctorate students and is currently directing nine others. He also has been involved with the Mathematics Genealogy Project since its move to North Dakota State University more than 20 years ago.