skip to content

Department of Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics


Louis J. Mordell (1888-1972)


The Mordell Lecture is given annually by an invited speaker for a research-level audience.    

The 2024 lecture will be given by Rob Morris (IMPA, Rio) at 4.00pm,  Thursday 2 May, MR2,

Ramsey theory: search for order in chaos

In many different areas of mathematics (such as number theory, discrete geometry and combinatorics), one is often presented with a large “unstructured” object, and asked to find a smaller “structured” object inside it. One of the earliest and most influential examples of this phenomenon was the theorem of Ramsey, proved in 1930, which states that if n = n(k) is large enough, then in any red-blue colouring of the edges of the complete graph on n vertices, there exists a monochromatic clique on k vertices. In this talk I will discuss some of the questions, ideas, and new techniques that were inspired by this theorem, and mention some recent progress on one of the central problems in the area: bounding the so-called “diagonal” Ramsey numbers. Based on joint work with Marcelo Campos, Simon Griffiths and Julian Sahasrabudhe. A wine reception in the Central Core will follow the lecture.


Previous speakers

1970 - 2002

2003 - 2023

Articles of interest

Louis Joel Mordell, Origins and Early Life 1888-1907  By J.W.S. Cassels, F.R.S.

Reminiscences of an Octogenarian Mathematician, L.J. Mordell