Skip to content Skip to main navigation Report an accessibility issue

Barrett Memorial Lectures

  • Stochastic Analysis and its Applications (April 17-18, 2009)
    Principal Speakers:
    • Richard Bass – Connecticut
    • Ofer Zeitoun – Minnesota & Weizmann
  • Transitions to, through and beyond Calculus (April 28-30, 2008)
  • Multi-scale Modeling and Simulation in Materials Science (April 28-30, 2007)
    Principal Speakers:
    • Russel Caflisch – UCLA
    • Bjorn Engquist – Texas
    • Mitchell Luskin – Minnesota
  • Current Developments in Geometric Topology (April 29 – May 1, 2006)
    Principal Speakers:
    • John Baez – Riverside
    • Stephen Bigelow -Santa Barbara
    • William Goldman – Maryland
  • New Developments in Nonlinear Partial Differential Equations (April 28-30, 2005)
  • Random walks, Levy processes, and related topics (April 25-26, 2003)
    Principal Speakers:
    • Jean Bertoin – Paris VI
    • Gregory Lawler – Cornell
  • Recent Progress in Arithmetic and Algebraic Geometry (April 25-27, 2002)
    Principal Speakers:
    • Yasutaka Ihara – Kyoto
    • Yujiro Kawamata – Tokyo
  • New Directions and Developments in Computational Mathematics (May 10-12, 2001)
    Principal Speakers:
    • David Keyes – Old Dominion
    • Mary Wheeler – Texas
    • Jinchao Xu – Penn State
  • New Directions in Differential Geometry (May 11-13, 2000)
    Principal Speakers:
    • Alice Chang – Princeton
    • Tobias Colding – Courant
    • Karsten Grove – Maryland
    • Jon Wolfson – Michigan State

  • Successful Strategies for the Use of Technology in the Teaching of Mathematics (June 1-5, 1999)
    Principal Speakers:
    • William Bauldry -Appalachian State
    • John Harvey – Wisconsin
    • M Kathleen Heid – Penn State
    • Frank Wattenberg – Montana State
  • Discrete Conformal Geometry (June 8-12, 1998)
    Principal Speakers:
    • James Cannon – Brigham Young
    • Juha Heinonen – Michigan
    • Oded Schramm – Weizmann
  • Control Theory and Applications (March 20-22, 1997)
    Principal Speakers:
    • E B Lee – Minnesota
    • Irena Lasiecka – Virginia
  • Spectral Theory and Computational Methods of Sturm-Liouville Problems (March 21-23, 1996)
    Principal Speaker: Anton Zettl – Northern Illinois
  • Nonlinear Partial Differential Equations in Geometry and Physics (1995)
    Principal Speakers:
    • Ronald Fintushel – Michigan State
    • Sergiu Klainerman – Princeton
    • Fang-Hua Lin – Courant
    • Michael Struwe – ETH
  • Zero-Dimensional Commutative Rings (April 7-9, 1994)
    Principal Speaker: Robert Gilmer – Florida State
  • Stochastic Differential Equations in Infinite Dimensions & Measure Valued Processes (March 25-27, 1993)
    Principal Speakers:
    • Donald Dawson – Fields Institute
    • Eugene Dynkin – Cornell
    • Gopinath Kallianpur – UNC
  • Barrett Lectures on Homotopy Theory (1992)
    Principal Speakers:
    • Kiyoshi Igusa – Brandeis
    • Tom Goodwillie – Brown
  • Non-convex Problems in PDEs: Equilibrium Theory and Dynamics (April 4-6, 1991)
    Principal Speakers:
    • John Ball – Herriot-Watt
    • L Creg Evans – Berkeley
    • Paul Fife – Utah

  • Topological Quantum Field Theories (Oct 4-5, 1989)
    Principal Speakers:
    • Sir Michael Atiyah – Oxford
    • I. M. Singer – MIT
    • Clifford Taubes – Harvard
    • Karen Uhlenbeck – Texas
  • John H. Barrett Memorial Lectures on Analysis (1988)
    Principal Speaker: Alan Beardon – Cambridge
  • Inverse Spectral Problems (1987)
    Principal Speaker: Joyce McLaughlin – RPI
  • Algebraic Geometry (1986)
    Principal Speaker: Shreeram Abhyankar – Purdue
  • Stability and Control (1985)
    Principal Speaker: Richard K. Miller – Iowa State
  • Fisheries Management (1984)
    Principal Speaker: Donald Ludwig -British Columbia
  • John H. Barrett Memorial Lectures on Analysis (1983)
    Principal Speaker: Donald Sarason – Berkeley
  • Topological and Variational Methods for Nonlinear Boundary Value Problems (1982)
    Principal Speaker: Jean Mawhin – Louvain
  • John H. Barrett Memorial Lectures on ODEs (1981)
    Principal Speaker: James Bramble – Cornell
  • The PL Schoenflies Theorem (1980)
    Principal Speaker: William Eaton – Texas

  • John H. Barrett Memorial Lectures on ODEs (1979)
    Principal Speaker: Fred Brauer – Wisconsin
  • Group Actions on Trees (1978)
    Principal Speaker: Hyman Bass – Columbia
  • Oscillation Theory of ODEs (1977)
    Principal Speaker: W. T. Reid – Oklahoma(emeritus)
  • Some Aspects of Population Biology – Immunology, Ecology and Epidemiology (1976)
    Principal Speaker: Paul Waltman – Iowa
  • Generic Bifurcations in ODEs (1975)
    Principal Speaker: Jack Hale – Brown
  • Nonlinear Techniques for Linear Oscillation Problems (1974)
    Principal Speaker: Zeev Nehari – Carnegie-Mellon
  • Inequalities (1973)
    Principal Speaker: W. N. Everett – Dundee
  • Large Systems of ODEs and Optimal Inequalities (1972)
    Principal Speaker: Garrett Birkoff – Harvard
  • Stability of Differential and Difference Equations (1971)
    Principal Speaker: J. P. LaSalle – Brown
  • John H. Barrett Memorial Lectures on ODEs (1970)
    Principal Speaker: Einar Hille – Yale (emeritus), New Mexico


History of the Barrett Lectures

John H. Barrett (1922-1969)

John H. Barrett was born in Randall, Kansas on December 20, 1922.  He received his M.S. and PhD from the University of Texas in 1946 and 1951, respectively. His PhD thesis was on differential equations of non-integer order directed by Hyman Joseph Ettlinger. He held faculty positions at the University of Delaware (1951-1956), Yale University (1955-1956), and the University of Utah (1956-1961) before coming to the University of Tennessee (1961-1969). In January 1969, John Barrett died from complications following a kidney transplant, in the prime of his mathematical and administrative career.

J. Barrett was an expert on oscillation and disconjugacy theory of linear differential equations, a subject that bears his permanent mark. One of his widely known contributions was the extension of the classical Prüfer transformation for 2nd order scalar differential equations to systems of differential equations. He found a transformation analogous to the well-known Prϋfer polar-coordinate transformation for a real self-adjoint linear homogeneous differential equation of the second order.

John Barrett came to the University of Tennessee in the fall of 1961 as a Professor of Mathematics. Upon his arrival, he immediately initiated a seminar in ordinary differential equations which attracted a number of graduate students.  Through this seminar, his classes, and his personal contact, he was a major force in the Graduate Program in the Department of Mathematics in the early 1960s.

Professor Barrett became Head of the Mathematics Department in 1964.  Through his efforts and influence, several active research groups were established at the University of Tennessee and by 1967, the number of faculty in the department had more than doubled. The Barrett Lecture series is a fitting reminder of his many contributions to the University and research community.

The John Barrett Memorial Lectures began in 1970 as a tribute to Dr. John H. Barrett. Originally dedicated to topics in Barrett’s field, ordinary differential equations, the lectures have been held annually since 1970 (except in 1990 and 2004). Since the 1980’s, however, the lecture themes have traversed the mathematical landscape: from mathematics education through computational and applied mathematics, discrete mathematics and stochastics to general relativity, nonlinear partial differential equations and topological quantum field theory.

During their history, the Barrett Lectures have been graced by a succession of distinguished mathematicians, with lectures given by Garrett Birkoff (1972); Shreeram Abhyankar (1986); Sir Michael Atiyah, Isadore Singer and Karen Uhlenbeck (1989); Sir John Ball and Lawrence C. Evans (1991); Sergiu Klainerman, Fang-Hua Lin and Michael Struwe (1995); Alice Chang, Tobias Colding and Karsten Grove (2000); Yasutaka Ihara and Yujiro Kawamata (2003); John Baez (2006); Richard Schoen, Robert Wald and Igor Rodnianski (2011); and Fernando Marques and André Neves (2013), to name a few.