Building Relationships for an Inclusive and Diverse Group of Emerging Students

July 28–30, 2021, Salt Lake City, Utah
(postponed from May 20–22, 2020)

This conference is aimed towards early graduate students and advanced undergraduate students interested in representation theory, number theory, and commutative algebra.

The goal of this conference is to:

  • Foster a sense of community amongst underrepresented groups in mathematics,
  • Introduce possible research areas,
  • Expose the participants to role models and possible mentors.

Because the COVID-19 situation the conference is postponed. It is now scheduled for July 28–30, 2021. Currently, we are planning for a hybrid event. The original dates were May 20–22, 2020.

We have funding to provide for travel and accommodation for about 40 participants, priority is given to participants from underrepresented groups. Everyone who was promised funding for the original date, May 2020, will receive funding for July 2021 if in person.

This conference is part of the RTG: Algebra, Geometry and Topology at the University of Utah funded by the NSF RTG grant #1840190


All events will be available for virtual participation aside from the dinner in Sunnyside Park. Links will be emailed to all registered participants in advance of the conference. All times are Mountain Daylight Time.

Time Description Room
Wednesday, July 28th
8:30-8:55 Check-In CSC 205
8:55-9:00 Welcome CSC 205
9:00-9:50 Lecture 1: Eloísa CSC 205
10:15-11:05 Lecture 2: Wei CSC 205
11:30-12:20 Lecture 3: Aaron CSC 205
2:30-4:00 Discussion sessions CSC 204, 205, 206
4:00-5:00 5 Minute Talks CSC 205
6:00-7:00 Trivia Virtual
Thursday, July 29th
8:55-9:00 Daily Introduction CSC 205
9:00-9:50 Lecture 1: Eloísa CSC 205
10:15-11:05 Lecture 2: Wei CSC 205
11:30-12:20 Lecture 3: Aaron CSC 205
2:30-4:00 Discussion sessions CSC 204, 205, 206
4:00-5:00 Panel CSC 205
6:30-8:30 Dinner Sunnyside Park
Friday, July 30th
8:55-9:00 Daily Introduction CSC 205
9:00-9:50 Lecture 1: Eloísa CSC 205
10:15-11:05 Lecture 2: Wei CSC 205
11:30-12:20 Lecture 3: Aaron CSC 205
12:20-12:30 Closing CSC 205


Wei Ho

Wei Ho

My main research interests lie in number theory, algebraic geometry, and representation theory. I particularly like arithmetic questions that arise from thinking about classical algebraic geometry from a different angle.
Current position: Associate Professor, University of Michigan
Having had a negative experience in middle school math competitions, I decided to *definitely not* become serious about math in high school and college. By the end of my freshman year of college, however, I realized that all my favorite topics in my classes were the most mathematical: quantum mechanics, symmetry groups in inorganic chemistry, game theory. After working in an organic chemistry lab for the summer, I also found out that I was so clumsy that I might blow myself up if I continued in a lab science. So during my sophomore year, I took (and enjoyed) some more math classes and switched by the end of the year. I spent the rest of my undergraduate years feeling like I was playing catch-up to the "real" math majors who had taken the hardest freshman math sequence, but I eventually realized that starting a year—or even many years—later does not matter and there is no "right" path.

Lecture Series: Curves over finite fields
Abstract: We will study the arithmetic and geometry of algebraic curves, especially over finite fields. We will explore the remarkable properties of the zeta function for a curve over a finite field, which gives a close link between the arithmetic of the curve (such as the number of rational points) and its geometry (such as the genus).

Eloísa Grifo

Eloísa Grifo

I am a commutative algebraist at the University of Nebraska -- Lincoln. I grew up in Portugal, where I went to college and first fell in love with commutative algebra. I moved to the US to get my PhD at the University of Virginia. Before joining UNL, I was a postdoc at the University of Michigan and an assistant professor at the University of California, Riverside.

Lecture Series: Symbolic powers
Abstract: Symbolic powers live in between commutative algebra and algebraic geometry: they arise naturally from a purely algebraic perspective, but they also contain geometric information. In these lectures, we will tell a story that begins with the fundamental theorem of arithmetic and ends with many problems that are simple to state but that are surprisingly wide open, and along the way give a rough sketch of some of the classical connections between commutative algebra and algebraic geometry.

Aaron Pollack

Aaron Pollack

I am interested in algebraic number theory, specifically automorphic forms, their arithmetic, and their L-functions. Nowadays, I think a lot about modular forms on exceptional groups. I received my Ph.D. from Princeton University in 2014, then was an NSF postdoc at Stanford in 2014-2017 and a member at the IAS in 2017-2018. I am now faculty at UC San Diego.

Lecture Series: L-functions and the Rankin-Selberg method
Abstract:Modular forms and their generalizations have L-functions associated with them. Like the Riemann zeta function, L-functions are meromorphic functions of a complex parameter s which are Euler products. Moreover, they conjecturally have functional equations relating their values at s and 1-s. The Rankin-Selberg method is a technique for proving properties of L-functions, such as the functional equation, in certain cases. I will give an introduction to this method.


Currently, registration is closed. Please contact us if you have any questions.



Salt Lake City International airport is the closest airport. It is conveniently located a 25 minute drive from the University of Utah. From the airport there are several options to reach the University Guest House. The cheapest option is to take Trax, Utah's light rail system which can be paid for with cash, card, or the RideUTA app (this is the easiest option). To help plan transit, you can use either Google Maps or the Transit app. As you exit the airport, follow the signs for ground transportation and walk all the way to the left of the platform to the area between doors 2A and 3A - there will be a shuttle that will take you to a temporary Trax station to catch the Green Line. Take the Green Line until Courthouse Station and transfer there to the Red Line heading to the University Medical Center. Get off at Fort Douglas Station, cross Mario Capecchi Drive and head northeast to the Guest House. Please be aware that Trax usually stops running around 10pm. The other option for transportation is either by Taxi or Uber/Lyft.


All funded participants will be staying at the University Guest House.


There are several options for food around University of Utah:

  • Student union: Panda Express, Jamba Juice, University Cafeteria
  • Cafe at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts on campus
  • Restaurants on 1300 E: Indochine, B&D Burgers, the Pie Pizzeria, Osteria Amore, Rio Grande, Subway
  • Downtown: There are lots of options for dining downtown that can easily be reached via public transit
  • Coffee: Coffee and snacks will be provided between the first and second lecture, but if you find yourself needing more you can find Two Creek, a local coffee shop, in WBB and a Starbucks in the Campus Store


If you are affiliated with a College or University you can use the eduroam network using your login from your instution. Alternatively you can log onto the network UGuest following the instructions.

Activities in and around Salt Lake City

  • Hiking: There are several trails easily accessible from the Guest House. The living room trail is particularly popular.
  • Natural history museum.
  • Great Salt Lake: Antelope Island State Park is about an hour drive away.


For the organization of this conference we created a committee in the AWM student chapter at the University of Utah.


If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us: