[Seminar series] M2: under the hood

There is a new occasional online seminar series “Macaulay2: under the hood”, exploring mathematical, algorithmic, and software issues behind the Macaulay2 software program.  The goal is for talks to be accessible to a range of backgrounds, and all are welcome. Fill out this form to sign up for the mailing list for this series.

The first talk will take place on zoom here, meeting code 972 6877 8504, with password Macaulay2. The first talk will be on

June 25, 2024 at 8:30 PDT, 10:30 CDT, 11:30 EDT, 16:30 BST, 17:30 CEST.

Here are the details for the first talk:

Speaker: Mike Stillman (Cornell) (M2 developer)


This is the first talk in the “M2: under the hood” series. The idea of this series is to understand Macaulay2 in more depth; in particular, understand how its computations work, in order to be able to more effectively use Macaulay2.

In this first talk, I will first describe the overall structure of the Macaulay2 system (the different parts: interpreter, engine, Core, packages, GitHub repository, git issues, and so on). After that, we will focus on one of the main computations in Macaulay2, computing free resolutions and minimal Betti numbers. We will provide an overview of the algorithm(s) used, the different ways one can call free resolutions, how they differ, and how Macaulay2 caches its results. We will also discuss how to speed up computations (if possible!) and how to deal with inhomogeneous and multi-graded input ideals or modules.

What’s new on commalg? May 2024 edition

Conferences with deadlines coming up or that were recently announced:

Summer schools with deadlines coming up or that were recently announced:

Other news:

Jürgen Herzog (1941-2024)

We are deeply saddened to share the news that Jürgen Herzog passed away after a sudden heart attack. Winfried Bruns writes: “We have lost an excellent mathematician of admirable inventiveness and productivity until his very last days. He left a deep footprint on our subject.”

Obituary by Winfried Bruns and Aldo Conca

MSRI/SLMath held an event in Herzog’s memory on May 6, 2024, which was recorded.

Below are some testimonials on Herzog’s life and work:

“Beyond his impressive achievements, in the last two decades Jurgen kindly supported many young researchers from different countries by teaching them how to research and how to write papers. In this regard, he shared his fantastic ideas with young researchers and published joint papers. He acted like a scientific father to the young researchers. He supervised several Iranian Ph.D students himself, or, acted as a join advisor. At the same time, he taught them scientific ethics.We know many great Mathematicians but without any doubt he was exceptional in this regards.

We never forget his generosity and encouragement inspired countless individuals.” – Siamak Yassemi

“Jürgen was an exceptional mind, known for his incredible inventiveness and productivity, even in his final days. His contributions to mathematics will be deeply missed and remembered for years to come.

But beyond his impressive achievements, Jürgen was a kind and supportive mentor, particularly to Pakistani researchers. His generosity and encouragement inspired countless individuals, and his legacy will live on through the many lives he touched.” – Imran Anwar

AWM prizes

Here is a message from the AWM Canvassing Committee:

Each year, the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) awards prizes to celebrate the achievements of our colleagues in a variety of roles. If you know of someone deserving of recognition, the AWM Canvassing Committee encourages you to nominate them for one of the following awards.

AWM Birman Research Prizes highlight exceptional research in topology or geometry by a woman early in her career. Deadline: May 15 of even years AWM Service Awards recognize individuals for promoting and supporting women in math through exceptional service to the AWM.
Deadline: May 15

AWM Student Chapter Awards recognize outstanding achievements by AWM Student Chapters in any of four categories: (1) scientific excellence, (2) outreach, (3) professional development, and (4) funding/sustainability. Deadline: May 15
Each school will submit a report to describe their activities.

Mary and Alfie Gray Award for Social Justice for the vigorous and imaginative application of the mathematical sciences to advancing the cause of social justice.
Deadline: May 15 of even years

Gweneth Humphreys Award to recognize outstanding mentorship from math teachers (female or male) who have encouraged female undergrad students to pursue mathematical careers and/or graduate mathematics study.
Deadline: May 15

Louise Hay Awards recognize outstanding achievement by a woman in any area of mathematics education.
Deadline: May 15

AWM Fellows recognizes individuals who have demonstrated a sustained commitment to the support and advancement of women in the mathematical sciences.
Deadline: May 15

For guidance on writing letters of nomination, the committee has provided some suggestions here.


commalg.org news: an updated list of commutative algebraists

We are renovating our list of commutative algebraists. If you would like to be included on the list, please fill out this short form. Please note that even if you were on the old list, you’ll have to fill out the form to be on the list.

Note: Whenever you add yourself to this new list for the first time, independently of whether you were on the list before, leave the box unchecked!

Our goal is to keep this list as up to date as possible. Whenever you move or any of your information changes, please fill out the form again so we can update your info.

What’s new on commalg? February 2024 edition

Conferences with deadlines coming up or that were recently announced:

Summer schools with deadlines coming up or that were recently announced:

Other news:

Combinatorial Commutative Algebra in Canada virtual seminar

The recently formed ARMS Collaborative Research Group called “Combinatorial Commutative Algebra in Canada” will be hosting a regular virtual seminar on topics in Combinatorial Commutative Algebra. The first talk will be held on January 23.

For more information, see the seminar’s website.

Franz Halter-Koch (1944-2023)

We are deeply saddened to announce to the mathematics community that Franz Halter-Koch passed away on November 29, 2023. Below is an obituary written by Scott T. Chapman and Alfred Geroldinger.

“Franz Halter-Koch began his study of mathematics and physics at the University of Graz in 1962. Some years later, he moved to the University of Hamburg, where he completed his master thesis under the supervision of Helmut Hasse. He then returned to the University of Graz and wrote his PhD thesis under the supervision of the number theorist Alexander Aigner. After positions at the Graz University of Technology and at the University of Cologne, he became a professor at the University of Essen in 1973. He moved back to Graz in 1981, where he served as a professor at the University of Graz and as the head of the algebra and number theory group until his retirement in 2008.

Franz Halter-Koch made substantial contributions to classical elementary and algebraic num- ber theory, to commutative algebra in rings and monoids, and to factorization theory. He wrote about 150 research papers and 6 monographs, including the books Ideal Systems, Non-Unique Factorizations, and Class Field Theory and L-Functions. He was a member of several mathematical societies as well as the Austrian Academy of Sciences.

Not only his academic work, but his passion for mathematics and his selfless support inspired his local group in Graz as well as many colleagues in the worldwide community. We are grateful that we had him as a teacher and mentor over these many decades.

Our thoughts are with his wife Dorothea, his children Christian, Beate, and Anna, and his seven grandchildren.

A longer obituary will appear in a forthcoming issue of the International Mathematical News of the Austrian Mathematical Society.”

What’s new on commalg? October 2023 edition

Conferences with deadlines coming up or that were recently announced:

Other news:

  • There will be a Commutative Algebra semester long program at SLMath/MSRI.
  • The University of Manitoba has a tenure-track position starting in Fall 2024 in algebra/topology with applications to quantum science. More information here.
  • Marie Vitulli is looking to donate her commutative algebra and algebraic geometry library. See full post here.
  • Edwin O’Shea (1977-2023).
  • The University of West Virginia has decided to end its Math PhD program. See here for more information and how to get involved.