Many aspects of life have had to go online this year, and the Mathematics and Computer Science department’s 403 Lecture Series have been no different. Thankfully, the series has thrived in this virtual environment, with a robust set of talks that brought our community together throughout the Fall 2020 semester.

So named because it traditionally takes place in FJS 403 at 4:03 PM, the lecture series is a bi-weekly event hosted by the department. Presentations can be given by faculty or students and typically cover recent research, interesting explorations, or other topics of note in math and computer science. Although previous semesters certainly benefitted from the in-person experience (with live gatherings and communal tea), the series has certainly found a new life in the online arena. Importantly, it has given the members of the departmental community a way to come together in a time of social fragmentation and isolation. The online format has also expanded the set of individuals who can speak at the lecture – guest speakers can easily join via RingCentral and speak from anywhere!

Co-organized this year by Dr. Alison Marr and Dr. Noelle Sawyer, the series has brought the department together for engaging lectures and community bonding. This semester’s speakers have included faculty (Jacob Schrum, Alison Marr, and Fumiko Futamura); students (Mercedes Gonzalez, Nicholai Benko, and Emily Thompson); and guest speakers (André Oliveira from Wesleyan University, and Lauren Gillespie ’19 from Stanford University).

Interested in speaking at an upcoming 403 in the Spring semester? Contact Dr. Alison Marr ( or Dr. Noelle Sawyer ( for more information!