Download Full Text (280 KB)


A three-legged stool doesn’t wobble. But four-legged stools often teeter because the tips of their legs don’t lie in the same plane.

This phenomenon of dependent sets, first theorized 75 years ago, is the focus of the 16th Dalrymple Lecture in Mathematics, set for 5:30 p.m. Friday (May 21) at the University of Mississippi. James Oxley, who holds an alumni professorship at Louisiana State University, is to deliver the address, which is free and open to the public in the Student Union Ballroom.

“There is some beautiful and intriguing mathematics that arises from some natural problems in geometry and network theory,” Oxley said. “Moreover, this mathematics is accessible to anyone who has done high school geometry.”

An internationally renowned mathematician from Australia, Oxley earned his doctoral degree from Oxford University. He has published more than 120 research papers in mathematics and authored the book “Matroid Theory,” considered the standard text in the field.

Oxley plans to discuss geometry and network theory, as well as matroids, a common theory of dependence that applies to both.

“Most people have a familiarity with games and their strategies,” said James Reid, UM professor of mathematics. “Dr. Oxley’s talk will show that games and these strategies have underlying mathematics, which unifies common concepts of games and geometry. He will illustrate applications of this mathematics to common real-world problems, such as constructing efficient computer networks.”

Description written by Ole Miss News.

Publication Date


Relational Format



Applied Mathematics | Mathematics


Event location: Student Union Ballroom

Geometry, Greed, Games, and 'Roids



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.