Kieval Lecture

Join us for the 80th Kieval Lecture

Dr. Edray Goins, Professor of Mathematics at Pomona College in Claremont, CA, will deliver the 80th Harry S. Kieval Lecture at Cal Poly Humboldt on Friday, October 27.  The lecture will be at 7:00 p.m. in Room 135 of the Science-B Building on the Cal Poly Humboldt campus.  The public is welcome to this free lecture, which is geared toward a general audience.  The title of the lecture is "Distance Makes the Math Grow Deeper: Rational Distance Sets, Nate Dean, and Me".  
In this talk, Dr. Goins will discuss the following ideas:  The three points (0,0), (3,0), and (3,4) form a 3-4-5 triangle.  In particular, the distance between each pair of points is an integer. In 1945, Paul Erdos and Norman Anning showed that for any integer n at least 3, there is a collection of n points in the plane, not all on a line, such that their pairwise distances are integers. In 2000, Nate Dean asked: “Are there four points on a parabola such that each pairwise distance is a rational number?”  Garikai Campbell answered this question in 2003 using elliptic curves. But what about shapes other than lines or parabolas?  Richard Guy, in his book "Unsolved Problems in Number Theory", asked: "What is the largest number of points in the plane such that (1) all pairwise distances are rational numbers, (2) no three of the points are on a line, and (3) no four of the points are on a circle?"  Dr. Goins will discuss the beautiful results discovered by his REU students who worked on this problem during MSRI’s Undergraduate Program in 2010.  His talk will also feature the personal relationships he gained working with various African American mathematicians to find points on conic sections at rational distances.  

Dr. Goins's lecture is dedicated to the life, works, and friendship of the late African American mathematician Nate Dean (January 9, 1956 - February 18, 2021).

Edray Herber Goins grew up and attended school in South Los Angeles, California.  He attended the California Institute of Technology, where he majored in mathematics and physics, and earned his doctorate in mathematics from Stanford University.  He has worked as a researcher at both Harvard and the National Security Agency; and has taught at both Caltech and Purdue. Goins is currently a Professor of Mathematics at Pomona College in Claremont, California.  He has published over 25 journal articles in areas such as applied mathematics, graph theory, number theory, and representation theory; and on topics such as Diophantine equations, elliptic curves, and African-Americans in mathematics.  He runs a federally-funded Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) titled Pomona Research in Mathematics Experience (PRiME).

See for further details about Dr. Goins's work and accomplishments.
Dr. Goins will also give a separate lecture earlier the same day as a part of the Cal Poly Humboldt Mathematics Colloquium.  That lecture titled, “Clocks, Parking Garages, and the Solvability of the Quintic: A Friendly Introduction to Monodromy” will begin at 4 p.m. in Room 166 of the Behavioral and Social Sciences (BSS) building on the Cal Poly Humboldt campus.  The colloquium talk is also free to the public.  For more information visit

The Kieval lecture series is named for Mathematics Professor Emeritus, Dr. Harry S. Kieval, who taught at Cal Poly Humboldt from 1966 to 1979.  The series includes topics on popular and/or broad aspects of mathematics attractive to undergraduates and the public.  For more information, click on PDF icon kieval_lecture_flyer_f23.pdf
Please be prepared to present a COVID-19 vaccination card with proof of initial vaccination and booster or a negative test result from the last 72 hours, if requested by Humboldt staff. We appreciate your commitment to supporting Cal Poly Humboldt in maintaining a safe environment for our students and employees.

Previous lecturers in this series

  • Glen Van Brummelen (details) Spring 2023 (Trinity Western University) 
  • Pamela E. Harris (details) Fall 2022 (University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee)
  • Jesus De Loera (video) Spring 2022 (UC Davis)
  • Stephen Trettel (video) Fall 2021 (Stanford University)
  • Richard Schwartz (details) Spring 2020 (Brown University)
  • Zvezdelina Stankova (details) Fall 2019 (UC Berkeley)
  • Frank Farris (details) Spring 2019 (Santa Clara University)
  • Alon Amit (details) Fall 2018 (Origami Logic)
  • Gigliola Staffilani (details) Spring 2018 (MIT)
  • Ken Ono (details) Fall 2017 (Emory University)
  • Francis Su (details) Spring 2017 (Harvey Mudd College)
  • Erica Flapan (details) Fall 2016 (Pomona College)
  • Bernd  Sturmfels (details) Spring 2016 (University of California at Berkeley)
  • Federico Ardila (details) Fall 2015 (San Francisco State University)
  • Margot Gerritsen (details) Spring 2015 (Stanford University)
  • Benson Farb (details) Fall 2014 (University of Chicago)
  • Tim Chartier (details) Spring 2014 (Davidson College North Carolina)
  • Alan Schoenfeld (details) Fall 2013 (University of California at Berkeley)
  • Abigail Thompson (details) Spring 2013 (University of California at Davis)
  • Robert Bryant (details) Fall 2012 (Mathematical Sciences Research Institute)
  • William G. McCallum (details) Spring 2012 (University of Arizona)
  • Kenneth Ribet (details) Fall 2011 (University of California at Berkeley)
  • David Pengelley (details) Spring 2011 (New Mexico State University)
  • Alice Silverberg (details) Fall 2010 (University of California at Irvine)
  • Robert J. Lang (details) Spring 2010 
  • Kenneth Golden (details) Fall 2009 (University of Utah)
  • Tony DeRose (details) Spring 2009 (Pixar Studios)
  • Underwood Dudley (details) Fall 2008 (DePauw University)
  • Donald Albers (details) Spring 2008 (Mathematical Assoc of America Books)
  • C. Edward Sandifer (details) Fall 2007 (Western Connecticut State University)
  • Melanie Wood (details) Spring 2007 (Princeton University)
  • Jerald Marsden (details) Fall 2006 (California Institute of Technology)
  • Deborah Ball (details) Spring 2006 (University of Michigan)
  • Majorie Senechal (details) Fall 2005 (Smith College)
  • Joe Gallian (details) Spring 2005 (University of Minnesota Duluth)
  • Jennifer Quinn (details) Fall 2004 (Occidental College)
  • John Conway (details) Spring 2004 (Princeton University)
  • Persi Diaconis (details) Fall 2003, (Stanford University)
  • Hyman Bass (details) Spring 2003 (U. of Michigan)
  • Ann E.Watkins (details) Fall, 2002 (CSU Northridge)
  • Ed Burger (details) Spring, 2002 (Williams  College)
  • Michael E. Moody (details) Fall, 2001 (Harvey Mudd College)
  • Richard Tapia (details) Spring, 2001 (Rice University)
  • Noam D. Elkies (details) Fall, 2000 (Harvard University)
  • Victor Katz (details) Spring, 2000 (University of the District of Columbia)
  • Arthur Benjamin (details) Fall, 1999 (Harvey Mudd College)
  • Thomas Banchoff (details) Spring, 1999 (Brown University)
  • Frank Giordano (details) Fall, 1998 (COMAP)
  • Robert L. Devaney (details) Spring, 1998 (Boston University)
  • Sherman Stein (details) Fall, 1997 (UC Davis)
  • Ron Graham (details) Spring, 1997
  • David Hoffman (details) Fall, 1996 (MSRI, Berkeley)
  • Doris Schattschneider (details) Spring, 1996 (Moravian College)
  • Herbert Keller (details) Fall, 1995 (Cal. Inst. of Technology)
  • Keith J. Devlin Spring, 1995 (Saint Mary's College)
  • Deb Hughes Hallett (Harvard) and Jerry Uhl  (U of Ill.) Fall, 1994
  • Gil Strang Spring, 1994(MIT)
  • Carlos Castillo-Chavez Fall, 1993 (Cornell)
  • Judith Grabiner (details) Spring, 1993 (Pitzer College).
  • Judith Tanur (details) Fall, 1992 (SUNY, Stony Brook)
  • Margaret Cozzins Spring, 1992 (Northeastern U.)
  • Saunders MacLane Fall, 1991 (Univ. of Chicago)
  • Branko Grunbaum Spring, 1991 (Univ. of Washington)
  • Robert Moses Fall, 1990
  • George Dantzig Spring, 1990 (Stanford Univ.) 
  • Reuben Hersh Fall, 1989 (Univ. of NM)
  • Ralph Boas Spring, 1989 (Northwestern Univ.)
  • Leon Henkin Fall, 1988 (U.C., Berk.)
  • Mary Ellen Rudin Spring, 1988(Univ. of Wisconsin)
  • Constance Reid Fall, 1987
  • Kenneth Arrow Spring, 1987 (Stanford Univ.)
  • Peter Hilton Fall, 1986 (SUNY, Binghamton)
  • Gerard Debreu Spring, 1986 (U.C.,Berk.)
  • Raymond Smullyan Fall, 1985 (Ind. U.)
  • Paul Halmos Spring, 1985 (Univ.of Santa Clara)
  • Richard Hamming Winter, 1985 (Naval Postgrad.)
  • Victor Klee Spring, 1984 (Univ. of Washington)
  • Ivan Niven Fall, 1983 (Univ. of Oregon)
  • Ronald Graham Spring, 1983 (Bell Labs)