Abstract: For a decade I have studied abstract mathematical structures called non-commutative rings. While these fascinating objects play an important role in modern mathematical theory, for most people they are intangible concepts with no bearing on everyday life. When I was offered a job at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Germany, I jumped at the opportunity to learn a new subject and work in a concrete field that has been described as "birth, death and mathematics." I will discuss the interdisciplinary nature of demography and highlight some of my research related to changes in mortality and population growth.

Tom Cassidy
Associate Professor of Mathematics
"How my research became a matter of life and death"

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