Online registration is closed for this event. If available, tickets on the day of the event may incur an additional charge.

Math Encounters:
"Smartphone Privacy: From Fourier transforms to projective geometry and more"

featuring Jelani Nelson

Wednesday, March 9 at 4:00 pm ET (New York)

(in person)

Many of us use smartphones and rely on tools like auto-complete and spelling auto-correct to make using these devices more pleasant, but building these tools creates a conundrum.  On the one hand, machine-learning algorithms require data to "learn," but on the other hand, who among us is willing to send a carbon copy of all our text messages to phone manufacturers to provide that data?  Join UC Berkeley computer scientist and engineer Jelani Nelson as he shares how mathematics can be used to construct schemes that, perhaps paradoxically, provably maintain user privacy while still allowing such machine-learning algorithms to learn from our data.

Special introduction by Christos Papadimitriou, Donovan Family Professor of Computer Science at Columbia University and author of Logicomix: An epic search for truth.

This event will take place in person at MoMath at 11 East 26th Street.

This page is for the 4:00 pm ET (New York) in-person session.  Click here to register for a live-streamed session or for the 7:00 pm ET (New York) session instead.

All in-person seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Please arrive 15 to 30 minutes before the event start time to complete registration.

In light of the current COVID-19 situation, MoMath is temporarily suspending the provision of food during Math Encounters.

Note that masks must be worn at all times inside the Museum and that all visitors ages five and up must show acceptable proof of full vaccination against COVID-19.  (Note: MoMath does not accept digital images or photocopies of vaccination cards.)

By registering for a Math Encounters presentation, you acknowledge that you may be photographed or videotaped by Museum staff and associates and agree to abide by the MoMath General Policies for Events and Photograph Release.

Math Encounters is MoMath's popular free public presentation series celebrating the spectacular world of mathematics, produced with support from the Simons Foundation.

For further information, call the National Museum of Mathematics at 212-542-0566 or email

Please check our online shop for books by Math Encounters presenters.

March 9, 2022 4:00 pm   through   5:30 pm
National Museum of Mathematics
11 E. 26th St.
New York, NY 10010
United States
Phone: 212-542-0566

Help spread the word

You can also share the below link in an email or on your website.