Arthur Benjamin, Harvey Mudd College’s resident Mathemagician, was a special guest on Comedy Central's “The Colbert Report” Wednesday, Jan. 27.
Benjamin responded to host Stephen Colbert's wry banter with his signature enthusiasm and wit. He shared with Colbert why he thought statistics is important, how one can understand randomness, what he thought was the loneliest number ("1"), and what he considers his favorite number (2,520—the smallest number divisible by numbers one through 10). View the Jan. 27 epispode of "The Colbert Report" on Hulu.com.
A dedicated professor of mathematics, Benjamin remarked that he loves to share the power and beauty of mathematics to a wide audience. He is the first mathematician to ever be interviewed on "The Colbert Report.
Benjamin was recently featured in the "Education Life" section of the New York Times along with one of his challenging but entertaining math quizes. (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/03/education/edlife/03quiz-t.html).
The online video of his talk at the TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conference has been viewed over 1 million times (http://www.ted.com/talks/arthur_benjamin_does_mathemagic.html).
In 2006, Benjamin won the Beckenbach Book Prize from the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) for his book "Proofs that Really Count: The Art of Combinatorial Proof." For that same book, in the category of outstanding academic title, Benjamin won the CHOICE award in 2004 from the American Library Association.
Benjamin, who was co-editor of the magazine Math Horizons, was named "America's Best Math Whiz" in 2005 by Reader's Digest. In 2000, he received the MAA's Deborah and Franklin Tepper Haimo Award, which honors college or university teachers widely recognized as being exceedingly successful and whose teaching has influence beyond their own institutions.
He has written more than 70 research papers and authored four books. His most recent books are “Secrets of Mental Math,” published by Random House, and “Biscuits of Number Theory,” published by the MAA. In 2007 and 2009, he created DVD courses on The Joy of Mathematics and Discrete Mathematics for The Teaching Company as part of their Great Courses series.
“The Colbert Report" launched on October 17, 2005. Since its inception, the series has garnered a prestigious Peabody Award for Excellence in Broadcasting in 2008 and 15 Primetime Emmy nominations. Last fall, Colbert and his writing team won the show's first Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program.
Media Contact: Judy Augsburger, 909.607.0713