Moody Lecture: “Mathematics for Human Flourishing,” Francis Su

December 4, 2019 Add to Calendar

7–8:30 p.m.


Shanahan Center, Auditorium
320 E. Foothill Blvd.
Claremont, CA 91711


Jocelyn Olds-McSpadden


For many, math is cold, lifeless and meaningless; a bunch of rules to follow; a way to separate people rather than a way to bring them together. It’s no wonder that many have anxiety over their math experiences. Su believes more people would love math if they could see how it is intimately tied to what it means to be a human being and live a more fully human life. He will explain how math can (or should) meet basic desires that all human beings share and builds virtues that serve each person well no matter what they do in life. A prison inmate has helped Su see this more clearly than ever before.
Francis Edward Su is the Benediktsson-Karwa Professor of Mathematics at Harvey Mudd College and past president of the Mathematical Association of America. He received his B.S. in mathematics from the University of Texas at Austin and his PhD from Harvard University. His research is in geometric combinatorics and applications to the social sciences, and he has co-authored numerous papers with undergraduates. He also has a passion for teaching and popularizing mathematics. From the Mathematical Association of America, he received the 2018 Paul R. Halmos-Lester R. Ford Award for writing and the 2013 Haimo Award for distinguished teaching. Su's book Mathematics for Human Flourishing will be published by Yale University Press on Jan. 7, 2020. Yale Press and Huntley Bookstore will make early copies available for purchase and signing at the event.
The Michael E. Moody Lecture Series illuminates the joy, wonder and applicability of mathematics. The Department of Mathematics established this series to honor Michael Moody, colleague, chair and honorary Harvey Mudd alumnus, whose vision and leadership guided the department to national prominence.
Event will be held in the Shanahan Center Auditorium and is free and open to the public.