Macalester’s Department of Mathematics and Computer Science is host to the MSCS and Society Speaker Series, the purpose of which is to enhance classroom learning in mathematics or computer science through lectures by people prominent in these fields.

These talks are free and open to the public. Neighbors of the college, students at local colleges, and high school students are especially encouraged to attend.

The series was established in January 2001 and is made possible through the generous financial support of Macalester alumnus Kurt Winkelmann ’78.

### MSCS and Society Lecture, 2022-23

##### Federico Ardila-Mantilla, Ph.D.

##### Monday, November 7, 2022, 4:40pm-6:00pm

John B. Davis Lecture Hall

#### Geometry, Robots, and Society

*How do we move a robot efficiently from one position to another? To answer this question, we understand the map of all possible positions of the robot, using techniques from geometry and combinatorics. We also face important ethical questions that we cannot ignore: What’s the role of mathematicians and computer scientists in building a more just and equitable society?*

Federico Ardila-Mantilla is a Colombian-American mathematician and musician who works in combinatorics and its connections to other areas of mathematics and applications. He strives to build joyful, empowering, and equitable mathematical spaces where everyone feels welcome.

He received his Ph.D. from MIT in 2003 and is Professor of Mathematics at San Francisco State University since 2005. He is a winner of the National Science Foundation CAREER Award for research, the Mathematical Association of America’s National Haimo Award for Teaching, and the American Mathematical Society’s “Mathematics Programs that Make a Difference” Award

for service. He is also a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society and the Colombian Academy of Science, and an Invited Speaker at the International Congress of Mathematicians.

### past speakers

Year |
Speaker |
Affiliation |
Title |

2021-22 | Michael Osterholm | University of Minnesota |
A Conversation on Data and the Pandemic |

2019-20 | Moon Duchin Karen Saxe |
Tufts University American Mathematical Society |
Title: Mathematical Interventions in Fair Voting |

2018-19 | Brent Hecht | Northwestern University |
Title: The Origins, Present, and Future of Algorithmic Bias |

2017-18 | Tim Chartier | Davidson College | Putting a Spring in Yoda’s Step |

2016-17 | Kristin Lauter | Microsoft Research | How to Keep Your Genome Secret |

2015-16 | George Hart | Stony Brook University | From Mathematics to Sculpture |

2014-15 | Peko Hosoi | MIT | From Razor Clams to Robots: The Mathematics Behind Biologically Inspired Design |

2013-14 | Louis J Gross | University of Tennessee | “Best” in a Biological Context: Optimization Across the Biological Hierarchy |

2012-13 | Bill Cook | Georgia Tech | The Traveling Salesman Problem: A Blueprint for Optimization |

2011-12 | David Kung | St. Mary’s College of Maryland | How Math Made Modern Music Mad Irrational |

2010-11 | Edward Belbruno | NASA Research Associate & Professor at Princeton University |
Low Energy Pathways in Space, Chaos, and Origin of the Moon |

2009-10 | Jeff Weeks | Geometry Games | The Shape of Space |

2008-09 | Ann Watkins | California State University, Northridge |
Fallacies in Elementary Statistics |

2007-08 | Bart de Smit | Leiden University The Netherlands |
M.C. Escher and the Droste Effect |

2006-07 | Peter Hamburger | Western Kentucky University | The Art of Venn Diagrams |

2005-06 | Doris Schattschneider | Moravian College | |

2004-05 | Helmer Aslaksen | National University of Singapore | The Mathematics of the Chinese, Indian, Islamic and Gregorian Calendars |

2003-04 | Herb Wilf | University of Pennsylvania | |

2002-03 | Gil Strang | MIT | |

2001-02 | Tom Banchoff | Brown University | |

2000-01 | George Andrews | Penn State |