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, 2021-22

Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH
Wednesday, September 22, 2021, 4:40pm-5:40pm
Zoom & Kagin Ballroom

A Conversation on Data and The Pandemic

Dr. Osterholm will discuss the importance of data-based decision making in the context of epidemiology and the COVID-19 pandemic, and our roles as data practitioners. The conversation will be moderated by Dr. Vittorio Addona and Dr. Steph Walters.

Dr. Osterholm is Regents Professor, McKnight Presidential Endowed Chair in Public Health, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP), Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Division of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, a professor in the Technological Leadership Institute, College of Science and Engineering, and an adjunct professor in the Medical School, all at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Osterholm was appointed to President-elect Joe Biden’s 13-member Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board. He is the author of the New York Times best-selling 2017 book, Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Killer Germs. Previously, Dr. Osterholm served for 24 years (1975-1999) in various roles at the Minnesota Department of Health, the last 15 as state epidemiologist.

past speakers

Year Speaker Affiliation Title
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,
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