Baylor > Mathematics > Lecture Series > Baylor Undergraduate Lecture Series in Mathematics

The Department of Mathematics at Baylor University began a new lecture series in 2008 aimed at undergraduate and graduate students as well as area high school students and high school teachers of mathematics. Lecturers chosen for this series will be renowned mathematicians with a special penchant for teaching mathematics and a clear enthusiasm for the subject. The goal of this series is to interest and attract students to mathematics and mathematics education. Funds have been made available for this lecture series by Baylor University; special thanks are due to Dean Lee Nordt of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Previous Speakers: John Oprea (2008-09), Brian Conrey (2009-10), William Dunham (2010-11), David Bressoud (2011-12), Keith Devlin (2012-13), Edward Burger (2013-14)

Seventh Annual Baylor Undergraduate Lecture Series in Mathematics

Speaker: Arthur Benjamin

Professor Arthur Benjamin , Professor of Mathematics at Harvey Mudd College (Claremont, CA), will be the seventh speaker in our annual Baylor Undergraduate Lecture Series in Mathematics. It will be a short visit for the much -traveled Dr. Benjamin; indeed, he will be giving both of his lectures on October 21.

Art Benjamin

Dr. Benjamin earned his B.S. degree in Applied Mathematics from Carnegie Mellon University in 1983. He then went on to receive his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University in 1989. He then immediately joined the faculty at Harvey Mudd College . He served as Chair of the Department of Mathematics at Harvey Mudd from 2002-2004.

He is the author of more than 90 research papers in mathematics, several books and DVD courses, and has received national awards for his writing and teaching. He has given three TED talks which have been viewed over 10 million times. He is a past winner of the American Backgammon Tour, and in 2012, he was selected by Princeton Review as one of The Best 300 Professors. Dr. Benjamin has appeared on many television and radio programs, including The Today Show, CNN, National Public Radio, and The Colbert Report. He has been profiled in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Scientific American, Discover, Omni, Esquire, People Magazine, and Reader's Digest.

All students, faculty and guests are welcome to attend his lectures. There will be a reception from 5:00-6:00 pm on October 21 -- everyone is welcome to attend and meet Professor Benjamin.

The titles, and abstracts, for his two lectures are:

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 at 4:00 pm - BSB 109

Combinatorial Trigonometry (and a method to DIE for)

Abstract: Many trigonometric identities, including the Pythagorean theorem, havecombinatorial proofs. Furthermore, some combinatorial problems havetrigonometric solutions. All of these problems can be reduced to alternating sums, and are attacked by a technique we call D.I.E. (Description, Involution, Exception). This technique offers new insights to identities involving binomial coefficients, Fibonaccinumbers, derangements,and Chebyshev polynomials.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 at 7:00 pm - BSB 110


Mathemagics! (Alternate titles: Secrets of Mental Math or The Art of Mental Calculation)

Abstract: Dr. Arthur Benjamin is a mathematician and a magician. In his entertaining and fast-paced performance, he will demonstrate and explain how to mentally add and multiply numbers faster than a calculator, how to figure out the day of the week of any date in history, and other amazing feats of mind. He has presented his mixture of math and magic to audiences all over the world.