2014-2015 Baylor Undergraduate Lecture Series in Mathematics

Arthur Benjamin

Professor Arthur Benjamin , Professor of Mathematics at Harvey Mudd College (Claremont, CA), was the seventh speaker in our annual Baylor Undergraduate Lecture Series in Mathematics. It was a short - but sweet - visit for the much -traveled Dr. Benjamin; indeed, he gave 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.

For a poster advertising Professor Benjamin's public lecture, click here.

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, have combinatorial proofs. Furthermore, some combinatorial problems have trigonometric 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, Fibonacci numbers, derangements,and Chebyshev polynomials.

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

Public Lecture:

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.


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