Baylor’s Department of Mathematics Welcomes Renowned Mathematician for Lectures on Dark Matter

Oct. 7, 2015
Donald SaariDonald Saari courtesy photo.

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WACO, Texas (Oct. 7, 2015) – Baylor University’s department of mathematics in the College of Arts & Sciences will welcome renowned mathematician Donald Saari, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Mathematics and Economics in the department of logic and philosophy of science at the University of California – Irvine and director of the Institute of Mathematical Behavioral Sciences, for two lectures on dark matter at 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 8, in the Baylor Sciences Building, Room D109, and at 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 9, in Marrs McLean Science Building, Room 301.

“Don Saari is a very well-known mathematician throughout the world, and he is also a very gifted speaker,” said Lance Littlejohn, Ph.D., chair of the department of mathematics. “Bringing people to Baylor of Don’s caliber is exciting for our faculty and for our students – we get to see the elite share their scientific results and theories with all of us.”

Saari’s first lecture, titled “From Voting Paradoxes to the Search for Dark Matter,” will be oriented toward the public. His second lecture, titled “Mathematics of Astronomy,” will be more specialized for students of math and science.

“Don’s public lecture is going to be fascinating,” Littlejohn said. “I heard Don give this talk several months ago at a national mathematics meeting, and I can say that it stirred up more than a little chatter. Don is an expert in the mathematics of voting paradoxes, and he manages – quite remarkably – to apply his logic to make a stunning statement about dark matter in our universe. I will not divulge what he is going to say – people will have to come and hear for themselves – but it will be stunning and perhaps controversial.”

Saari will be the ninth speaker in the annual Baylor Lecture Series in Mathematics. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Arthur and Gladys Pancoe Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at Northwestern University. His research is centered on issues such as the evolution of the universe. He has published more than 200 papers on topics such as celestial mechanics, mathematical economics, decision analysis and voting theory. He received his Ph.D. from Purdue University in 1967.

“Don Saari has a knack for taking difficult concepts and making them very accessible to the public,” Littlejohn said. “I highly recommend students, faculty and people from the Waco community to attend his public lecture. Don has a wonderful sense of humor, which you will see throughout his lecture, but he also has a deep important conjecture that he wants to share with all of us on dark matter.”

Both lectures are free and open to the public. A meet-and-greet reception with Saari will follow his first lecture in the second-floor atrium area of the Baylor Sciences Building.

The Baylor Sciences Building is located at 101 Bagby Ave., and Marrs McLean Science is located at 1214 S. Fourth St.

For more information, contact the department of mathematics at 254-710-3561.

by Ashton Brown, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

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Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.

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