Centre College’s Phi Beta Kappa’s Visiting Scholars Program will welcome Francis Su, Benediktsson-Karwa Professor of Mathematics at Harvey Mudd College, to campus, Feb. 20-21. During his visit, Su will give a talk titled “Mathematics for Human Flourishing” on Feb. 20 at 7:30 p.m. in Young Hall 113.
“Phi Beta Kappa’s support of its local chapters—especially those at liberal arts colleges like Centre—allows us to bring leading figures to our campus year after year,” said Ian Wilson, NEH Associate Professor of German and Humanities and chair of the visiting scholar committee. “The generosity of the Student Government Association and the convocations committee helps ensure that our students gain access to these leading voices from around the world. Phi Beta Kappa, the most prestigious honor society in the U.S., has supported the liberal arts and sciences since its founding in 1776.”
At the convocation, Su will explain how math can—or should—meet basic desires that all human beings share and builds virtues that serve each person well no matter what they do in life.
In 2015 and 2016, he served as president of the Mathematical Association of America. His speeches and writing have earned acclaim for describing the humanity of mathematics, as well as calling people to greater awareness of issues that contribute to inequitable mathematics education.
Wired Magazine called him “the mathematician who will make you fall in love with numbers.” His research is in geometric combinatorics and applications to the social sciences. From the Mathematical Association of America, he received the 2018 Halmos-Ford award for distinguished writing, in addition to the 2013 Haimo Award for exemplary teaching.
Three of his articles have appeared in the Princeton anthology “The Best Writing on Mathematics” in 2011, 2014 and 2018. His book “Mathematics for Human Flourishing” will be published by Yale University Press this year.
IF YOU GO
Francis Su, Benediktsson-Karwa Professor of Mathematics at Harvey Mudd College
“Mathematics for Human Flourishing.”
Feb. 20, 7:30 p.m.
Young Hall 113
by Kerry Steinhofer
February 13, 2020