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March 15, 2018

Mathematics: It's not what it used to be

A conversation with

Dr. Keith Devlin

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Registration 5-5:15pm
Welcome & Talk 5:30-6:15pm
Q&A 6:15-6:45pm

Register online here


456 University Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94301
Open to all – Free of charge

Click here for map and directions

Mathematics: It's not what it used to be

ABSTRACT: All the mathematical problem solving techniques I had learned when I graduated university with a math degree in 1968 became obsolete in the course of my career. Digital tools available for free in the Cloud now do everything much faster, more accurately, and on far larger datasets, than a human could ever handle. Yet, for all that obsolescence, in recent years I have been involved in projects for a US Intelligence Agency, the US Navy, and the US Army, and have successfully co-founded and launched an educational technology company. What problems was I working on, how did I approach them, and what mathematical skills was I using?

Apart from the startup company (which was in part an offshoot of the Defense Department work), my experience is typical for mathematicians today. For the fact is, while mathematics may not have changed, there has been a revolution in how we do it (and hence how we should teach it).

About the speaker
Dr. Keith Devlin is a mathematician, a co-founder and Executive Director of Stanford University's H-STAR institute, a co-founder of Stanford's mediaX research network, and a co-founder, President and Senior Scientist of BrainQuake, an educational technology company that uses mobile games as a learning and assessment platform. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society. His current research is focused on the use of different media to teach and communicate mathematics to diverse audiences. He has also worked on a number of projects on intelligence analysis for the Department of Defense. He has written 33 books and over 80 published research articles. He is a recipient of the Pythagoras Prize, the Peano Prize, the Carl Sagan Award, and the Joint Policy Board for Mathematics Communications Award. He is "the Math Guy" on National Public Radio.

Café Scientifique is a place where anyone can come to explore the latest ideas in science and technology. The Café provides a forum for debating science issues outside a traditional academic context. We are committed to promoting public engagement with science and to making science accountable - all spoken in plain English. There is no admission charge to attend our events. Building on its great success outside the United States, Café Scientifique Silicon Valley is the first such Café on the West Coast.  We meet monthly to discuss a variety of science topics.