WMU News

NPR's 'Math Guy,' Keith Devlin at WMU Oct. 27

Oct. 19, 2000

KALAMAZOO -- National Public Radio's "Math Guy," Keith Devlin, will espouse his enthusiasm for equations at Western Michigan University Friday, Oct. 27.

Devlin will give a free public presentation, titled "How Mathematical Ability Evolved," at 4 p.m. in Room 1104 of Rood Hall.

An internationally recognized mathematician, Devlin has written 16 books and more than 60 research articles but is probably best known as the regular Saturday morning mathematics correspondent for the NPR magazine program "Weekend Edition." He also contributes to several other NPR programs, including "Talk of the Nation-Science Friday," "Sounds Like Science" and "To the Best of Our Knowledge."

"Many more people can appreciate music than can play a musical instrument. Many more people enjoy the benefits of driving an automobile than have the knowledge or skill to repair one, " says Devlin. "Similarly, we should recognize that it is possible to help people appreciate mathematics without forcing them, in vain, to try to achieve a working skill in the discipline."

When not on the air, Devlin serves as the dean of science and professor of mathematics at St. Mary's College in Moraga, Calif. He is also a senior researcher at Stanford University's Center for the Study of Language and Information. His ability to communicate mathematical ideas in a lucid and engaging manner and his efforts to promote public understanding of mathematics recently earned him the honor of being elected a lifetime Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Devlin's visit to Western is sponsored by WMU's chapter of Pi Mu Epsilon mathematics honor society, the Science and Math Teacher Association, the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, and the Campus Activities Board. For further information, contact Niloufer Mackey, assistant professor of mathematics and statistics, (616) 387-4594 or <nil.mackey@wmich.edu>.

Media contact: Marie Lee, 616 387-8400, marie.lee@wmich.edu

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