Department of Mathematics

Kieval Lecture

This lecture series is presented by the HSU Department of Mathematics. Named for HSU Mathematics Professor Emeritus. Dr. Harry S. Kieval, who taught at HSU from 1966 to 1979, the series includes topics on popular and/or broad aspects of mathematics attractive to undergraduates and the public.

The 72nd Harry S. Kieval Lecture

Thursday, October 25, 2018
7:30 P.M.
FH 118

Alon Amit, Ph.D.

co-founder Origami Logic

 "Probability Paradoxes"

Probability Theory has a unique distinction among mathematical fields: it is often at odds with human intuition, sometimes very sharply so.  Beyond setting up various apparent "paradoxes" of intuition or logic, those counterintuitive aspects sometimes have quite dramatic manifestations in real-life situations.  In this talk, we will test our intuition on various elementary probability problems, and survey some ways in which such paradoxes have crept into scientific research, executive board rooms and the courts.

Alan Amit is co-founder of a Silicon-Valley start-up, Origami Logic, and has previously worked at Google and Facebook, as well as Compugen, a biotechniology firm.  He is on the board of trustees of Proof Schol, a new San Francisco-based school for kids who love math, and is a frequent speaker at the Math Circles at Stanford, Berkely, SJSU and many others around the SF Bay Area.  Alon holds a Ph.D. in mathematics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, and a B.Sc. in Computer Science and Physics from the same institute.


Previous lecturers in this series have included:

  • Gigliola Staffilani (details) Spring 2018 (MIT)
  • Ken Ono (details) Fall 2017 (Emory University)
  • Francis Su (details) Spring 2017 (Harvey Mudd College)
  • Erica Flapan (details) Fall 2016 (Pomona College)
  • Bernd  Sturmfels (details) Spring 2016 (University of California at Berkeley)
  • Federico Ardila (details) Fall 2015 (San Francisco State University)
  • Margot Gerritsen (details) Spring 2015 (Stanford University)
  • Benson Farb (details) Fall 2014 (University of Chicago)
  • Tim Chartier (details) Spring 2014 (Davidson College North Carolina)
  • Alan Schoenfeld (details) Fall 2013 (University of California at Berkeley)
  • Abigail Thompson (details) Spring 2013 (University of California at Davis)
  • Robert Bryant (details) Fall 2012 (Mathematical Sciences Research Institute)
  • William G. McCallum (details) Spring 2012 (University of Arizona)
  • Kenneth Ribet (details) Fall 2011 (University of California at Berkeley)
  • David Pengelley (details) Spring 2011 (New Mexico State University)
  • Alice Silverberg (details) Fall 2010 (University of California at Irvine)
  • Robert J. Lang (details) Spring 2010 
  • Kenneth Golden (details) Fall 2009 (University of Utah)
  • Tony DeRose (details) Spring 2009 (Pixar Studios)
  • Underwood Dudley (details) Fall 2008 (DePauw University)
  • Donald Albers (details) Spring 2008 (Mathematical Assoc of America Books)
  • C. Edward Sandifer (details) Fall 2007 (Western Connecticut State University)
  • Melanie Wood (details) Spring 2007 (Princeton University)
  • Jerald Marsden (details) Fall 2006 (California Institute of Technology)
  • Deborah Ball (details) Spring 2006 (University of Michigan)
  • Majorie Senechal (details) Fall 2005 (Smith College)
  • Joe Gallian (details) Spring 2005 (University of Minnesota Duluth)
  • Jennifer Quinn (details) Fall 2004 (Occidental College)
  • John Conway (details) Spring 2004 (Princeton University)
  • Persi Diaconis (details) Fall 2003, (Stanford University)
  • Hyman Bass (details) Spring 2003 (U. of Michigan)
  • Ann E.Watkins (details) Fall, 2002 (CSU Northridge)
  • Ed Burger (details) Spring, 2002 (Williams  College)
  • Michael E. Moody (details) Fall, 2001 (Harvey Mudd College)
  • Richard Tapia (details) Spring, 2001 (Rice University)
  • Noam D. Elkies (details) Fall, 2000 (Harvard University)
  • Victor Katz (details) Spring, 2000 (University of the District of Columbia)
  • Arthur Benjamin (details) Fall, 1999 (Harvey Mudd College)
  • Thomas Banchoff (details) Spring, 1999 (Brown University)
  • Frank Giordano (details) Fall, 1998 (COMAP)
  • Robert L. Devaney (details) Spring, 1998 (Boston University)
  • Sherman Stein (details) Fall, 1997 (UC Davis)
  • Ron Graham (details) Spring, 1997
  • David Hoffman (details) Fall, 1996 (MSRI, Berkeley)
  • Doris Schattschneider (details) Spring, 1996 (Moravian College)
  • Herbert Keller (details) Fall, 1995 (Cal. Inst. of Technology)
  • Keith J. Devlin Spring, 1995 (Saint Mary's College)
  • Deb Hughes Hallett (Harvard) and Jerry Uhl  (U of Ill.) Fall, 1994
  • Gil Strang Spring, 1994(MIT)
  • Carlos Castillo-Chavez Fall, 1993 (Cornell)
  • Judith Grabiner (details) Spring, 1993 (Pitzer College).
  • Judith Tanur (details) Fall, 1992 (SUNY, Stony Brook)
  • Margaret Cozzins Spring, 1992 (Northeastern U.)
  • Saunders MacLane Fall, 1991 (Univ. of Chicago)
  • Branko Grunbaum Spring, 1991 (Univ. of Washington)
  • Robert Moses Fall, 1990
  • George Dantzig Spring, 1990 (Stanford Univ.) 
  • Reuben Hersh Fall, 1989 (Univ. of NM)
  • Ralph Boas Spring, 1989 (Northwestern Univ.)
  • Leon Henkin Fall, 1988 (U.C., Berk.)
  • Mary Ellen Rudin Spring, 1988(Univ. of Wisconsin)
  • Constance Reid Fall, 1987
  • Kenneth Arrow Spring, 1987 (Stanford Univ.)
  • Peter Hilton Fall, 1986 (SUNY, Binghamton)
  • Gerard Debreu Spring, 1986 (U.C.,Berk.)
  • Raymond Smullyan Fall, 1985 (Ind. U.)
  • Paul Halmos Spring, 1985 (Univ.of Santa Clara)
  • Richard Hamming Winter, 1985 (Naval Postgrad.)
  • Victor Klee Spring, 1984 (Univ. of Washington)
  • Ivan Niven Fall, 1983 (Univ. of Oregon)
  • Ronald Graham Spring, 1983 (Bell Labs)