College of Sciences Calendar
Kwangil Koh Lecture: Andrew Belmonte on Games, Decisions, Evolution and Chance
Andrew Belmonte, professor of mathematics and materials science and engineering at Penn State University, will deliver the seventh Kwangil Koh Lecture on Mathematics in Our Time. A pre-talk reception will begin at 4 p.m. in the SAS Hall atrium.
Belmonte will examine how humans play games. Sometimes we roll the dice or buy lottery tickets — sometimes we play chess or mind games of manipulation. History gives us two examples of the development of new mathematical ideas and directions from our playful habits: games of chance, which led to the formulation of probability theory, and games of strategy, which led to game theory.
Belmonte will discuss how these two theories come together to provide a mathematical approach to conflict and other interactions for populations in biology, economics and other situations where simple optimization does not explain what we see. Along the way, we will grapple with the challenges of cancer and the dynamics of social media.