Puzzling behavior: Speaker explores paradoxes in voting, astronomy


    LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A March 26 speaker at the University of Louisville will explain how math often enters into the equation in a puzzling situation, whether in the election booth or in deep space.

    University of California-Irvine professor Donald Saari will discuss “From Voting Paradoxes to the Search for ‘Dark Matter’” at 6:30 p.m. in Room 101, Strickler Hall. His free, public talk is the annual Bullitt lecture sponsored by the UofL mathematics department. The Bullitt family endowed the general-interest lecture series to honor former U.S. Solicitor General William Marshall Bullitt’s interest in mathematics.

    Saari will share examples of paradoxical outcomes and describe mathematical reasons for them. He will discuss how paradoxes extend to puzzles from other fields of study, including astronomy’s “dark matter” mystery.

    Saari heads the Institute for Mathematical Behavioral Sciences at UC-Irvine, where he has worked since 2000. He has written several books, including “Chaotic Elections! A Mathematical Look at Voting,” “Decisions and Elections: Explaining the Unexpected” and “Basic Geometry of Voting.”

    Previously, he taught math at Northwestern University and had a postdoctoral appointment at Yale University’s astronomy department. He earned a Purdue University doctorate in math and an undergraduate degree from Michigan Technological University. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

    For more information, call Jake Wildstrom at 502-852-5845 or check www.math.louisville.edu/Bullitt.

    Judy Hughes
    Judy Hughes is a senior communications and marketing coordinator for UofL’s Office of Communications and Marketing and associate editor of UofL Magazine. She previously worked in news as a writer and editor for a daily newspaper and The Associated Press.