Nancy BlachmanNancy Blachman, Chair

Founder, Julia Robinson Mathematics Festival

Nancy Blachman’s love of mathematics and puzzles goes back to her high school days when she took George Polya’s short course in mathematical logic, did a research project on continued fractions, and participated in the Saint Mary’s Math Contest, which was held at Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, California. These experiences taught her that it was more fun to learn by discovery than to be told how to solve problems or just apply formulae. She subsequently earned degrees in mathematics, computer science, and operations research from the University of Birmingham (UK), Stanford, and UC Berkeley, respectively. She has written several books on Mathematica, in 2003 created Google Guide, and in 2007 founded the Julia Robinson Mathematics Festival, which inspires students to explore the richness and beauty of mathematics in a cooperative environment.

Erik DemaineErik Demaine, President

Professor in Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Erik Demaine’s research interests range throughout algorithms, from data structures for improving web searches to the geometry of understanding how proteins fold to the computational difficulty of playing games. He received a MacArthur Fellowship as a “computational geometer tackling and solving difficult problems related to folding and bending—moving readily between the theoretical and the playful, with a keen eye to revealing the former in the latter”. He appears in the recent origami documentary Between the Folds, cowrote a book about the theory of folding (Geometric Folding Algorithms), and a book about the computational complexity of games (Games, Puzzles, and Computation). Together with his father, Martin Demaine, his interests span the connections between mathematics and art, including curved-crease sculptures in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Renwick Gallery in the Smithsonian.

Colm MulcahyColm Mulcahy, Vice President

Professor of Mathematics at Spelman College, Atlanta

Colm Mulcahy bought his first Martin Gardner book in 1975, and had the pleasure of getting to know the man himself starting in 2000. His own book Mathematical Card Magic: Fifty-Two New Effects on original mathematical card principles was published in 2013. He has written for, Huffington Post, Aperiodical and Scientific American.

Bob CreaseRobert Crease, Secretary

Chair of the Department of Philosophy at Stony Brook University

Robert P. Crease has written, translated, or edited over a dozen books on history and philosophy of science, and is Past Chair of the Forum for History of Physics of the American Physical Society. He is Co-editor-in-chief of Physics in Perspective, and for 18 years he has written a column, “Critical Point,” on the historical and philosophical dimensions of science for Physics World. His next book is The Workshop and the World: What Ten Thinkers Can Tell Us about Science and Authority, to be published by Norton in March.  Website:

Jade VinsonJade Vinson, Treasurer

Founder, Talking Leaves NC

Jade Vinson, founder of Talking Leaves NC, has worked in a range of applied fields including cryptography, genomics, finance, and AI. He earned his PhD at Princeton University, where he studied random matrices. He serves on the board of the National Museum of Mathematics and also supports the Bridges Organization.

James GardnerJames Gardner, Board Member

Professor at the University of Oklahoma

Jim is a Professor of Special Education at the University of Oklahoma, with interests in universal design for learning and assistive technologies. He manages the intellectual property of Martin Gardner, and is currently involved in a variety of projects with publishers and organizations to continue the legacy of his father’s work.

Vickie KearnVickie Kearn, Board Member

Executive Editor, Princeton University Press

Vickie Kearn has been the acquiring editor for mathematics at Princeton University Press for the past 18 years. During her 42 years in publishing she has also acquired books for the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics and Marcel Dekker. She began her career as a developmental editor and solved equations and wrote solutions manual for all of Academic Press’ math textbooks for three years. Prior to her career in publishing she taught for eight years. Vickie will retire in April 2019 and looks forward to continuing her lifelong goal of bringing the joy of math to those who think math is hard or think they hate math. Those who learn of the work of Martin Gardner truly would not continue to believe those things.

Chairmen Emeriti

  • Tom Rodgers
  • Elwyn Berlekamp
  • Bruce Oberg