Nancy 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 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 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 MAA.org, Huffington Post, Aperiodical and Scientific American.
Mark Setteducati, Board Member
Magician & Inventor
Mark Setteducati is a co-founder and past President of the Gathering for Gardner. Companies worldwide have marketed over 50 of his games, puzzles, and magic inventions. He is the author of “The Magic Show”, an interactive book that performs magic. In 2014, the Academy of Magical Arts awarded him a Creative Fellowship and lifetime membership to the Magic Castle, Hollywood, California.
James 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.
Jade Vinson, Board Member
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.
- Tom Rodgers
- Elwyn Berlekamp
- Bruce Oberg