Nancy Blachman, Chair

Nancy BlachmanFounder, 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 Maraga, 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.


Mark Mitton, Co-President

Mark MittonMagician

Mark Mitton performs and produces events all over the world. He has performed magic for business leaders, star athletes, Nobel prize-winning scientists, royalty and rock stars, economic migrants on the island of Lesbos and hospitalized children around New York City. Inspired by Martin Gardner, Mark believes that the craft of magic can be used to consider surprising possibilities in many aspects of life, including mathematics, education, perception and memory.


Erik Demaine, Co-President

Erik DemaineProfessor 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

Colm MulcahyProfessor 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.


Robert W. Jones, Treasurer


After graduating from Harvard in 1984, Rob Jones joined Fischer Black’s quantitative strategies team at Goldman Sachs. Rob has had leadership roles with several capital management firms. Helping investors get the most from scientific methods remains his professional focus. In 1995, Rob created a foundation to foster community prosperity through cultural enrichment. He is actively engaged with several organizations working in the arts and education, including the National Museum of Mathematics.


Mark Setteducati, Board Member

Mark SetteducatiMagician & 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.


Recognition for Past Board Members

Gathering 4 Gardner would like to thank all of the past board members who have contributed so much of their time and energy to preserving the legacy of Martin Gardner.

Chairmen Emeriti

  • Tom Rodgers
  • Elwyn Berlekamp
  • Bruce Oberg

Past Board Members

  • Thane Plambeck
  • Scott Hudson de Tarnowsky