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.



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 SetteducatiMark 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 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.



Chairmen Emeriti

  • Tom Rodgers
  • Elwyn Berlekamp
  • Bruce Oberg