G4G14 | Featured Presenters

G4G is pleased to announce three Featured Presenters for the 2020 Gathering conference. Each presenter will give two talks: one private talk as part of the regular programing of the conference for G4G attendees exclusively and one free talk open to the general public (no tickets needed). 


Moon Duchin

Tufts University, Associate Professor of Mathematics

Moon’s Bio: Moon Duchin is an associate professor of mathematics at Tufts University and a historian of science.  She founded the Metric Geometry and Gerrymandering Group to use geometry and computation to study gerrymandering, believing it to be a fundamental threat to democracy.  She is a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society, and in 2018 was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship.

Public Presentation:  
“Graphs, Geometry and Gerrymandering”

Location: Georgia Tech, Kendeda Building Auditorium
422 Ferst Dr NW, Atlanta, GA 30313
Date: Thursday, March 26th, 2020
Time: 6:30 pm

Abstract: How can it be determined if electoral district boundaries have been gerrymandered to give an unfair political advantage for a particular party or group? How can courts be convinced that gerrymandering has occurred? How can the extent of gerrymandering be measured? Guggenheim fellowship winner Moon Duchin will show how asking simple questions about graphs and geometry can provide a numerical measure of the extent of gerrymandering, and help us make advances in policy and civil rights.

G4G14 Program Talk: 
“Redistricting and the Universe of Possibility”

 Location/Date/Time: Open to G4G14 Conference Attendees Only 

(talk schedule TBD)

Abstract: A small districting problem: divide a 6×6 grid into six connected “districts” of equal size. There are roughly a half-million ways to do this. A medium-size districting problem: divide the 9059 precincts of Pennsylvania into 18 connected districts of equal population. There are unthinkably many ways to do this. And then there are the big problems…… I’ll give you a tour of (what we know about) the shape and the character of the wild universe of districting plans.
Mark Burstein

Mark Burstein

Lewis Carroll Society of North America (LCSNA) 

Mark’s Bio: Mark Burstein is a lifelong Carrollian, a dire condition he inherited from his father, along with their world-class collection. A book editor by profession, over the years he had created, edited, or contributed to twenty-one books by or about Lewis Carroll, including updating, editing, and art directing Gardner’s The Annotated Alice for the “150th Anniversary Deluxe Edition” (W. W. Norton, 2015), and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland illustrated by Salvador Dalí (Princeton, 2015). He has served the Lewis Carroll Society of North America (LCSNA) as its president, publications chair, and longtime editor of its magazine, Knight Letter. He also created and edited A Bouquet for the Gardner: Martin Gardner Remembered (LCSNA, 2011), among whose contributors are Douglas Hofstadter, David Singmaster, Raymond Smullyan, and many others.

Public Presentation:  
“What IS It about Alice?”  

Location: Decatur Presbyterian Church
205 Sycamore St, Decatur, GA 30030
Date: Saturday, March 28th, 2020
Time: 7:30 pm

Abstract: How did a British children’s book written 150 years ago become the global icon it is today? In a wide-ranging, lushly illustrated, and humorous talk, Lewis Carroll expert Mark Burstein will discuss why Alice in Wonderland is the most quoted, the most widely illustrated, and among the most translated novels in the world. He’ll also explore Alice’s place in popular culture, with excursions into the life and times of Carroll and the real-life Alice.

G4G14 Program Talk: 

“A Literary Englishman and the Scientific American: Lewis Carroll’s Appearances in ‘Mathematical Games”

Location/Date/Time: Open to G4G14 Conference Attendees Only
(talk schedule TBD)

Abstract: Lewis Carroll, the nom de plume of the Rev. Charles L. Dodgson, a mathematics lecturer at Oxford, was also an innovator in recreational mathematics, magic, puzzles, cryptography, and inventions. His appearances in Scientific American began with mathematician Warren Weaver’s article in April 1956, and his name is mentioned over a hundred times in fourteen of Martin Gardner’s “Mathematical Games” columns. Using these as a springboard, topics will also include Carroll himself, the Wonderland/Looking-Glass dyad, Gardner, and their intertwining in The Annotated Alice.
Paula Apsel

Paula Apsell

Senior Executive Producer Emerita NOVA

Paula’s Bio: Paula S. Apsell got her start in broadcasting at WGBH Boston, found her way to WGBH Radio, and later became a radio news producer. In 1975, she joined WGBH’s NOVA, a science documentary series that has set the standard for science programming on television, producing documentaries on subjects as varied as artificial intelligence, genetic engineering, and aviation safety. In 1985, she became Senior Executive Producer at NOVA, where her roles included serving as Director of the WGBH Science Unit for 33 years. Apsell is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Public Presentation:  
“The Art of Science Communication”

Location: Georgia State University
Speaker’s Auditorium at Student Center East,
Located at 55 Gilmer St. Atlanta, GA 30303
Date: Sunday, March 29th, 2020
Time: 2:00 pm

Abstract: How do you tell stories about science? Paula Apsell, who headed PBS’s acclaimed NOVA series for decades, will discuss the art of science communication on television and online. She will share how complex scientific ideas are made not only accessible, but compelling to a wide range of viewers, at a time when rampant science denial is posing an existential threat to humanity.

G4G14 Program Talk: 
“Science, History and Truth”

Location/Date/Time: Open to G4G14 Conference Attendees Only
(talk schedule TBD)

Abstract: We live in a time of great misunderstanding of science, a time when science is under attack, when facts are fungible, when truth isn’t always truth. Frightening as this is, it’s tempting to think of it as something new, but sadly it’s not. History is full of anti-science movements.The need for informed debate is more urgent than ever: We have no choice. We cannot leave science to the experts. We — all of us — have to become citizen scientists.

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