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Mathematics, Technology, & Society

The Mathematics, Technology & Society discussion group will meet the first Saturday of every month in the Coolidge Seminar Room (on 1G), from 10:30 a.m. to noon and will consider mathematics and technology topics from historical and social perspectives.
Participation is encouraged by anyone interested in the history and impact of technology — no mathematics or computing expertise is required. Each meeting will focus on a different topic and background reading.
For further information, please contact discussion group moderator Scott Guthery at:
Note that during the Covid-19 outbreak our meetings are held through a virtual platform.

2021–2022 Schedule

  • Jan. 2: Eli Maor, Music by the Numbers: From Pythagoras to Schoenberg
  • Feb. 6: A.S. Barwich, Smellosophy: What the Nose Tells the Mind
  • Mar. 6: Michael Strevens, Knowledge Machine: How Irrationality Created Modern Science
  • Apr. 3: Joseph Mazur, The Clock Mirage: Our Myth of Measured Time
  • May 1: Nick Lane, Oxygen: The Molecule That Made the World
  • Jun. 5: Paul Hoffman, The Man Who Loved Only Numbers: The Story of Paul Erdos
  • No July meeting
  • Aug. 7: Steven Johnson, The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic—and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World
  • Sep. 4: Jennifer Ackerman, The Bird Way: A New Look at How Birds Talk, Work, Play, Parent, and Think
  • Oct. 2: Tim Gregory, Meteorite: How Stones From Outer Space Made Our World
  • Nov. 6: Roland Ennos, The Age of Wood: Our Most Useful Material and the Construction of Civilization
  • Dec. 4: Paul Sen, Einstein's Fridge: How the Difference Between Hot and Cold Explains the Universe
  • Jan 8 (N.B. this is the second Saturday): David Stipp, A Most Elegant Equation: Euler's Formula and the Beauty of Mathematics