Punk Rock OR goes to Oberlin College

This week I visited Oberlin College to deliver the Fuzzy Vance Lecture in Mathematics. I was honored to be the 20th Fuzzy Vance lecturer. Each year, Oberlin invites one mathematician (or an operations researcher/fake mathematician in my case!) to visit campus, participate in classes, and give a lecture (the “Fuzzy Vance Lecture”) to the general public.

My evening talk to the public was about my research in emergency medical services and emergency response. My slides and some pictures from my visit are below. I will post my teaching materials on my blog next week.

Oberlin is a small liberal arts college that attracts intelligent students who have eclectic interests. Many students are interested in music, creative writing, and computer science in addition to math. I enjoyed meeting with students when I taught Bob Bosch’s undergraduate course in optimization, which mostly has students from math and computer science.

Bob Bosch and his colleagues in the Oberlin math department were fantastic hosts. They filled me in on the history of the Fuzzy Vance Lecture series, but there was some disagreement about whether Fuzzy Vance was actually fuzzy (nicknamed for fuzzy hair or for another mysterious reason). I was also pleasantly surprised to learn that Oberlin is known for its unusual albino squirrel population. I am a fan of campus squirrels: the squirrels at my alma mater have had an interesting history.

Here are some memories from my visit.

 

The poster for the Fuzzy Vance Lecture Series in Mathematics

The poster for the Fuzzy Vance Lecture Series in mathematics

 

 

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame advertisements were everywhere in Cleveland. I was thrilled to be able to visit the museum during my visit.

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Bob Bosch and I found The Clash exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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My favorite crosswalk in Oberlin, which boasts one of the best music conservancies in the US.

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Pablo Picasso, Chair and Owl (1947) from the Oberlin art museum

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Claude Monet, The Red Kerchief from the Oberlin art museum

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