Recreational mathematics is topic of lecture at SUNY New Paltz

NEW PALTZ — The School of Science and Engineering at The State University of New York at New Paltz will continue its 2004-05 colloquium series with a lecture titled “Games People Don’t Play” at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 4, in the Coykendall Science Building Auditorium.

The speaker, Dr. Peter Winkler, is well known for his research in mathematical logic, discrete mathematics, theory of computing and probability theory. Winkler is a former director of the research group in mathematics and theoretical computer science at Bell Laboratories in New Jersey, and served as chairman of the mathematics department at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga. He received his Ph.D. in mathematics from Yale University and his bachelor’s degree from Harvard University.

“Almost any algorithm design problem can be thought of as seeking a good strategy for a game; consequently, games are a rich source of exercises for those interested in mathematics or computer science,” said Winkler. “These games are not to play, but to think about: Who wins? What is the best strategy? Often simply-described games reveal unexpected twists.”

“Dr. Winkler is an excellent expositor,” said David Clark, associate dean of the School of Science and Engineering. “This talk should be valuable for anyone with even a casual interest in mathematical games and puzzles.”

The lecture is open to the public at no charge. A reception and informal conversation will follow in the Coykendall Science Building for faculty and students. For more information and directions, contact David Clark at (845) 257-3728.