Noted Mathemagician Benjamin to Visit IUP as Inaugural Serafini Lecturer

Posted on 10/3/2018 2:35:19 PM

Arthur Benjamin, the Smallwood Family Professor of Mathematics at Harvey Mudd College and a well-known magician, will share his “mathemagic” with the IUP community on October 18–19, 2018.

Art Benjamin, the MathemagicianIn his “Mathemagics” show, Benjamin demonstrates and explains his secrets for performing rapid mental calculations faster than a calculator. He has given three TED Talks and has appeared on the Today Show, CNN, the Colbert Report, and National Public Radio.  He has also been profiled in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Scientific American, Discover, Omni, Esquire, Wired, People Magazine, and Reader’s Digest.

Benjamin is an active researcher in mathematics, with over 80 papers on combinatorics and mathematical games. Details about the great variety of Benjamin’s accomplishments and links to his TED talks and Colbert Report appearance can be found on Arthur Benjamin’s website

Benjamin will visit the Mathematics Department on Thursday, October 18, and Friday, October 19. All events are free and open to the public.

On October 18, Benjamin will present “The Mathematics of BINGO” in room 229 Stright Hall at 3:30 p.m. and his Mathemagician Act (suitable for all ages) in Beard Auditorium, Stouffer Hall, at 7:00 p.m.

On October 19 he will conduct a workshop on the Mathematics of Magic, where the audience will learn card tricks and the mathematics behind why they work. The workshop is at 2:30 p.m. in room 229 Stright Hall.

Benjamin is the inaugural Serafini Lecturer. Terry Serafini ’61 generously provided the funds for a biennial lecture series sponsored by the Mathematics Department. Serafini is a 1961 graduate of IUP, earning his Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Mathematics Education. After serving as an officer in the US Army, Serafini began his business career in 1964 as a computer systems marketing representative for the IBM Corporation. Six years later, he became a partner and co-owner of Computerpeople, Inc. During his 27 years of association, Computerpeople grew to employ over 1,300 computer professionals. Serafini also co-founded Compucom, Inc., a digital imaging and microfilm solutions company located in Pittsburgh.