The Michael E. Moody Lecture Series

Michael Moody, Former Chair of the Department of Mathematics

The Harvey Mudd College Mathematics Department has established a lecture series in honor of Michael Moody.

Under his leadership as chair from 1996–2002, the mathematics department revised its curriculum, rejuvenated the senior-thesis program, and tripled the number of majors. Mike was a guiding force that led to our department being awarded the American Mathematical Society's inaugural award for an Exemplary Program or Achievement in a Mathematics Department in 2006.

He also founded an evening lecture series that brought speakers to the College who illuminated the joy, wonder, and applicability of mathematics and that attracted hundreds of students. The lecture series, now in Michael's name, continues this tradition.

Mike was thrilled and humbled to hear about our plans for this lecture series before he died in January, 2010. Our department—and many students, faculty, staff and friends within its community—have benefited from his extraordinary legacy.

The Next Lecture

Professor Anette (Peko) Hosoi, 2014 Moody Lecture Speaker Original image from MIT's The Tech.

Professor Anette (Peko) Hosoi of MIT will present the seventh lecture in The Michael E. Moody Lecture Series on “From Razor Clams to Robots: The Mathematics Behind Biologically Inspired Design”

Anette (Peko) Hosoi is an exceptional and innovative teacher, an inspiring mentor for women in engineering and an outstanding communicator of science. Her research interests include fluid mechanics, bio-inspired design, and locomotion, with a recent focus on optimization of crawling gastropods, digging bivalves, swimming microorganisms, and soft robotics. She is a recognized international leader in the study of the hydrodynamics of thin fluid films and in the nonlinear physical interaction of viscous fluids and deformable interfaces. Her work spans multiple disciplines, including physics, biology, and applied mathematics, and is being used to guide the engineering design of robotic crawlers and other mechanisms.

More information about Anette (Peko) Hosoi is available from her website.

The lecture will take place on Thursday, April 3, 2014, at 7:00 PM, in HMC's Shanahan Center Auditorium.

As with all of the college's evening speaker lectures, the talk is aimed at a wide audience and is open to all.

Dessert and refreshments will follow the talk.


Spring 2014 Moody Lecture Poster Download the Poster

Many natural systems have evolved to perform certain tasks—climbing, sensing, swimming—as perfectly as possible within the limits set by the laws of physics. This observation can be used both to guide engineering design and to gain insights into the form and function of biological systems. We will consider both of these themes in the context and crawling snails, diffing clams and swimming microorganisms. We will discover how and analysis of the physical principles exploited by snails and clams leads to the development of novel robotic diggers and crawlers, and explore the role of mathematics in the design, control, and assessment of unconventional robotic systems.


Harvey Mudd College is located at 301 Platt Blvd, Claremont CA 91711, in the eastern Los Angeles area.

The closest airport is Ontario International Airport (ONT), and we strongly recommend that you fly to Ontario rather than one of the other Los Angeles area airports. Ontario International Airport is about eight miles away from the college.

The college provides driving directions from various points in Southern California.

Map with driving directions to Harvey Mudd College.

Free parking is available in the parking lots indicated in the map above or anywhere along 12th Street or Dartmouth Avenue below 12th Street.

About Harvey Mudd College

Harvey Mudd College is a private, liberal arts undergraduate institution of science, engineering and mathematics.

The Department of Mathematics at Harvey Mudd College recently received the 2006 AMS Award for Exemplary Department or Program from the American Mathematical Society.

The college enrolls about 750 students of high ability; a third of them are National Merit Finalists and each year there are over 35 graduates in mathematics, with approximately half going on to graduate school. HMC is a member of the Claremont College consortium, which includes four other undergraduate colleges (Pomona, Claremont McKenna, Scripps, Pitzer) and two graduate institutions (Claremont Graduate University and Keck Graduate Institute), forming an academic community of about 5000 students. There is an active research community of over 40 mathematicians in Claremont, with faculty seminars in analysis, topology, algebra and combinatorics, and applied mathematics.

Claremont is situated approximately 35 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, in the foothills of the San Gabriel mountains. The community is known for its tree-lined streets and village charm. It is an easy drive from Claremont to the cultural attractions of the greater Los Angeles area, as well as the ocean, mountains and deserts of southern California.

To learn more about mathematics at Harvey Mudd College, please visit the department's home page.

Michael Moody Teaching Outside the Olin Science Building Professor Michael Moody teaching students on the Olin Plaza, circa 1998.

Previous Lectures

Support the Lecture Series

Gifts can be made to the college to support The Michael E. Moody Lecture Series. Contributed funds will help us support the outstanding caliber of lecturers that Michael helped attract to the department and allow us to potentially support other activities in Michael's name.