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.

Professor Moody passed away in January, 2010. Our department—and many students, faculty, staff and friends within its community—have benefited from his extraordinary legacy.

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Professor Satyan Devadoss, 2015 Moody Lecture Speaker

Professor Satyan Devadoss of Williams College presented the ninth lecture in The Michael E. Moody Lecture Series on “The Shape of Nature: Bee, Tree, Origami”.

Satyan Devadoss is a mathematician, a professor at Williams College, a visiting professor at Harvey Mudd (for the 2015–2016 academic year), and holds a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins. He is an inaugural Fellow of the American Mathematical Society and has received teaching awards from the Mathematical Association of America. His works range from cartography and origami to phylogenetics and art, attracting support from the National Science Foundation, the John Templeton Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, and the Department of Defense. In addition to invitations at Google, Pixar, and LucasFilm, he has held visiting positions at Ohio State, UC Berkeley, the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, and Stanford.

More information about Satyan Devadoss is available from his website.

The lecture took place on September 17, 2015, at 7:00 PM, in HMC's Shanahan Center Auditorium.


The renaissance was a time when art and science were not polar opposites, but extensions of one another. With the advent of the enlightenment era, a dualistic tension between visual arts and scientific research was introduced. Today, the study of nature is serving as a bridge between these worlds once again. Heavily infused with imagery, we look at examples at the intersection of modern art and research mathematics, including architectural monuments inspired by the mysteries of honeycomb designs, paintings and visualizations motivated by the genetic data of novels, and paper sculptures spawned from the folding of leaves and proteins.

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

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