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.

The Next Lecture

Professor Tim Chartier, 2015 Moody Lecture Speaker

Professor Tim Chartier of the Davidson College will present the ninth lecture in The Michael E. Moody Lecture Series on “Who's Number One? From Ranking to Bracketology”

Associate Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science at Davidson College, Tim Chartier, specializes in applied linear algebra in the fields of data analytics and partial differential equations. In 2014, he was named the inaugural Math Ambassador for the Mathematical Association of America, which also recognized his ability to communicate math with a national teaching award. His research and scholarship were recognized with an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship. Published by Princeton University Press, Tim wrote Math Bytes: Google Bombs, Chocolate-Covered Pi, and Other Cool Bits in Computing and coauthored the textbook Numerical Methods: Design, Analysis, and Computer Implementation of Algorithms. Tim fields mathematical questions for the Sports Science program on ESPN, and has also been a resource for a variety of media inquiries, which include appearances with NPR, the CBS Evening News, USA Today, and The New York Times.

More information about Tim Chartier is available from his website.

The lecture will take place on March 6, 2015, at 7:00 PM, in HMC's Shanahan Center Auditorium.


“Who's number one?” is an inherent and often debated question in sports. Ranking algorithms supply mathematical answers to such questions. They can and are used to choose teams for the playoffs. They can also be used in predictive analysis. Who will win the next game? Who will win a tournament? This talk will present current and recent sports analytics research. A variety of questions will be explored. For example, how can one integrate late season momentum? Does it help to consider home field advantage? We will see how such research created brackets for March Madness that beat over 90% of over 8 million brackets submitted to ESPN's online tournament.


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