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Faculty Lecture Series

Tom Wright, Mathematics

"The Erdos Conjectures: Strings of Things"

Tuesday, February 18, 4:00pm

Gray-Jones Room, Burwell

In mathematics, are patterns an indication of underlying structure or merely the grounds for a good conspiracy theory? In my talk, we will unsuccessfully attempt to answer this question.

Tracie Ivy, Biology

"Why the Lady is a Tramp: Female Promiscuity in the Animal Kingdom"

Tuesday, March 25, 4:00pm

Gray-Jones Room, Burwell

For many years, biologists (and most other people) viewed courtship and mating as harmonious processes in which macho, promiscuous males and coy, monogamous females joined together in cooperation for the mutual benefit of producing offspring. Beginning in the 1970s, evidence began to accumulate that challenged these notions. Among the most shocking revelations was that females of many species ‘cheat’ on their social partners, seeking out males for their gametes alone. I’ll talk about this research and the effect it has had on the field of behavioral ecology, as well as my own data regarding the benefits of promiscuity in female crickets.

Kathryn Milne, History

"Casting the Die Before the Die is Cast: How Roman Gods Invented Military Strategy"

Tuesday, April 22, 4:00pm

Montgomery Room, Burwell

In the 3rd century BCE, every significant movement of a Roman legion required the approval of the gods, causing Roman generals to subordinate a cohesive strategy to the chance results of sacrificial ritual. When pressed to near-disaster by the Carthaginian armies under Hannibal, a few hardy leaders found creative ways to put military action entirely back in the hands of men. The difficult art of avoiding the gods resulted in the invention of some of history’s most famous military strategies.

All talks will take place in the AAAS or the Montgomery Room of Burwell at 4:00pm, preceded by a reception with light refreshments.

Contact Alan Chalmers for further information: ext. 4360;