Francis SuFrancis SuSouthwestern is pleased to welcome Francis Su, the Benediktsson–Karwa Professor of Mathematics at Harvey Mudd College, as our guest speaker at the Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar lecture, which will take place on Tuesday, November 12 at 4:00 p.m. in Olin 105. The lecture is free and open to the public. 

Celebrated as “the mathematician who will make you fall in love with numbers” by Wired magazine, Su has delivered acclaimed plenary lectures and published works that have brought forth the humanity of mathematics and the immeasurable value of the subject to scholars and nonscholars alike. In 2013, he received the Haimo Award for Exemplary Teaching, and in 2018, he received the Halmos–Ford Award for Distinguished Writing. In 2015 and 2016, Su served as president of the Mathematical Association of America. During this time, he also led development on the news app MathFeed, which is dedicated to bringing together math-related articles, journals, videos, podcasts, and book reviews to support the work of the MAA. The Princeton Anthology of the Best Writing in Mathematics has featured three of his articles in 2011, 2014, and 2018. His book, Mathematics for Human Flourishing, will be published by Yale University Press and will be available in bookstores January 7, 2020. 

Su’s lecture, also titled “Mathematics for Human Flourishing,” reevaluates the true value of mathematics both within and beyond academia and champions the unsevered and invaluable ties between mathematics and the ability of all people to live a more fully human life by awakening their mathematical nature. The lecture explores how mathematics speaks to some of the most innate human desires and how that sparked a passion for the subject within two unlikely people—namely, a poet and an inmate. 

About the Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Program

For over 60 years, the Visiting Scholar Program has provided undergraduate students the opportunity to learn from and interact with some of the most distinguished scholars in the U.S. The program enriches the intellectual life of the institution by facilitating the exchange of diverse ideas between the guest scholars and resident faculty and students. For more information on the Visiting Scholar Program and the Phi Beta Kappa Society, visit

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