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Community Lecture Series: "The Mathematics of Communication"

Presenter: Dr. Josie Ryan
Reception: 5:30 p.m.
Presentation: 6:00 p.m.


Come celebrate Pi Day with math professor Josie Ryan as she examines the relationships between philosophy, math, and dialogue. How do we know that the words we use truly communicate the ideas we intend? Mathematics employs the concept of “well defined terms” to ensure precise meanings that facilitate clear understanding. Ancient philosophers also recognized the importance of precise terminology. Plato has Socrates show Meno how important this is in the play Meno. Their dialogue on the nature of Virtue reveals how clarity of thought is demonstrated through math and science. Similarly, Augustine uses mathematics as an indestructible, inalterable foundation of human commonality. Dr. Ryan’s talk reveals how the study of math and classical philosophy can enable more humane and human conversations.

Dr. Josie Ryan is a Professor of Mathematics in the Department of Mathematics and Computing at Lander University. She earned her M.S. in Mathematics from Wake Forrest University and her Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of South Carolina. Dr. Ryan received the Moore Award for Excellence in General Education Teaching in 2020.