Strogatz Accepts PriestlyAward

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Strogatz Accepts PriestlyAward

Dr. Steven Strogatz accepted the Priestly award from President Roseman and Professor English.

Dr. Steven Strogatz accepted the Priestly award from President Roseman and Professor English.

Carl Sander Socolow ’77

Dr. Steven Strogatz accepted the Priestly award from President Roseman and Professor English.

Carl Sander Socolow ’77

Carl Sander Socolow ’77

Dr. Steven Strogatz accepted the Priestly award from President Roseman and Professor English.

Marie-Noelle Nwokolo ’16, Clarke Forum Correspondant

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Dr. Steven Strogatz addressed students, faculty and Carlisle residents in the Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium about “Synchronization in Nature” as the Priestly Award winner for this year on Monday, Oct. 12.

Strogatz, the Jacob Gould Schurman professor of applied mathematics at Cornell University, accepted the 64th annual Joseph Priestley award, an award presented by Dickinson College to a distinguished scientist whose work has contributed to the welfare of humanity, given in memory of Joseph Priestley, discoverer of oxygen. President Roseman and Professor Lars English, associate professor of Physics, presented Strogatz with the award before the talk.

The Priestly Award was added to Strogatz’s collection of honors, which also include a Presidential Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation, and most recently the Lewis Thomas Prize for Writing about Science. He is the author of “Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos,” “Sync,” “The Calculus of Friendship” and his latest book, “The Joy of X,” has been translated into 15 languages. His work as a teacher and a scholar focuses in the areas of nonlinear dynamics and chaotic systems.

Strogatz began the event by asking the audience to clap in spontaneity, causing excitement throughout the auditorium. Strogatz then explained that the feeling of pleasure from doing such a task is something characteristic of synchronization. Like singing, dancing and marching, we tend to find pleasure in synchronicity.

The lecture discussed the synchronicity among male fireflies in flashing their lights as a mating signal, and the failed Millennium Bridge opening in London on June 10, 2010. After drawing on scientific and mathematical bodies of research, Strogatz explained that the concept behind the spontaneity among both living and non-living things is random.

The event was sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the departments of Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Studies and Earth Sciences, Mathematics and Computer Science, Physics and Astronomy, Psychology and the Churchill Fund. Strogatz’s lecture was part of the Clarke Forum’s Leadership in the Age of Uncertainty series. More information about the event can be found on The Clarke Forum’s website, www.clarkeforum.org.

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