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Keynote Speakers


Thursday Opening Speaker
Dr. Jennifer Quinn - University of Washington Tacoma

Jennifer Quinn is a professor of mathematics in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences at the University of Washington Tacoma and interim director for the campus's Teaching & Learning Center. She earned her BA, MS, and PhD from Williams College, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the University of Wisconsin, respectively. After twelve years teaching at Occidental College, rising to the rank of full professor and serving as Department Chair, Jenny left her tenured position to follow her husband to the Pacific Northwest. During that uncertain time, she had the privilege to serve as Executive Director for the Association for Women in Mathematics for two years while lecturing part-time at local Tacoma institutions. She was hired by UW Tacoma in 2007 to help create a non-existent mathematics curriculum in the newly expanded four-year institution and has thrived there ever since.

Jenny received one of MAA's 2007 Haimo Awards for Distinguished College or University Teaching, the MAA's 2006 Beckenbach Book award for Proofs That Really Count: The Art of Combinatorial Proof, co-authored with Arthur Benjamin, and had the honor to co-edit Math Horizons (also with Arthur Benjamin) from 2004-2008. Over the years she has served on the boards or steering committees of the Spectrum Book series, Mathematics Magazine, Math Horizons, Phi Beta Kappa Alpha Alumni Association of California, and Oregon Public Broadcasting's production Mathematics Illuminated.

As a combinatorial scholar, Jenny thinks that beautiful proofs are as much art as science. Simplicity, elegance, and transparency should be the driving principles. She strives to bring this same ethic to her professional service and administrative work.

Friday Keynote Speaker
Dr. Robert Lang - NASA JPL, Origami MasterLang Origami

Robert J. Lang has been an avid student of origami for over forty years and is now recognized as one of the world’s leading masters of the art, with over 500 designs catalogued and diagrammed. He is noted for designs of great detail and realism, and includes in his repertoire some of the most complex origami designs ever created. His work combines aspects of the Western school of mathematical origami design with the Eastern emphasis upon line and form to yield models that are at once distinctive, elegant, and challenging to fold. They have been shown in exhibitions in New York (Museum of Modern Art), Paris (Carrousel du Louvre), Salem (Peabody Essex Museum), San Diego (Mingei Museum of World Folk Art), and Kaga, Japan (Nippon Museum Of Origami), among others.

In 1992 Dr. Lang became the first Westerner ever invited to address the Nippon Origami Association’s annual meeting; he has since been an invited guest at international origami conventions around the world. He lectures widely on origami and its connections to mathematics, science, and technology, and teaches workshops on both artistic techniques and applications of folding in industrial design.

Dr. Lang is one of the pioneers of the cross-disciplinary marriage of origami with mathematics; he has been one of the few Western columnists for Origami Tanteidan Magazine, the journal of the Japan Origami Academic Society, and has presented refereed and invited technical papers on origami-math at mathematical and computer science professional meetings. He has consulted on applications of origami to engineering problems ranging from air-bag design to expandable space telescopes. He is the author or co-author of thirteen books and numerous articles on origami art and design and in 2011 was elected an Honorary Member of the British Origami Society.

Dr. Lang was born in Ohio and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. Along the way to his current career as a full-time origami artist and consultant he worked as a a physicist, engineer, and R&D manager, during which time he authored or co-authored over 80 technical publications and 50 patents awarded and pending on semiconductor lasers, optics, and integrated optoelectronics. He is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America, a member and past Vice-President of the IEEE Photonics Society, and from 2007–2010 was the Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics. In 2009, he received the highest honor of Caltech, the Distinguished Alumni Award, and in 2013, he was chosen as one of the inaugural Fellows of the American Mathematical Society. Dr. Lang resides in Alamo, California.