DATE: Friday, June 12, 2009
TIME: 7:00 PM-8:30 PM
VENUE: NYU Kimmel Center, Rosenthal Pavilion
MODERATOR: Robert Krulwich
PARTICIPANTS: Anna Nagurney, Mitchell Joachim, Iain Couzin

Can marching ants, schooling fish, and herding wildebeests teach us something about the morning commute? Robert Krulwich guides this unique melding of mathematics, physics, and behavioral science as Mitchell Joachim, Anna Nagurney and Iain Couzin examine the creative and sometimes counterintuitive solutions to one of the modern world’s most annoying problems.

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Robert Krulwich_200px
Radio and Television Journalist

Robert Krulwich is co-host of Radiolab, WNYC Radio’s Peabody Award-winning program about ‘big ideas’, now one of public radio’s most popular shows. It is carried on more than 500 radio stations and its podcasts are downloaded over 5 million times each month. He is also the author of the “Curiously Krulwich” blog, featured on National Geographic, where he illustrates hard-to-fathom concepts in science using drawings, cartoons, videos, and more. For over two decades Krulwich reported for CBS and ABC News, explaining complex subjects in a clear, compelling and entertaining way. He also hosted a season of the PBS program NOVA ScienceNOW. Among his honors are two Emmy, two Peabody, and a George Polk AAAS Science Journalism Award for the PBS special, Cracking the Code of Life. Krulwich earned a BA in history from Oberlin College and a law degree from Columbia University.


Anna Nagurney
Network Scientist

Anna Nagurney is the John F. Smith Memorial Professor in the Department of Finance and Operations Management at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Her research focuses on congested transportation networks and their relationship within different systems ranging from the Internet to global supply chains to electric power generation and distribution networks.

She is the founding director of the Virtual Center for Supernetworks and the Supernetworks Laboratory for Computation and Visualization at UMass Amherst. Professor Nagurney is also an Affiliated Faculty Member in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at UMass Amherst. She received her AB, ScB, ScM, and PhD degrees (the latter three in Applied Mathematics) from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.

Mitchell Joachim

Mitchell Joachim is on the faculty at Columbia University and Parsons School of Design. He is a partner in Terrefuge, a New York-based organization for philanthropic architecture and ecological design. His design of a compact, stackable “city car,” developed with the MIT Smart Cities Group, won the 2007 TIME magazine “Best Invention of the Year.” He was formerly an architect at Gehry Partners, Michael Sorkin Studio, and Pei Cobb Freed & Partners.

Joachim’s awards include the Moshe Safdie and Associates Research Fellowship and the Martin Family Society Fellow for Sustainability at MIT. He won the History Channel and Infiniti Design Excellence Award for the City of the Future, New York and TIME magazine Best Invention of the Year 2007, Compacted Car with MIT Smart Cities Group. He was selected by Wired magazine for “The 2008 Smart List: 15 People the Next President Should Listen To”.

Iain Couzin
Mathematical Biologist

Iain Couzin is assistant professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University. He studies the actions and interactions that give rise to collective behavior—from marching ants and swarming locusts to flocking birds and crowds of people—and what we might learn from successful swarming. Previously, he was a Royal Society University Research Fellow in the Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, and Junior Research Fellow in the Sciences at Balliol College. His research is widely published in leading international journals including Nature, Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA and Current Biology. In recognition of his innovative research he was recipient of a Searle Scholar Award in 2008 and the Mohammed Dahleh Award and Distinguished Lectureship form the University of California Santa Barbara in 2009.