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Mathematics and Medieval Martial Arts kicks off Liberal Arts Distinguished Lecturer Series

September, 2017

The Fall 2017 Liberal Arts Distinguished Lecturer Series will commence with two unique and entertaining lecturers, Dr. Catherine Roberts and Dr. Ken Mondschein.

Dr. Roberts will present her lecture, “How Math Can Help You in Unexpected Ways,” on Thursday, October 5 from 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., Room 109 in the Harrington Learning Center. Dr. Roberts uses math to understand important environmental challenges and will describe some of the ways that math is being used to help our planet. She will also describe how a broad, liberal arts training in college prepared her for a project involving white-water rafting throughphotos_2-thumb.png the Grand Canyon. No equations are involved in this general audience talk that’s suitable for anyone! 

Dr. Roberts grew up on Cape Cod and has a doctorate in applied math from Northwestern University. She spent 24 years as a college math professor, most recently at the College of the Holy Cross. Currently she is the Executive Director at the American Mathematical Society, the professional association for research mathematics.

QCC Emerita Professor Maureen Woolhouse assisted in bringing Dr. Roberts to speak at QCC.

The next lecturer in the series will pose the question, “What was sword fighting really like in the Middle Ages?”

On Thursday, November 2 from 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., Room 109 in the Harrington Learning Center, Dr. Ken Mondschein will present his lecture,” Medieval Martial Arts:  Fact, Fantasy, and Film.” Dr. Mondschein will give an overview of medieval arms and armor technology, explaining the difference between the way sword fighting was done historically versus theatrical fencing.  One of the highlights of the lecture will be an actual demonstration of the knightly longsword by Dr. Mondschein.
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Dr. Mondschein received a doctorate in history from Fordham University. His academic specialty is the study of medieval and Renaissance fencing treatises; he is the author of numerous books and articles, and is a fencing master. Dr. Mondschein taught fencing at the Higgins Armory Museum from 2009-2013, and is currently a Visiting Fellow of the Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies at the University of Massachusetts.

Valarie Clemente, QCC Professor of Psychology, assisted in bringing Dr. Mondschein to QCC.

The Distinguished Lecturer Series features people with a Ph.D. in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, or mathematics. To offer a suggestion for a possible speaker, please contact Ken Wong, Professor of History & Coordinator of Liberal Arts Program at kenw [at] qcc.mass.edu .