Lecture Title: Endowed with an Extra Sense: Mathematics and Evolution
Presented By: Todd Parsons, Sorbonne Université / CNRS
Location: Bahen Centre, 40 St. George Street, Room 1210
Abstract: Charles Darwin famously remarked "I have deeply regretted that I did not proceed far enough at least to understand something of the great leading principles of mathematics; for men thus endowed seem to have an extra sense.” Despite this, the importance of mathematics and contributions from mathematicians and statisticians to the development of the modern theory of evolution is largely under-appreciated. In this talk, I will survey the essential contributions mathematics has made to the development of the modern evolutionary synthesis, from the seminal work of J. B. S. Haldane, R. A. Fisher, and Sewall Wright, to John Kingman’s coalescent, to the present.
Biography: Todd L. Parsons received his Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Mathematics from the University of Toronto and B.Math in Pure Mathematics from the University of Waterloo. He is currently with Sorbonne Université and Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) in Paris, France, and is visiting the Fields Institute this term.