Schedule: 2013-2014

Athletics in Higher Education: How Competitive Sports Teach Lessons for Life

Kirsten Moore, Head Women’s Basketball Coach, Westmont

5:30 p.m., Thursday, October 24, 2013
University Club, 1332 Santa Barbara St.

Why is competitive athletics important at a liberal arts college? Kirsten Moore, who led her team to an NAIA National Championship last year, will talk about the role coaches play in educating students. While she wants to win, she also wants her players to grow and develop in all areas of their lives and to excel in the class- room. The personal disciplines and leadership skills developed through intercollegiate athletics not only help students in their studies but prepare them to be successful in their lives after graduation.

World Religions in a Global Community

Charles Farhadian, Professor of World Religion

5:30 p.m., Thursday, November 14, 2013
University Club, 1332 Santa Barbara St.

More than a century ago, some of the most influential thinkers predicted the future demise of religion, many arguing that they were at that time in the very midst of religion’s last gasp. Had they lived longer, these scholars would have witnessed a significant resur- gence of the world religions globally and the accompanying burgeoning of new forms of those religions. Charles Farhadian has developed this talk for the non-specialist, and he will reflect on the movement of various major religions and the ways they have profoundly transformed the world.

The Future of Microfinance and the Role of Muhammad Yunus

Rick Ifland, Associate Professor of Economics and Business and Director of the Eaton Program for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

5:30 p.m., Thursday, February 13, 2014
University Club, 1332 Santa Barbara St.

Muhammad Yunus, a Nobel Peace Prize recipient noted for promoting micro- finance, will speak at Westmont’s President’s Breakfast February 28, 2014. In preparation for this talk, Rick Ifland will discuss the challenges and efficacy of micro- finance both in the developed and developing worlds. A Westmont alumnus and successful entrepreneur, he studied interna- tional law, original economic theory and international distributive justice at Oxford University. He will discuss the positive and negative aspects of the roles played by the United States and Europe in microfinance, the changing nature of democracy, and capitalism in developing countries, noting Yunus’ critical role in these areas.

From Main Street to Wall Street: The Amazing Effectiveness of Mathematical Algorithms

Russell Howell, Professor of Mathematics and Kathleen Smith Professor of Natural and Behavioral Sciences

5:30 p.m., Thursday, April 3, 2014
University Club, 1332 Santa Barbara St.

Could a mathematical algorithm possibly earn $1 billion? It did for Sergey Brin and Larry Page, co- founders of Google. Their algorithm for determining page ranks on a search engine changed the Web and how we use it. But that’s just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. In fact, mathematical theories are used today in applications that defy belief. Russell Howell will gear his talk for a non-mathematical audience and will show how many ideas in mathematics have produced practical—and often invisible—effects on our day-to-day activities, such as using credit cards in a secure way or booking airline reservations. He will also explore briefly a deep question: Why are mathematical theories, which are generated primarily out of aesthetic criteria, so successful in their applicability to the physical world?