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IMA Public Lecture - The Evolution of Cooperation: Why We Need Each Other to Succeed

Date: 10/08/2013

Time: 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

Location: Theater Coffman Memorial Union

Cost: Free and open to the public. Use code "IMA" to waive $6.50 fee during registration.


Evolutionary biologist Martin Nowak, author of the best-selling book SuperCooperators, will share his cutting-edge research on the mysteries of cooperation at an Mathematics of Planet Earth 2013 (MPE2013) Simons Public Lecture.

According to Nowak, many problems that challenge us today can be traced back to a tension between what is good and desirable for society as a whole and what is good and desirable for an individual. This conflict is illustrated in global problems such as climate change, pollution, hunger, and overpopulation.

During his lecture, Nowak will present five mechanisms for the evolution of cooperation: direct reciprocity (tit for tat), indirect reciprocity (power of reputation), spatial games (chessboard of life), group selection (tribal wars), and kin selection (nepotism). Nowak argues that cooperation—not competition–is the key to the evolution of complexity.

Nowak is a professor of biology and mathematics and director of the Program for Evolutionary Dynamics at Harvard University. He is one of the world’s leading experts on evolution and game theory. He is “one of the most exciting modelers working in the field of mathematical biology today,” according to The New York Times. He has published more than 300 papers and has been widely praised for revolutionizing the mathematical approach to biology.

Professor Nowak’s talk is one in a series of nine public lectures, generously funded by the Simons Foundation, at various locations around the world. The event is hosted by the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications within the University’s College of Science and Engineering.


  • Name: Amanda Aranowski
  • E-mail: amanda@ima.umn.edu
  • Phone: 612-626-7881
  • Sponsored by: Institute for Mathematics and its Applications


Convenient parking is available at East River Road Garage.

Reservation Information:

Purchase tickets online at http://www.IMASimonsLecture.eventbrite.com. Use code "IMA" to waive $6.50 fee.

More information: http://ima.umn.edu/public-lecture/#2013-2014

Disability Options:

To request disability accommodations, please contact the event sponsor.

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