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Jonathan David Farley, this year’s recipient of the Harvard Foundation’s Distinguished Scientist Award, will speak on “How to Destroy Enemies and Manipulate People: The Media, Democracy, and the Emergence of One-Party Rule in America” 8 p.m. today in Gagnon Lecture Hall, Hugel Science Center room 100.

Refreshments will be provided after the talk, which is sponsored by the Association of Black Collegians, the Latin and Caribbean Students Association, the International Students Association, the American Studies program, the Dean of Studies Office, and the First-Year Seminar program.

He also will speak on “Of Numbers and Flowers: The Truth about Truth” for the Mathematical Adventures And Diversions (MAAD) series noon Friday in Pardee Hall room 227.

In addition, Farley will lead a colloquium on “Linear Extensions of a Ranked Poset, Enumerated by Descents: A Problem of Richard P. Stanley from 1981” 4:10 p.m. Friday in Pardee Hall room 217.

The MAAD talk will debunk the ”myth that mathematics is primarily about numbers. In fact, mathematics is the quest for truth, and the enterprise of mathematics has much more in common with art and poetry than the ordinary layperson might think.”

Another myth that will be addressed is that in mathematics, everything is either right or wrong.

”Indeed, in 1931, a young Austrian mathematician uncovered a secret about reality that would revolutionize mathematics — and unravel his mind.”

No math background is necessary for MAAD talks, which are sponsored by the mathematics department. Lunch will be provided.

An essayist for Time Magazine Online and The Guardian, Farley was recently an invited guest on BBC World News television to discuss the war on terror, and he has also appeared on National Public Radio’s popular “Tavis Smiley Show” to discuss blacks and the Green Party. In 2002, he ran for United States Congress on the Green Party ticket.

He obtained his doctorate in mathematics from Oxford University, winning the institution’s highest mathematics awards, the Senior Mathematical Prize and Johnson Prize, in 1994. He held a post-doctoral fellowship at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley, Calif., from 1995-97. He was a Fulbright Distinguished Scholar to the United Kingdom in 2001-02, one of only four Americans to win this award.

Farley is visiting associate professor of applied mathematics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The City of Cambridge, Mass. declared March 19, 2004 to be “Dr. Jonathan David Farley Day.”

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