Please visit our Faculty and Student calendars to find appropriate events across the sciences.

This Week's Lecture:  

CIS Lecture: Alex Kruckman, Mathematics
Friday, September 29, 1:20-2:40pm, 201 Shanklin Labs

Natural logic and complexity

Abstract: Since the work of Church, Gödel, Turing, and others in the first half of the 20thcentury, it has been known that many problems in mathematics are undecidable. For example, it is known to be impossible to write a computer program that can correctly answer any mathematical question about arithmetic on the natural numbers. However, most everyday (non-mathematical) reasoning has a very simple logical structure that often can be carried out by computers. In this talk, I will outline some recent work on systems of “natural logic” (so called because they are inspired by features of reasoning in natural language) and the computational complexity of decision problems in these systems. This is joint work with Larry Moss at Indiana University.

Upcoming Events:  

Presented by Wesleyan’s SACNAS chapter, a panel on the Graduate School Application process, Summer Research on and off campus, and the McNair program. September 28, 12:30pm-2:30pm, in Hall-Atwater 84 with student, faculty, and staff speakers. Pizza and refreshments will be provided!

  • Lecture Series

    The CIS Lecture Series (CIS221) is held Fridays, 1:20pm-2:40pm, Shanklin 201. All lectures are open to everyone in the Wesleyan community.

    September 29: Alex Kruckman, Mathematics

    October 6: Brian Stewart, Physics

    October 13: Colin Smith, Chemistry

    October 27: Michael Calter, Chemistry

    November 3: Gloster Aaron, Biology and Neuroscience & Behavior

    November 10: Iris Yoon, Mathematics

    November 17: Hilary Barth, Psychology

    December 1: Ed Moran, Astronomy


  • Additional Seminars of Interest
  • Workshops

    Fall workshops will be announced soon.

  • Other Events
    ELEMENTAL Book Launch and Signing – Beneski Museum: Stephen Porder will be in conversation with Nancy Pick about his new book Elemental: How Five Elements Changed the Earth’s Past and Will Shape Our Future (2023, Princeton University Press) on Thursday, September 28 at 4:00 pm in the Beneski Museum of Natural History at Amherst College. Elemental explores how microbes, plants, and people used the fundamental building blocks of life to change our living planet, and how understanding our collective past can help us build a more sustainable future. Porder is the Acacia Professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology, and in the Institute for Environment and Society, as well as the Associate Provost for Sustainability at Brown University. His research is focused on the interdisciplinary investigation of terrestrial ecosystems, combining ecology, biogeochemistry, and geology. As Associate Provost he leads the charge to eliminate fossil-fuel combustion from campus and to integrate this and other sustainability goals into the research, teaching, and lived experience at Brown. Dr. Porder received his BA in History from Amherst College in 1994, his MS in Geology from The University of Montana in 1997, and his Ph.D. in Biology from Stanford University in 2005. Nancy Pick is a 1983 graduate of Amherst College. Among other contributions, she is the author of Curious Footprints: Professor Hitchcock’s Dinosaur Tracks & Other Natural History Treasures at Amherst College (2006, Amherst College Press) and Eye Mind Heart: A View of Amherst College at 200 (2020, Amherst College Press).
    The public is welcome.  

    Please visit our Faculty and Student calendars to find appropriate events across the sciences. If you have an event to share with the CIS, please contact Anika (

  • Recent Events
    Stargazing and Hot Chocolate
    Wednesday, September 27, 2023, 9:00pm, Van Vleck Observatory
    Join us at Van Vleck Observatory to use the telescopes, enjoy hot chocolate, and chat with other women in science! The event is open to all majors and genders, so bring your friends! We will be there rain or shine! If the weather doesn't cooperate, we will be setting up the planetarium inside. We hope to see you there! 


    Women in Science Kick-Off Meeting
    Friday, September 15, 2023, 12:00pm, Exley 121
    Come learn about Wesleyan Women in Science: our mission, events, activities, mentoring opportunities and more! Pizza lunch will be provided.