Magic, Mathematics and Masonry


Wednesday, February 22, 2006, 19:00pm - Wednesday, February 22, 2006, 21:00pm

Albin O. Kuhn Library, 7th floor

The Interdisciplinary Studies Council of Majors presents the annual Slobodan B. Petrovich Lecture on Feb. 22 from 7-9 p.m. Brent Morris, freemasonry historian, will discuss "Magic, Mathematics and Masonry. The event will be held in the Albin O. Kuhn Library, 7th floor. For more information, contact Diana Thayer at

Dr. Morris, who earned his doctorate and master's in math from Duke University, and a master's in computer science from Johns Hopkins University, is believed to have the only doctorate in the world in card shuffling -- his dissertation is titled "Permutations by Cutting and Shuffling: A Generalization to Q Dimensions."

He holds two U.S. patents on computers designed with shuffles, and has been a mathematician with the U.S. government since 1975. He currently serves as executive of the Cryptologic Mathematician Program at the National Security Agency. He served as U.S. representative to the International Standards Organization (ISO) in the area of computer security.

He has taught mathematics, computer science, and cryptanalysis at Duke University, Johns Hopkins University, and the National Cryptologic School. His interests include computer interconnection networks, the mathematics of card shuffling, and recreational mathematics. Morris, the author of discuss "Magic Tricks, Card Shuffling and Dynamic Computer Memories," a book that explores the interconnections between these seemingly unrelated topics, became interested in the "perfect shuffle" in high school and has pursued its mathematics for more than 30 years. He worked his way through college and graduate school as a magician and has been invited to speak at the Smithsonian Institution, the Board of Mathematical Sciences of the National Research Council, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, AT&T Bell Labs, NEC Research Institute and the National War College. He has also presented his work at the Joint Mathematics Meetings of the MAA/AMS and more than 100 colleges and universities.


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