University of North Dakota Faculty/Staff Newsletter

“Why Do Left-Handed People Survive?” set for Oct. 11

"Why Do Left-Handed People Survive?" will be presented by Rick Gillman, Professor of Mathematics, Valparaiso University, at 3:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11, in Room 7, Education Building.

This talk explores the question of why people are predominately right-handed, a trait shared by no other species.  It answers the title question by considering the cultural, biological, and genetic explanations for our left-handedness.  Two evolutionary game theoretic models are offered to explain why it may have been advantageous (from an evolutionary perspective) to have a fraction of the population be left-handed.

Rick Gillman earned a B.S. and an M.A. in mathematics education at Ball State University, followed by a D.A. from Idaho State University. He has been at Valparaiso University since 1986. In addition to his role as Professor of Mathematics, he is Assistant Provost for Faculty Affairs. A longtime member of the Mathematical Association of America, he is currently a member of the Executive Council of the MAA by virtue of chairing the Committee on Sections. And yes, he is left-handed.