Prof Po-Shen Loh Sydney Visit 2024

SMRI guest Professor Po-Shen Loh presented at four public events during his visit from 29-31 May.

Professor Po-Shen Loh Sydney Visit 2024


Po-Shen Loh

Po-Shen Loh is a mathematics professor, social entrepreneur and inventor, working across the spectrum of mathematics, education, and healthcare, all around the world. He holds a PhD from Princeton University and is a mathematics professor at Carnegie Mellon University. He served a decade-long term as the national coach of the USA International Mathematical Olympiad team from 2013–2023. He has pioneered innovations ranging from a scalable way to learn challenging math live online at comparable engagement to live-streaming entertainment, to a new way to control pandemics by leveraging self-interest. His work has appeared in national and international media, from ABC News, to the Wall Street Journal, CNN, the Straits Times, and more.

Po-Shen presented at four public events in Sydney, as follows:


Public Lecture (University of Sydney)

Date: Wednesday 29 May

Title: ‘Using maths to invent solutions to large-scale human problems, just in time to survive AI’

Abstract: In this public lecture, Po-Shen shared his story of using his maths-professor background to devise new solutions to two practical problems that affect our whole society: disease control and education.  The mathematical areas of network theory and game theory have featured as inspirations in his work. During the COVID lockdown, he invented a tracking app which addresses the incentive misalignment problem intrinsic in contact tracing: in the traditional approach, people are asked to isolate to protect others against infection, not to save themselves.

Audience: General public, anyone with an interest in mathematics

Registration link:  Event closed.


Seminar (University of New South Wales)

Date: Thursday 30 May

Title: ‘Uniting Game Theory, Maths & Actors To Build Human Intelligence in AI Age’

Abstract: Picture a “maths person”. Picture a “humanities person”. Picture a “drama person”. Do you picture very different people? What if someone could be everything all at once? It’s possible, and just takes intentionality, open-mindedness, and courage. It’s also the right time to think about building holistic human characteristics, because AI’s increasingly powerful capability will soon turn the job market upside down.
But can a re-orientation of education be done rapidly at scale? Fortunately, there is an area close to maths which devises solutions in which problems solve themselves even through self-serving human behavior: Game Theory.

Audience: Academics with interest in education and the future

Registration link:  Event closed.


High School Workshop (University of Sydney)

Date: Thursday 30 May

Title:Unpacking the AI Survival Kit

Abstract: This workshop will take a more in-depth look at some of the creative ways to approach solving problems that were raised in Po-Shen’s public lecture (see above). Attendees brought a creative mindset to learn how mathematical insights can bring transformational change using game theory, combinatorics and AI.

Audience: Ambitious high school students with a creative mindset

Registration link:  Event closed.


Seminar (University of Sydney)

Date: Friday 31 May

Title: Perspectives Seminar: ‘Communicating Maths for the Public’

Abstract: Po-Shen joined us in Week 10 of the Perspectives Seminar. Loh has been very active as a public communicator of maths. He gave 200+ talks in 100 cities last year, reaching tens of thousands of people in person, and has featured in or co-created videos totaling over 21 million YouTube views. In interactive discussion, Loh discussed how he approaches public communication, what the thinks about as he prepares, mistakes he’s made, lessons he’s learned, and how we might approach the future of public communication around mathematics. Participants also reflected on their own roles as communicators of mathematics.

Audience: Mathematical scientists in academia or industry

Link: Perspectives on Mathematics webpage


Image credit: Carnegie Mellon University

Event Details


May 29, 2024
29 - 31 May




Please register via the links above



Various locations - event links included in article