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Leonard Mlodinow          

Physicist / Author

Leonard Mlodinow, co-author with Stephen Hawking on the latest bestseller The Grand Design, explores the four-year effort to answer the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything. He explains why, according to quantum theory, the cosmos does not have just a single existence or history, but rather that every possible history of the universe exists simultaneously. He questions the conventional concept of reality, posing instead a "model-dependent" theory of reality. He discusses how the laws of our particular universe are extraordinarily finely tuned so as to allow for our existence, and show why quantum theory predicts the multiverse – the idea that ours is just one of many universes that appeared spontaneously out of nothing, each with different laws of nature. And he assesses M-Theory, an explanation of the laws governing the multiverse, and the only viable candidate for a complete "theory of everything."

Mlodinow received his doctorate in physics from the University of California-Berkeley, was an Alexander von Humboldt fellow at the Max Planck Institute, and now teaches about randomness to future scientists at Caltech. Along the way he also wrote for the television series MacGyver, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and the comedy series Night Court. He is also a producer, executive producer, and designer of several award-winning video games created in conjunction with Stephen Spielberg, Robin Williams, and the Walt Disney Company. Between 1997 and 2003, Mlodinow was vice president for software development and then vice president and publisher for math education at Scholastic Inc. His previous books include Euclid's Window: The Story of Geometry from Parallel Lines to Hyperspace, Feynman's Rainbow: A Search for Beauty in Physics and in Life, and, with Stephen Hawking, A Briefer History of Time.

In his acclaimed book The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives, Mlodinow shows us how randomness, change, and probability reveal a tremendous amount about our daily lives, and how we misunderstand the significance of everything from a casual conversation to a major financial setback. As a result, successes and failures in life are often attributed to clear and obvious cases, when in actuality they are more profoundly influenced by chance.

Speech Topics


The Grand Design

Leonard Mlodinow, the physicist/author behind The Drunkard's Walk, explores his collaborative work with Stephen Hawking in their #1 bestseller, The Grand Design. Created for any lay audience, this speech is presented in a very interesting, detailed, thought provoking, and often humorous way.

Mlodinow discusses why some of life's biggest questions can be answered by science and scientific theory, including: Why is there something? Why do we exist? Why this set of natural laws? The theories he expounds upon are sometimes old and sometimes groundbreakingly new, but all will either surprise you, educate you, or both. You will ponder reality and your own existence – as well as the reality of your existence!

Mlodinow offers Stephen Hawking's theories of a multiverse in which there are an almost infinite number of universes that can arise spontaneously from the "big bang." He includes a well-rounded historical summary of scientific discoveries, right up to and including the most recent ideas in string theory and particle physics. This is a presentation that is not to be missed.

The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives

This irreverent and illuminating presentation explores how random events shape the world and how human intuition fights that fact. Although our brains naturally want to see patterns and order, life doesn't necessarily work like that. As an example, Mlodinow questions why a wine was given five out of five stars, the highest rating, in one journal and in another it was called the worst wine of the decade?

As he discusses the basics of probability and statistics, Mlodinow provides wonderful illustrations from fields as wide-ranging as sports, medicine, psychology, and the stock market. Clear, accessible, very friendly, engaging, and often very witty, this speech can be enjoyed by absolutely everyone (including the math-phobic).

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