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UnDisciplined: The Computational Pedagogist And The Undead Philosopher

This week on UnDisciplined, we're talking about math education and ... zombies? 

If those two things seem like they don't have anything to do with each other, well, that's the idea. On our show, we bring together researchers from vastly different areas of study, and we ask them to build connections. And that takes ... brains. Get it?

We use our brains to do things like math and to teach things like enumeration and construction and optimization; and joining us to talk about how we can do that better is Elise Lockwood, an associate professor of mathematics education at Oregon State University. Her research focuses on how students think about and learn computational topics. 

We also use our brains to, you know, feed zombies. 

With us today from California State University East Bay is Christopher Moreman, who studies the way we think about death and dying. His most recent book, "Dharma of the Dead: Zombies, Mortality and Buddhist Philosophy", presents a new theory as to why we have become so fascinated with zombies. 

Matthew LaPlante has reported on ritual infanticide in Northern Africa, insurgent warfare in the Middle East, the legacy of genocide in Southeast Asia, and gang violence in Central America. But a few years back, something donned on him: Maybe the news doesn't have to be brutally depressing all the time. Today, he balances his continuing work on more heartbreaking subjects by writing books about the intersection of science, human health and society, including the New York Times best-selling Lifespan with geneticist David Sinclair and the Nautilus Award-winning Longevity Plan with cardiologist John Day. His first solo book, Superlative, looks at what scientists are learning by studying organisms that have evolved in record-setting ways, and his is currently at work on another book about embracing the inevitability of human-caused climate change with an optimistic outlook on the future.