Campus Life

Penn State Mont Alto announces 'Evening Talk and Star Party' series

First event to focus on 'election math' Sept. 27

Kira Hamman, Penn State Mont Alto mathematics instructor, will present "Election Math: The Methods Behind the Madness," on Sept. 27, during Mont Alto's first Evening Talk and Star Party events.   Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

MONT ALTO, Pa. — Penn State Mont Alto will host a new “Evening Talk and Star Party” series during fall 2016. Each event will begin at 7:30 p.m. (doors open at 7:15 p.m.) with an instructor sharing his or her expertise in the General Studies Auditorium with light refreshments. Weather permitting, a star party, led by Penn State Mont Alto Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy Kim Herrmann, will follow from 8:30 to 10 p.m. in the field behind the Multipurpose Activities Center (MAC). The presentation and star party are free and open to the public.

Kira Hamman, mathematics instructor at Penn State Mont Alto, will present the first talk, titled “Election Math: The Methods behind the Madness,” on Sept. 27.

“Super delegates, third-party spoilers, and the Electoral College make it easy to despair of ever understanding elections in the United States,” said Hamman. “But if we step away from the politically charged rhetoric and look at the mathematics that underlie the process, we can evaluate it rationally. In this talk, we will discuss the current voting system in the United States, its benefits and flaws, and some alternatives that, at least mathematically, might help alleviate some of the current problems.”

Telescope viewing and night sky tours with green laser pointers will be part of the star party activities. Multiple telescopes should be available, courtesy of the TriState Astronomers (, a local amateur astronomy club. If the weather does not cooperate for viewing, Herrmann will host an “Ask an Astronomer” session in the Wiestling Student Center.

Save the dates and watch for more information about future Evening Talks and Star Party events when Penn State Mont Alto Program Coordinator in Nursing Carranda Barkdoll will discuss electronic cigarettes on Oct. 27 and Herrmann will present a talk about astronomy on Nov. 10.

For more information, contact Debra Collins, director of public relations and marketing, at 717-749-6112 or email 

Last Updated November 01, 2016