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Expert on diversity's benefits here Tuesday

Jan. 11, 2007

KALAMAZOO--Two heads really are better than one.

That's the opinion of a noted author and researcher, who has studied the benefits of diversity and who will share his insights during a presentation at Western Michigan University as part of events honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. Scott E. Page, professor of complex systems, political science and economics at the University of Michigan, will speak at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 16, in the WMU Fetzer Center's Putney Auditorium. Sponsored by the Institute of Government and Politics and the WMU Department of Political Science, his talk is titled "How Diversity Makes the Difference" and is free and open to the public.

In his new book, "The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools and Societies," Page considers how people think in groups and how this collective wisdom exceeds the sum of its parts. The book has just been published by Princeton University Press.

In his WMU presentation, Page examines why teams find better solutions than brilliant individuals working alone and why the best group decisions and predictions are those that draw on the qualities that make people unique. Page also will relate his findings to the changing justifications for affirmative action in the political arena.

As a consultant, Page frequently gives seminars on diversity to groups ranging from Wall Street businesspeople to local high school students. As a scholar, he has published widely in political science and economics journals.

Page holds bachelor's and master's degrees in mathematics, from U of M and the University of Wisconsin, respectively, and a master's degree in business and a doctorate in managerial economics and decision sciences from Northwestern University's Kellogg Graduate School fo Management.

For more information on Page's presentation, contact Dr. Susan Hoffmann, WMU associate professor of political science and director of the Institute of Government and Politics, at susan.hoffmann@wmich.edu or (269) 387-5692.

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Media contact: Mark Schwerin, (269) 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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