Dean Marqusee Speaks about Mayan Calendar & Apocalypse at SUNY Potsdam Seminar Series


SUNY Potsdam School of Arts and Sciences Dean Dr. Steven Marqusee will kick off the 2012-13 Disciplined Inquiry in Education Series with a talk at noon on Wednesday, Sept. 5 in Satterlee Hall Room 117.

Dr. Marqusee will present a talk entitled “Do We Really Need to Plan for this Semester?: Mayan Mathematics, Calendrics and the End of the World.”

The classic period Maya (200-900 AD) were an extraordinary civilization. They excelled in art, hieroglyphic writing, science and monumental architecture. They knew with great accuracy the length of the solar year and the Venus year, and they could predict eclipses.

It has been reported that sometime around 500 AD, the Maya predicted that the end of the world would take place on Dec. 21, 2012. In order to assess this claim, Marqusee will give participants an overview of the Mayan mathematical system, their concept of counting time, and the manner by which they used mathematics and calendrics to predict future events.

Marqusee’s research interests include Mesoamerican, historical and African-American archaeology.

The Disciplined Inquiry in Education Seminar is sponsored by SUNY Potsdam's School of Education and Professional Studies. Over the last five years, the School has hosted more than 50 presenters through the series.

“The seminar's goal is two-fold: to serve as support system for faculty members in The School of Education and Professional Studies in advancing their professional development, and to foster campus-wide and inter-university collaboration in the field of education, by inviting distinguished guest speakers,” said organizer Dr. Sergei Abramovich, a professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

The seminar session is free, and the public is welcome to attend.

For the full schedule of Disciplined Inquiry in Education events for the semester, visit

Founded in 1816, and located on the outskirts of the beautiful Adirondack Park, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America’s first 50 colleges. SUNY Potsdam currently enrolls approximately 4,350 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its handcrafted education, challenging liberal arts and sciences core, excellence in teacher training and leadership in the performing and visual arts.