The Way to the Cathedral

Herbert Medina, professor of mathematics, practices the art of walking. Several times a year, he leads faculty and staff on weekend walks from LMU to the Getty Museum, Manhattan Beach and elsewhere. In May 2011, he and a group of LMU staff members and students walked El Camino de Santiago de Compostela, also known as the Way of St. James, the centuries-old pilgrimage in Europe that ends in Santiago, Spain. The pilgrimage is actually several paths, and Medina’s group took the 200-mile journey that starts in Leon, Spain. To train the group, Medina led walks across L.A. of increasing distance throughout the 2010–11 academic year. The ultimate L.A. test was a 15.5-mile trek from LMU to the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. We asked Medina to map it for us, with L.A. highlights, and to use his mathematical expertise to provide a comparison between his own Way to the Cathedral and El Camino de Santiago.


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