The Lafayette-Lehigh Geometry and Topology Seminar this semester will be concentrated into a single day event, on Saturday March 29, at Lafayette College. Talks begin at 10:00 am. Titles and abstracts can be found here; also, here is a printable flier.

Contact Math Club president Jinjin Qian for more information.

Pardee 218 has become a departmental common for the year! Everyone is welcome to drop by at any time. Please leave comments/suggestions as you have them.

The Lafayette College Mathematics Department presents

Professor John McCleary

Vassar College

Abstract: Given a curve in the plane, are there four points on the curve that
form the vertices of a square? This talk will recount how I got into this
problem, some solutions with conditions, and how my co-authors (Jason Cantarella
and Elizabeth Denne) are approaching the full case, which is still unsolved.

Lunch will be provided. Everyone is welcome.

The Lafayette-Lehigh Geometry and Topology Seminar this semester will be concentrated into a single day event, on Saturday March 24, at Lafayette College. Talks begin at 9:30am. Titles and abstracts can be found here; also, here is a printable flier.

The Lafayette College Mathematics Department presents

Professor Ethan Berkove

Lafayette College

Here's the flier for the talk.

Lunch will be provided. Everyone is welcome.

The Lafayette College Mathematics Department presents

Professor Cliff Reiter

Lafayette College

Lunch will be provided. Everyone is welcome.

Ithaca College

Tuesday, October 31 at 7 PM in Room 224, Oechsle Hall

Co-sponsors: Math Department, ACACIA, MSE, History Department, and McKelvy Scholars Program.

Contact Professor Fisher for more information.

Everyone is welcome! A light lunch will be served.

Contact Professor Smith for more information.

The Lafayette College Mathematics Department presents

Professor Louis Zulli

Lafayette College

Abstract: I will introduce the famous number triangles of Pascal and
Euler, and present some magical methods (see fliers around the 2nd floor of Pardee Hall) for
calculating sums of powers of consecutive integers. This talk should
be accessible to all.

Lunch will be provided. Everyone is welcome.

Everyone is welcome! A light lunch will be served.

Contact Professor Smith for more information.

Everyone is welcome! A light lunch will be served.

Contact Professor Smith for more information.

University of California, Santa Barbara

4:10pm on Monday, September 18, in Hugel 100

Being able to prove that something is impossible is one of the things that distinguishes mathematics from many disciplines, and it is a skill that mathematicians use a lot. Several famous open problems in mathematics were finally resolved when someone came along and proved, once and for all, that they simply could not be done. This talk will survey some of these instances.

Sponsored by Sigma Xi. Light refreshments will follow.

Contact Professor Smith for more information.

Thursday, June 8, at 10am in Pardee 217

The isoperimetric problem seeks the least-perimeter way to enclose given area or volume. In the plane the solution is a circle (200 BC), in R^n a sphere (1935). We'll explore other spaces, including the torus, in preparation for my talk Friday at Lehigh on "Isoperimetric Problems, Including Open Problems for Mathematicians and Undergraduates." There has been lots of recent progress, including work by undergraduates, and there are still lots of open questions.

Contact Professor Gordon for more information.

At 3:30, Kevin Ehly will speak on "Topology of the Reflection Poset";
at 4:00, Stacey Altrichter will speak on "Hamiltonian Dynamics of a Mechanical Example
of Coupled Nonlinear Oscillators"; and
at 4:30, Jordan Tirrell will speak on a topic to be announced.

Light refreshments will be provided. You are welcome to attend individual talks, or attend them all! Contact Professor Corvino for more information.

At 3:30, Ekaterina Jager will speak on "Space-Time Block Codes";
at 4:00, Maureen Jackson will speak on "The Mathematics Behind the Game of Set";
and at 4:30 Kari Barkley and Jenna Bratz will speak on
"Modeling Disease with Delays Due to Maturation and Partial Immunity".

Light refreshments will be provided. You are welcome to attend individual talks, or attend them all! Contact Professor Corvino for more information.

Contact Professor Smith for more information.

For more information, visit this page or contact Professor Berkove.

Contact Math Club president Brian Kronenthal for more information.

Here¹s how we run the show: There are four teams with 4 people on each team. Like college bowl tournaments, there will be a buzzer system that lets you buzz in to answer the question. Toss-up questions will be worth 10 points, bonuses are worth more. Your team gets a crack at a bonus if they answered the toss-up correctly. It's like Team Jeopardy, but with math questions!

Lunch will be provided. Everyone is welcome.

Contact
Professor Gordon for more information.

This math contest is open to first and second year students. Cash prizes are
available: $500 for first place, $300 for second place, and $200 for third place.

No preregistration is required! Refreshments will be provided.

Contact
Professor Corvino for more information.

Professors Lu, Reiter, and Smith will each speak about their respective courses and
answer students' questions.

Lunch will be provided. Everyone is welcome. Sponsored by the Math Club.

The Lafayette College Mathematics Department presents

Steve Tedford

Franklin and Marshall College

Suppose a line of alternating red and blue poker chips is on the table in front of you. How many moves will it take to change chips so that the blue chips are all to the left of the red chips? I will attempt to answer this question and show how this problem arose. Additionally, I will introduce some interesting combinatorics. This talk is accessible to any student with an interest in mathematics.

Lunch will be provided. Everyone is welcome.

University of California, San Diego

Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar

There are a variety of problems from different mathematical areas which are, for the most part, quite easy to state, and yet still continue to resist efforts to solve them. What is the potential impact that computers of the future might have in contributing to the solutions of these challenging problems?

Co-sponsors: Phi Beta Kappa, Mathematics Department, Provost's Office.

University of California, San Diego

Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar

Paul Erdos was the most prolific mathematician of the 20th century. After an abbreviated showing of "N Is a Number", a documentary about Paul Erdos, hear from one of his closest friends about what it was like to work with him.

Lunch will be provided. Co-sponsors: Phi Beta Kappa, Mathematics Department, Provost's Office.

Sponsored by the Math Club and the Office of Career Services

Students interested in mathematics have many summer opportunities to consider! Many of these have application deadlines before the middle of February. On Tuesday, January 31, Rachel Moeller of Career Services and mathematics faculty members will help students survey the many experiences available in Summer 2006.

Everyone is welcome to attend, including first-year students! Light refreshments will be served, or bring your own lunch. For more information, contact Professor Smith.

The Lafayette College Mathematics Department presents

Ann K. Stehney

Moravian College

Markov chains and hidden Markov models provide a framework for analyzing sequential data such as natural language, digital speech, communications signals, and other time series. We will describe the ideas behind these models, algorithms for exploiting them, theoretical considerations, and an array of applications. Recalling Markov¹s original 2-state analysis of Russian text, our illustrations will be drawn from problems associated with written texts, including unsolved ciphers.

Lunch will be provided. Everyone is welcome.

Sponsored by the Math Club and the Office of Career Services

Students interested in mathematics have many summer opportunities to consider! Some of these have application deadlines as early as the middle of December. On Wednesday, December 7, Rachel Moeller of Career Services and mathematics faculty members will help students survey the many experiences available in Summer 2006.

Everyone is welcome to attend! Light refreshments will be served, or bring your own lunch. For more information, contact Professor Smith.

The Lafayette College Mathematics Department presents

Separating Water from Fat in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Angel Pineda '95

Radiology Department, Stanford University

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) allows us to visualize the interior of our body by carefully controlling a large magnetic field and measuring the magnetic properties of the protons in the tissue. From an MRI perspective tissue can be thought of consisting mostly of water and fat. Most of the diagnostic information is contained by the images of the water component. The signal from the fat can mimic pathology in the water image. Because of this, there is a plethora of techniques to suppress the fat signal before imaging. In this talk, we will show how to propagate the imperfections in the magnet into our estimate of the water images and use this understanding to improve the images of where water and fat meet, like in the imaging of knees. The mathematics and statistics used include linear algebra, Monte Carlo simulations, maximum likelihood estimation and Cramer-Rao bounds for nonlinear inverse problems. Amazingly all this theory was verified in medical images!

Lunch will be provided. Everyone is welcome.

The Lafayette College Mathematics Department presents

Qin Lu

Lafayette College

These days people are excited about the application of quantitative methods in finance.
This talk will introduce the Black-Scholes option price model. The talk will focus on numerical methods because analytical methods have limitations. In general, there are three different kinds of numerical methods to price the option, namely the Binomial (Trinomial) tree, the Simulation and the numerical methods related to the Black-Scholes partial differential equations. The speaker will illustrate the tree method and the simulation method with simple and interesting examples. The audience will see real mathematics (undergraduate calculus and probability) applied in real world problems.

Lunch will be provided. Everyone is welcome.

Contact Math Club president Brian Kronenthal for more information.

Contact Professor Gordon for more information.

Everyone is welcome! Light refreshments will be served. Pardee 227.

Contact Professor Smith for more information.

Everyone is welcome! Light refreshments will be served. Pardee 227.

Contact Professor Smith for more information.

Everyone is welcome! Light refreshments will be served. Pardee 227.

Contact Professor Smith for more information.

Contact Professor Smith for more information.

Everyone is welcome to attend! For more information on how to obtain the study guides used for the sessions at a reduced price, contact Professor Smith.

Everyone is welcome! Light refreshments will be served. Pardee 227.

Contact Professor Smith for more information.

Contact Professor Smith for more information.

The Mathematical Contest in Modeling, sponsored by COMAP, was held during February 3-7.
Two teams of three students worked around the clock to come up with the best solution they could to a
posted problem.
The team of Farhan Ahmed, Jinjin Qian, and Haotian Wu was designated "Meritorious Winner."
The only category above "Meritorious Winner" is "Outstanding Winner," and there were only 10 teams out of approximately 700 in that category, so this is a significant accomplishment.
Also representing Lafayette was the team of Aydin Gerek, Teruhisa Haruguchi, and Ko Ko Maung.

For the results of the recent Putnam Exam, see the
press release.

For more information about the MCM, contact Professor Berkove; for the Putnam Exam, contact Professor Smith.

The Lafayette College Mathematics Department presents

How quickly can you answer questions like:

What is the smallest 4-digit prime number?

Who is the author of the calculus book used in Math 161, 162, and 263?

Which math department professor has a last name that can be rearranged to spell "SETS ON FIRE"?

Come to Math Bowl and watch four teams of four students battle it out for the title of
"Best Group of Four Students Who Can Answer Questions Like These."

Lunch will be provided.

For more information, please contact Professor Gordon.

No preregistration required.

The Individual Barge Mathematics Contest is open to all first and second year students. The problems vary in difficulty; most emphasize insight and ingenuity rather than specific knowledge or computational skill.

Prize amounts: $500 for first, $300 for second, and $200 for third.

Example problem: Find the 2005th digit to the right of the decimal point in 0.102030405060708090100110120130140...

For more information, please contact Professor Lu.

The Lafayette College Mathematics Department presents

You can sum some of the series some of the time, and some of the series none of the time... but can you sum some of the series ALL of the time?

Edward B. Burger

Williams College

Have you ever gone out with someone for a while and asked yourself: "How close are we?" This presentation will answer that question by answering: What does it mean for two things to be close to one another? We'll take a strange look infinite series, dare to mention a calculus student's fantasy, and momentarily consider transcendental meditation. In fact, we'll even attempt to build some very exotic series that can be used if you ever have to flee the country in a hurry: we'll either succeed or fail... you'll have to come to the talk to find out. Will you be at the edge of your seats? Perhaps; but if not, then you'll probably fall asleep and either way, after the talk, you'll feel refreshed. No matter what, you'll learn a sneaky way to always win at Limbo.

This presentation is open to all math fans--young and old alike. A familiarity with infinite series is helpful. If you've ever heard of the words "triangle inequality", then this is the talk for you!

Lunch will be provided. Everyone is welcome.

The Lafayette College Mathematics Department presents

Bruce Sagan

Michigan State University

We derive congruences for various sequences involving binomial
coefficients. In particular, we are able to prove some conjectures of
Benoit Cloitre. Surprisingly, the Thue-Morse sequence (from the
theory of combinatorics on words) makes an appearance.

Lunch will be provided. Everyone is welcome; no mathematical background is assumed.

The Lafayette College Mathematics Department presents

Ashish Bhan '91

Institute of Genomics and Bioinformatics

University of California, Irvine

There has been a great deal of interest in the structure of "small-world" networks like the Internet and the World Wide Web in the last few years. An influential model of network growth based on preferential attachment (the rich get richer) has been proposed to explain their properties. We propose another model of network growth based on gene duplication, and show that it is able to duplicate several properties which are common in real networks and cannot be duplicated using preferential attachment.

Lunch will be provided. Everyone is welcome; no mathematical background is assumed.

to be offered in the fall semester

If you like basic multivariable calculus (Math 263) and linear algebra (272 or 275), then Math 343 may be the course for you. Part of the course is devoted to understanding how the derivative of a multivariable/vector-valued function (multiple inputs and multiple outputs) is most naturally thought of as a linear transformation. We will develop the subject known as vector calculus, which will lead us to an important generalization of the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus known as Stokes' Theorem (in 2-D this is Green's Theorem from Math 263!). Vector calculus has applications ranging from mathematics to electricity and magnetism and fluid mechanics. Finally, this course serves as the foundation for Differential Geometry, which in turn is the mathematical basis of Einstein's theory of general relativity.

Bring your own lunch!

The Lafayette College Mathematics Department presents

Michael A. Jones

Department of Mathematical Sciences

Montclair State University

Nim is a well-known two-player combinatorial game in which each player alternates taking turns removing tokens from several piles. I will review Bouton's use of modular arithmetic to provide a complete analysis of a first player's optimal behavior or winning strategy where players can remove any number of tokens from a pile; this result appeared in the 1901-02 issue of The Annals of Mathematics.

A single-pile variant of Nim requires players to remove only a restricted number of tokens (elements of which form the subtraction set) from the pile on their turns. Classifying optimal behavior for any subtraction set is one of the outstanding unsolved problems in combinatorial game theory. I will introduce, and will explore the mathematics that arise from, a dynamical systems approach to this problem where winning and losing positions for player 1 in single pile Nim are defined recursively as a two symbol sequence where the subtraction set is viewed as a parameter set.

Lunch will be provided. Everyone is welcome; no mathematical background is assumed.

Sponsored by the Math Club and the Office of Career Services

This is the second of two sessions offered for students interested in summer opportunities in mathematics, some of which have application deadlines as early as the middle of February. Rachel Moeller of Career Services will join mathematics faculty members to help students survey the many experiences available in Summer 2005.

Everyone is welcome to attend! Light refreshments will be served, or bring your own lunch. For more information, contact Professor Smith.

Contact Professor Smith for more information.

For more information, visit this page or contact Professor Berkove.

Contact Math Club president Ekaterina Jager for more information.

Two student teams earned perfect scores to tie as winners of the fall Team Barge competition, splitting the $1,000 and $450 prizes for first and second place, respectively. Smathi Charanasomboon ¹07, Aydin Gerek ¹07, Teruhisa Haruguchi ¹07, Ko Ko Maung ¹07, and Haotian Wu ¹07 formed one of the winning teams, and Jinjin Qian ¹08, Jacob Carson ¹06, and Ekaterina Jager ¹06 formed the other. Finishing a close third were first-year students Xue Ji, Mark Kokoska, and Jordan Tirrell.

More information can be found in the press release. Contact Professor Berkove if you think you might be interested in participating this spring!

Contact Professor Zulli for more information.

The Lafayette College Mathematics Department presents

Professor Randy Stonesifer

Lafayette College

The registration process for VaST courses had evolved from survival of the fittest to survival of the lucky. Now the Lafayette community has pooled its resources to conquer this evil villain. Find out how VaST courses are assigned and why this new process has been considered a success.

Lunch will be provided. Everyone is welcome; no mathematical background is assumed.

This year, the annual LVAIC Mathematics Exam took place on Saturday, October 30. Twelve teams with a total of 43 students from Lafayette, Lehigh, Moravian, Muhlenberg, and DeSales competed.

Tying a five-student Lehigh University team for first place after scoring 91 of a possible 100 points on the test was the team of Rob McEwen ¹05, Greg Francos ¹05, Ekaterina Jager ¹06, and Jinjin Qian ¹08. Finishing in third place with 78 points was the team of Brian Kronenthal ¹07, Varun Mehta ¹06, Ibrahima Bah ¹06, and Farhan Ahmed ¹05; in fourth was the team of Aydin Gerek ¹07, Haotian Wu ¹07, Teruhisa Haruguchi ¹07, and Thuy Lan Nguyen ¹07; and in fifth was the team of Jordan Tirrell ¹08, Xue Ji ¹08, and Keming Liang ¹08.

More information can be found in the press release. Contact Professor Gordon if you think you might be interested in taking the exam next year!

Students are invited to the take the Putnam Mathematics Competition on Saturday, December 4. The Competition has both a morning and afternoon session, with breakfast provided starting around 9:15am and a lunch between the two sessions.

Several additional copies of the exam are available for students who were unable to sign up for the exam earlier in the semester. Contact Professor Smith if you think you might be interested in taking one of these.

Sponsored by the Math Club and the Office of Career Services

Students interested in mathematics have many summer opportunities to consider! Some of these have application deadlines as early as the middle of December. On Wednesday, December 1, Rachel Moeller of Career Services and mathematics faculty members will help students survey the many experiences available in Summer 2005.

Everyone is welcome to attend! Light refreshments will be served, or bring your own lunch. For more information, contact Professor Smith.

The Lafayette College Mathematics Department presents

Professor Jonathan David Farley

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

"What is truth?"

- John 18:38

The new Gwyneth Paltrow film "Proof" and Russell Crowe's
"A Beautiful Mind" perpetuate certain myths about mathematics.

MYTH #1: Mathematicians are very often insane.

Actually, that's not a myth. But it **is** a myth that
mathematics is primarily about numbers. In fact, mathematics is the quest
for truth, and the enterprise of mathematics has much more in common
with art and poetry than the ordinary layperson might think.

MYTH #2: In mathematics, everything is either right or wrong.

Indeed, in 1931, a young Austrian mathematician uncovered
a secret about Reality that would revolutionize mathematics... and
unravel his mind...

Lunch will be provided. Everyone is welcome; no mathematical background is assumed.

The Lafayette College Mathematics Department present a Department Colloquium

A problem of Richard P. Stanley from 1981

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Here is an abstract (PDF).

Contact Professor Gordon for more information.

Contact Professor Corvino for more information.

Requirements: Successful candidates will have a bachelor's degree in economics, mathematics, statistics and/or other quantitative disciplines. Other qualifications include: excellent analytical and communication skills, both written and oral; coursework in economics, statistics, or related areas; high level of academic performance; computer skills, such as familiarity with statistical programming software and database management; balancing multiple tasks in a team environment and effectively meeting deadlines; and relevant experience through summer employment or research internships.

Contact Susan Higgins for more information.

Contact Professor Zulli for more information.

Contact Professor Fisher for more information.

The Lafayette College Mathematics Department presents

Professor John Meier

Lafayette College

Here's a question: What's the shape of space? If that one seems too hard, you might tackle: What possible shapes could our universe take? These are grand questions but it appears that they might not be completely intractable. In fact, following on ideas of some famous mathematicians (Bill Thurston and Richard Hamilton), Grisha Perelman has recently announced a solution to the second problem. In addition to glory and honor, if his work holds up under close examination, Perelman will get a million dollars from the Clay Mathematics Institute. I will try to give some idea of the principal mathematical objects under discussion (3-manifolds), some of the historical development of the subject, and perhaps a hint at Perelman's approach.

Lunch will be provided. Everyone is welcome; no mathematical background is assumed.

Old Putnam exams are available online, as are descriptions of Lafayette's Putnam participation in
2002 and
2003.

This Friday at noon in Pardee 227, we will have three
presenters. EXCEL Scholars Rebecca Anderson and Jonathan Rowe worked with Professor
Lorenzo Traldi on reliability in communication networks, and EXCEL Scholar Jacob Carson
worked with Professor Ethan Berkove on combinatorial problems related to the game
Instant Insanity.

On Monday, October 4, the presenters will be Maureen Jackson, who was a teaching
assistant in the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth (CTY) program, and
Blerta Shtylla, who participated in the Program for Women in Mathematics at the
Institute for Advanced Study/Princeton University in May and then held a summer
fellowship from the Mayo Clinic to study in the bioengineering department and the
Mayo Graduate School. For more information, click
here.

Bring your own lunch and/or enjoy some light refreshments, courtesy of the Math Club.

Contact Professor Smith for more information.

Bring your own lunch and/or enjoy some light refreshments, courtesy of the Math Club. For more information on the student presenters, see this article.

Contact Professor Smith for more information.

The Lafayette College Mathematics Department presents

Professor Chester Salwach

Lafayette College

Kirkman's schoolgirl problem was introduced by the Reverend Thomas J. Kirkman as "Query 6" on page 48 of the

Lunch will be provided. Everyone is welcome; no mathematical background is assumed.

In particular, a Lafayette mathematics alumnus working at Accenture writes: "After many years of being absent from recruiting at Lafayette, Accenture will be participating in the Career Fair. I was hoping you could encourage some of the math majors to attend the fair and check out Accenture."

Contact Linda Arra, Director, Career Services, for more information.

Philip Dimitrov is the winner of the 2004 Wesley S. Mitman Prize, and Ekaterina Jager is the recipient of the 2004 James P. Crawford Award.

Also, Carrie Abildgaard, Elisabeth Edwards, and Douglas Schiz graduated with honors. For more information on recent honors theses, see "Honors, Independent Study, and Research".

Lafayette had a record turnout for the 2003 William Lowell Putnam Mathematics Competition.
The 7 Lafayette students with the highest individual scores were Zach Reiter (score of 18, national rank of 498.5);
Ekaterina Jager (14, 549); Jacob Carson, Ayelin Gerek, Josh Porter, and Brian Regan (10, 905.5);
and Haotian Wu (8, 1120.5). The other Lafayette participants were Farhan Ahmed, Maria Azimova,
Ibrahima Bah, Kari Barkley, Prince Chidyagwai, Kevin Ehly, Teruhisa Haruguchi, John Kolba,
Brian Kronenthal, Ryan McCall, Rob McEwen, Verun Mehta, Kyle Palmer, Dhiraj Sharma, and
Zach Silverman.
Across North America, 3615 undergraduate students from over 450 colleges and universities
participated.

Lafayette's 3-member team had a rank of 111, in the top 25 percent of all participating institutions.

Interested in taking next year's exam or participating in the weekly Problem Group? Please contact Professor Smith.

Contact Professor Berkove for more information.

Contact Professor Smith for more information.

The Math Club officers for 2004-2005 are Ekaterina Jager (President),
Maria Azimova (Vice-President), Brian Kronenthal (Secretary), and
Haotian Wu (Treasurer).

If you would like to participate in the planning of Math Club events, such as the Problem Group, the Game Hour, the invited speaker series, or anything else you can think of, please contact Ekaterina.

The Lafayette College Mathematics Department presents

How quickly can you answer questions like:

What is the smallest 4-digit prime number?

Who is the author of the calculus book used in Math 161, 162, and 263?

Which math department professor has a last name that can be rearranged to spell "SETS ON FIRE"?

Come to Math Bowl and watch four teams of four students battle it out for the title of
"Best Group of Four Students Who Can Answer Questions Like These."

Lunch will be provided.

For more information, please contact Professor Gordon.

No preregistration required.

The (Individual) Barge Mathematics Contest is open to all first and second year students. The problems vary in difficulty; most emphasize insight and ingenuity rather than specific knowledge or computational skill.

Prize amounts: $500 for first, $300 for second, and $200 for third.

Example problem: Find the 2004th digit to the right of the decimal point in 0.102030405060708090100110120130140...

For more information, please contact Professor Zulli.

The Lafayette College Mathematics Department presents

Professor Lorenzo Traldi

Universita' Natale di Roma

A

Lunch will be provided.

For more information, please contact Professor Traldi.

The Lafayette College Mathematics Department presents

Professor Mark Kidwell

U. S. Naval Academy

In a link of

Lunch will be provided.

Wednesday, March 24, at 12:15 in Pardee 227

Professor Zulli will give a very gentle introduction to some of the main characters
who will appear in Math 345 (Complex Analysis) this Fall. The discussion should
be accessible to all.

Contact Professor Zulli for more information.

An informal meeting will be held to discuss summer opportunities and internships for mathematics students. Rachel Moeller from Career Services will join mathematics faculty to provide information and answer questions.

Drop by the session for any portion of the lunch hour that you have free. Everyone is welcome to attend. Opportunities are available for students at all levels, including first- and second-year students.

This event is sponsored by the Math Club. Light refreshments will be served.

The Lafayette College Mathematics Department presents

Professor Yan Lyansky

Lafayette College

In a practical setting, fractals are used to describe the shape of snowflakes, ferns, and the design of tires. Artistically, they are also used to create naturally occurring images, movies, and sounds. We will investigate some artistic fractals to see how they implement mathematical ideas.

Lunch will be provided.

Get to know your GRE!

Refreshments provided

Most mathematics graduate schools require you take a test called the Mathematics Subject Exam in addition to the General GRE. So, if you've got even just a remote interest in mathematics graduate school, you should find out what this exam is all about! We'll discuss topics on the exam, including which courses at Lafayette cover them. You might be surprised at how many problems you can do already, regardless of your current background!

Refreshments will be provided. Everyone is welcome! Sponsored by the Math Club.

For more information, contact Professor Smith.

There will be a Mathematica Seminar on Wednesdays at 4:30 in the lab. Professor Lyansky will begin the first few sessions by following examples and problems from "An Introduction to Programming with Mathematica" by Gaylord, Kamin, and Wellin. The goal is to have the students solve some problems from the "American Mathematical Monthly" using Mathematica.

For more information, contact Professor Lyansky.

General Meeting: Thursday, November 6, at 4:00 in Pardee 227

Contact the club president, Katya Jager, for more information.

Contact Professor Berkove for more information.

Contact Professor Smith for more information.

The Lafayette College Mathematics Department presents

Professor Alan Sokal

NYU

Suppose we are given a graph

Lunch will be provided.

The Lafayette College Mathematics Department presents

Professor Tom Yuster

Lafayette College

It's 1943. The Germans have just unexpectedly changed their code and the British can no longer break it. Allied convoys are suddenly at terrible risk. The outcome of WWII hangs in the balance. That's not what this talk is about (but it makes a good plot line for the movie Enigma). Instead, the talk concerns what happened many years before. It's 1926. The Germans have adopted the Enigma code. The French have one of the German code machines. It doesn't matter - they still can't break the code. They share intelligence with the Poles, who do something new in the annals of code breaking - they recruit mathematicians. What transpires changes the course of WWII, as it makes possible the accomplishments of the British code breakers loosely chronicled in Enigma. In this talk, I'll show you some of the ideas the Poles used in breaking the first of the Enigma codes, the ideas that became the foundations for British code breaking during WWII.

Lunch will be provided.

Sponsored by Travelers Insurance

Refreshments provided

Lafayette graduate Betsy DePaolo '93 (Betsy Bassett) will be presenting an actuarial information session sponsored by Travelers Insurance. She will be discussing the actuarial profession in general, as well as summer internship and full-time employment opportunities at Travelers Insurance. Each year, several mathematics students do such internships and several graduates start careers as actuaries.

For more information, contact Professor Fisher.

Register by Tuesday, October 14.

Saturday, December 6, is the day after classes are over and two full days before final exams begin on Tuesday. The timing is perfect!

Of course, you are not expected to get a high score on the exam, or even get a positive score at all! (The median score two years ago was 0 out of 120.) Just take it for fun, and hold out some hope that you just might get something right on one or two problems.

The exam has two parts, one from 10:00 until 1:00 and the other from 3:00 until 6:00. Come to whatever portion of the exam you can make. Breakfast and lunch are provided.

The Lafayette College Mathematics Department presents

Professor Ethan Berkove

Lafayette College

What possible connection could there be between the traditional Japanese art of folding paper and mathematics? One might be surprised to learn that over the last couple of decades the connections between origami and mathematics have been extensively studied. Some of the results are purely recreational in nature. Others are deeper, relating to questions in classical geometry, graph theory, and algebra. The purpose of this talk is to give an introduction to some of what's happening in this interesting intersection between art and mathematics. I'll bring some interesting origami too!

Lunch will be provided.

A talk by Peter Winkler

Director of Fundamental Mathematics Research, Bell Labs

Time permitting, there are four pairs of games: the first involving numbers, the second hats, the third cards, and the fourth gladiators.

Refreshments will be provided.

The Lafayette College Mathematics Department presents

See Student Teams Compete to Show They Know Math

Lunch will be provided.

The Lafayette College Mathematics Department presents

Integration the Way It Oughtaí Be

Presents some results of his Senior Honors Thesis

Lunch will be provided.

The Lafayette College Mathematics Department presents

Mark Rhodes

Colgate University

Lunch will be provided.

The Lafayette College Mathematics Department presents

John Donnelly

SUNY Binghamton

Lunch will be provided.

Change Ringing, by Professor Liz McMahon

Time: 6:30 pm

Place: Pardee 201

Food: Pizza

CIGNA will be sponsoring an information session on the actuarial profession in general, and employment opportunities (summer and full-time) at CIGNA in particular. Mark Coslett, from the class of 2001 will be among the presenters. Pizza and refreshments will be provided.

2002 LVAIC Math Contest - Final Results

LVAIC Explodes! The 13th LVAIC Math Contest, held at Moravian College on Oct. 19, 2002 attracted a record 55 students. The students represented 5 of the 6 member institutions, and were grouped into 16 teams, with each team consisting of 3 or 4 students. As usual, we had a small breakfast before the contest and a pizza-solution fest afterwards.

For the 3rd straight contest, the winning team is from Lafayette, with a score of 72 out of 100. The winning team members are three first year students:

1st:(72 pts) Ibrahima Bah, Josh Porter, and John Kolba

Lafayette teams also took 2nd and 3rd place:

2nd: (65 pts) Guangxi Wang, Alex Balan and Lazar Nickolic

3rd: (61 pts) Ed Swartz, Prince Chidyagwai, Rob McEwen, and Usman Khan

Moravian took 4th place:

4th: (60 pts) Borko Milosev, Fei Sun, Amy Kish, and Brian Holder.

Please congratulate these students for their efforts -- they all gave up a Saturday morning to take the test.

The complete results are: lvaic_math_contest_2002.pdf. (Please excuse any misspellings of names, which are taken from the sign-in sheets.)

The Lafayette Problem Group will begin meeting soon! If you are interested, please contact Professor Gordon, or visit our table at the Activities Fair on Wednesday, August 28, from 7pm until 9pm in Farinon. Information and problem sets from the past two years can be found online here.

This past summer, as part of the math department's Research Experience for Undergraduates program, four outside speakers gave fascinating talks on a variety of mathematical subjects. Copies of fliers for each of the talks can be found here: Sean Cleary (CCNY), Matthias Beck (SUNY-Binghamton), Susan Hermiller (Nebraska), and Bob Connelly (Cornell).

What's the sum of the first four primes?

Who is the author of the calculus book used in Math 161, 162, and 263?

Which math department professor has a last name that can be rearranged to spell "SETS ON FIRE"?

Come to Math Bowl and watch four teams of four students battle it out for the title of "Best Group of Four Students Who Can Answer Questions Like Those." Lunch will be provided.

The results of this year's modeling competitions (see the announcement below) are in.

We had two teams in the Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM).
The team of Lazar Nikolic, Dan Swarr and Guangxi Wang earned a rating of Meritorious,
the second highest rating possible, for the third consecutive year.
The problem they solved had to do with regulating the flow of water in a public fountain
to avoid having passersby get sprayed under windy conditions.
(Only 4 of the 279 teams that submitted solutions of that problem earned a higher ranking.)
Check out the two MCM problems,
along with the complete results.

This year, for the first time, we had a team in the Interdisciplinary Contest in Modeling (ICM).
Andrew Colton, Rob McEwen and Nathan Tregger earned an Honorable Mention for their work on the
ecology of the Florida Scrub Lizard. (Sounds yummy, doesn't it?)
Check out the ICM problem
and complete results.

The Lafayette College Mathematics Department presents

Professor Lorenzo Traldi

Lafayette College

(Here's the advertisement.)

Lunch will be provided.

The Lafayette College Mathematics Department presents

(Maybe) Finding Patterns on Wall Street

Professor Michael Frame

Yale University

We'll introduce fractal geometry as a language for roughness in Nature. After discussing mathematical schemes for generating simple fractals, we'll show how modifications of these methods can be used to synthesize realistic natural scenes, and to identify patterns in data. We'll conclude with an exposition of Mandelbrot's (the inventor of fractal geometry) recent "cartoons" (models) of the stock market.

Lunch will be provided.

The Lafayette College Mathematics Department presents

(with Special Emphasis on What Happened Here at Lafayette)

Professor Jim Crawford

Calculus as we know it was created in the latter part of the seventeenth century, developed in the eighteenth century, and made rigorous in the nineteenth century. But when did calculus become part of the curriculum at colleges and universities? When and where was calculus first taught in the United States? How early in the life of Lafayette College was calculus a part of the curriculum? How did nineteenth century students at Lafayette and other colleges react to their experiences with calculus? What occurred at Lafayette in the eighteen-seventies that began a student-run theatrical tradition that continued for half a century with the unlikely title of "The Calculus Plays"?

Come and find out about the surprisingly rich (and occasionally humorous) role that calculus has played in the history of Lafayette College.

Lunch will be provided.

MCM/ICM '02

Problems for both of the 2002 competitions can now be found online: MCM and ICM. This year, Lafayette's two MCM teams are Lazar Nikolic, Dan Swarr and Guangxi Wang, and Farhan Ahmed, Alex Balan and Steve DiMauro. Andrew Colton, Rob McEwen and Nathan Tregger form the ICM team. For more information, see the original post below.

Each team in the competition is presented with two problems and asked to choose one. The problems tend to be open-ended and very realistic.

There are no special prerequisites for participating in the competition. It is generally better to know more, rather than less, mathematics, but it is certainly not necessary to have taken a course in mathematical modeling. Do you think that you might be interested in participating in this competition? Although the contest is still two months away, teams are forming now and you should talk to Professor Hill (hillt@lafayette.edu) soon.

We are also interested in forming one or more teams to participate in the fourth annual Interdisciplinary Contest in Modeling. The format of the ICM is similar to that of the MCM and both contests will be held February 7-11, 2002. However, the ICM problem will reflect a situation in mathematics, environmental science, environmental engineering, and/or resource management. To construct and analyze a model for this scenario, knowledge of environmental science, environmental engineering, biology, and/or resource management is likely to be helpful.

Last year's problems are contained in following announcement.

The Lafayette College Mathematics Department presents

A linear map of the torus with pictures

Bruce Kitchens

IBM Research, Yorktown Heights, NY

A torus has the shape of a donut or bagel. Functions from a torus to itelf are very interesting and can have fascinating pictures associated with them. We will examine a special function

Lunch will be provided.

meets weekly on

Here's a recent problem set. For more info, write to smithder@lafayette.edu.

What's the sum of the first four primes?

Who is the author of the calculus book used in Math 161, 162, and 263?

Which math department professor has a last name that can be rearranged to spell "SETS ON FIRE"?

Come to Math Bowl and watch four teams of four students battle it out for the title of
"Best Group of Four Students Who Can Answer Questions Like Those." In fact, there's still
time for **you** to participate! Create a group of four students and go sign up on the
form outside of Prof. Berkove's office, Pardee 211.

No preregistration required.

From last year's contest: What's the 2000th digit to the right of the
decimal place in

0.102030405060708090100110120130140...

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