Madison Math Circle Abstracts
Contents
August 6 2016
Science Saturday |
Title: Game Busters |
The goal of our station will be to explore the mathematics related to the games: Set, Nim, and Chomp. We will have stations where individuals can drop by play a few games and explore these games for themselves. (We will have worksheets and volunteers providing guidance.) Additionally, anyone will be able to challenge our Master of Nim with fun prizes available for beating them. (Note: This is at a special time and location.) |
September 12 2016
Jean-Luc Thiffeault |
Title: Why do my earbuds keep getting entangled? |
I'll discuss the mathematics of random entanglements. Why is it that it's so easy for wires to get entangled, but so hard for them to detangle? |
September 19 2016
DJ Bruce |
Title: Is Any Knot Not the Unknot? |
You're walking home from school, and you pull out your head phones to listen to some tunes. However, inevitably they are a horribly tangled mess, but are they really a knot? We'll talk about what exactly is a knot, and how we can tell when something is not the unknot. |
September 26 2016
Megan Maguire |
Title: Coloring Maps |
Have you ever noticed that in colored maps of the US bordering states are never the same color? That's because it would be super confusing! But how many different colors do we need in order to avoid this? Come find out and learn more cool things about coloring maps. |
October 3 2016
Zach Charles |
Title: 1 + 1 = 10, or How does my smartphone do anything? |
Computers are used to do all kinds of complex tasks, from playing videos to running internet browsers. Secretly, computers do everything through numbers and mathematics. Surprisingly, they do all of this with "bits", numbers that are only 0 or 1. We will talk about bits and how we use them to do the mathematics we're familiar with as humans. If we have enough time, we will discuss "addition chains" and how computers use them to speed up their computations. |
October 10 2016
Keith Rush |
Title: Randomness, determinism and approximation: a historical question |
If you give me a function, can I find a simple function that approximates it well? This question played a central role in the development of mathematics. With a couple examples we will begin to investigate this for ourselves, and we'll touch on some interesting relationships to modeling random processes. |
October 17 2016
Philip Wood |
Title: The game of Criss-Cross |
Some say that mathematics is the science of patterns, and patterns are everywhere. You can find some remarkable patterns just by drawing lines connecting dots, and that is just what we will do in the game of Criss-Cross! Bring your pencils and be ready to play. |
October 24 2016
Ethan Beihl |
Title: A Chocolate Bar for Every Real Number |
By chopping up rectangles into squares repeatedly we obtain so-called "slicing diagrams" that correspond to every number. These diagrams have some very cool properties, and show up all over mathematics (under the name "continued fractions," which name we will investigate). Some questions I may ask you: Which chocolate bars look like themselves? Which chocolate bars look like themselves, except bigger? Which chocolate bars are interesting? Why did you come to a math talk expecting real chocolate? |
October 31 2016
No Meeting This Week |
Title: N/A |
Enjoy Halloween. |
November 7 2016
TBD |
Title: TBD |
TBD |
November 14 2016
TBD |
Title: TBD |
TBD |
November 21 2016
TBD |
Title: TBD |
TBD |
High School Meetings
October 17 2016
Daniel Erman |
Title: What does math research look like? |
Using a concrete problem in combinatorics, I will try to give a feel for what math research looks like. We’ll discuss the various aspects of research including: gathering data, making conjectures, proving special cases, and asking new questions. |