2014/2015 Events

Summary report for the 2014/2015 school year

Math Circles 2014/2015 Year End Summary Report

Math Circles events at Dal during the 2014/2015 school year

Below is our schedule for the 2014/2015 school year. Events were held from 5:30-7:30pm in the Chase Building, Room 119 (Student Learning Centre) of Dalhousie University, with pizza served at each event.

September 17
Speaker: Julien Ross and Ben Cameron

Topic: Geometry
We will look at some unusual ways to calculate areas and circumferences of objects.


October 22
Speakers: Dr. Peter Selinger

Topic: Pythagorean Triples
Join us for some fun with numbers! Pythagoras's theorem states that the three sides a,b,c of a right triangle are related by a^2 + b^2 = c^2. Pythagoras was interested in finding right triangles where all three sides have integer length, such as a=3, b=4, and c=5. Such a triple of integers is called a Pythagorean triple. In this talk we'll explore formulas for generating all Pythagorean triples.


November 19
Speaker: Dr. Michele Millar (MSVU) and Holly Steeves

Topic: A Picture is Worth a 1000 Words
The title says it all: a picture is worth 1000 words. This is so true when working with statistics. It can be hard to make sense of data which is made up of a long lists of numbers. We will see that with simple tools, such as pie charts, bar charts and XY plots, we can make sense of data and gain insights into the real world. We will look at the Titanic data along with a variety of other data sets.


December 10
Speaker: Dr. Dorette Pronk

Topic: Math and Art Show
You are invited to participate in an artshow with a mathematical twist. We will see art that reveals the beauty of certain mathematical equations and constructions, and we will look at some of the math that is hiding in the background of some more traditional art. And last but not least you will have the opportunity to create your own mathematical art.


January 14
Speaker: Dr. Robert Milson

Topic: Fibonacci numbers, paradoxes and mathematical magic
We will explore the mystery that is the Fibonacci sequence through games, paradoxes, and YES! magic. However, unlike a magician, a mathematician always reveals his or her secrets! Together, we will explore the many treasures that lie hidden within this remarkable sequence of numbers.


February 11
Speaker: Dalhousie math students

Topic: Mathland
You wake up in a dark cavern. Suddenly a mathemagician appears before you. He says: "Welcome to Mathland! To help you navigate this beautiful country, its inhabitants will give you directions after you solve their quests."

This month, you will work in teams to solve the problems from the book "Mathland- the expert version" by L.C. Norman. For each correct solution, there will be points. For each hint you need, you will loose points. The team with the most points at the end of their journey (or the end of the evening) will win a prize!


March 25
Speaker: Dr. Karl Dilcher

Topic: Logarithms
Electronic calculators didn't become widely available until the early to mid-1970s. Before that, it was slide rules and logarithmic tables that played similar roles as do pocket calculators today, at least in high schools and universities.

In this session I will present some of the history of log tables and slide rules, along with some of the underlying theory. We will also do practical examples with actual log tables and with simple paper slide rules. Every participant will receive an old Dalhousie booklet of mathematical tables, including log tables, to take home.


April 22
Speaker: Svenja Huntemann

Topic: Combinatorial Game Theory
Want to spend your evening playing and learning about games?
Combinatorial games are 2-player games with no hidden information and no chance elements, such as Chess, Checkers, or Go. I will introduce some of the techniques that are being used to study these games by taking a look at two specific ones: Nim and Domineering. If time allows, you can try out your new abilities on a few other games.


May 20
Speaker: Dr. Philip Munz (Acadia)

Topic: Probability Puzzles and Games
The field of probability serves fertile grounds for puzzlement and bewilderment, which makes problems so fun to analyze and discuss. In this session, we will look at a few problems which apply probability and logic to find solutions. Some answers may surprise you!


June 10
Speaker: Erick Lee (HRSB)

Topic: Schur's Problem of Sum-Free Partitions
Join us for some fun partitioning numbers. Most students in elementary school learn how to work out problems that involve large numbers by splitting them into smaller units so they're easier to work with. Counting the number of ways that a number can be partitioned however is a mathematically difficult problem that leads to lots of interesting questions. We'll take a look at a partitioning game as well as some recent mathematical discoveries in the area of partitioning.


Topic Ideas?

If you have a request for topics, please contact us. If you have a topic or idea that appeals to you, let us help you explore it! Email us at mathcircles@dal.ca and we will work it into our repertoire.



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