2015/2016 Events

Summary report for the 2015/2016 school year

Math Circles 2015/2016 Year End Summary Report

Math Circles events at Dal during the 2015/2016 school year

Below is our schedule for the 2015/2016 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 16
Speaker: Ben Cameron

Topic: Shake Hands with Graph Theory!
The basics of graph theory will be reviewed, just enough to present the famous Handshaking Lemma. This is a very basic result in graph theory but can be used to prove some interesting statements. We will also spend some time trying to reduce ties in one famous tie-breaking game, again by using only the basics of graph theory. If time permits, we will also play play a game called Hex and discuss how the Handshaking Lemma is related.

 

October 21
Speaker: Abdullah Al-Shaghay & Marie B.Langlois

Topic: Prime-Time
This talk will be about prime numbers, we will answer the following questions about them: what is so special about them, how can we find them (well, find numbers that are not primes), how many are there, etc. Along the way we will explore number theoretical concepts such as divisibility, modular arithmetic and mathematical proofs.

 

November 25
Speaker: Dr. Karl Dilcher

Topic: A Mathemagical Mystery Tour: Large Numbers and Great Mathematicians
15 questions will be presented in the format of a quiz show. To each question you will have four possible and believable answers to choose from; however, only one is correct. In being given the solutions in the second part, you will learn interesting facts about some famous mathematicians and the culture around mathematics. While mathematics is certainly more than just numbers, in this presentation you will come across some large and some very large numbers.

 

December 9
Speaker: Dr. Richard Nowakowski

Topic: Toppling Peaks
Toppling Peaks is a game played on strip of squares. Each square contains an arrow pointing to the left or to the right. A move is to choose a square and eliminate all the squares, including the chosen square, in the direction of the arrow. The player who deletes the last square wins. We will develop a winning strategy of this and for the game in which the player who eliminates the last square loses! The game has a connection to the Catalan Numbers, the most referenced number sequence in the Online Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences, one of which helps with the analysis of the game, another actually helps us play the game.

 

January 20 MOVED!
Speaker: David Wolfe

Topic: Probability for Fun and Profit
We will talk about how probability affects our everyday lives in surprising ways. We'll investigate how the Inspection Paradox explains why your wait at the bus stop seems longer than it should be, why polls are so often hard to get right, and why countries with lots of immigrants have artificially inflated life expectancies. We will also learn how a very simple probability paradox teaches one how to be a successful investor.

 

February 10
Speaker: Svenja Huntemann and Ben Cameron

Topic: Mathemagic School
Reading minds, x-ray vision, predicting the future. Those are all magicial abilities the Math Circles team will demonstrate. And by the end of the evening, you will have them as well!

 

March 9
Speaker: Dr. John McLoughlin (UNB)

Topic: Curious and Interesting Numbers
Numerical curiousities abound. Yes, there exist a large number of curious and interesting numbers. Whether numbers simply attract other numbers to them or have a property of their own, it is fun to play with numbers. Be prepared to play with ideas, patterns, properties, and more. Number tricks, problems, and thinking outside familiar boundaries will enable us to uncover some of the wonder of numbers. Please join us.

 

April 13
Speaker: Ben Cameron and Marie B.Langlois

Topic: Radical Relay
It is math relay time! We will break into teams and answer challenging questions to move from station to station. If you finish the race you will be rewarded with some bonus questions. These problems are hand picked to be challenging and fun, so come ready to think and work together!

 

May 18
Speaker: Erick Lee (HRSB)

Topic: Geometric Puzzles with Squares and Rectangles
Please join us as we explore several geometric puzzles dealing with squares and rectangles. We'll start with the "No Rectangles" problem. This problem asks you to find the maximum number of points within an NxN grid such that no set of 4 points form the corners of a rectangle (with horizontal and vertical sides). We'll explore several similar problems with connections to art, combinatorics, geometry and number theory.

 

THURSDAY, June 9
Speaker: Dr. Danielle Cox (MSVU)

Topic: Can you be the last one standing?
In this Math Circles we will play a multi-player game, where you are the game pieces! Exploring winning strategies will uncover some interesting math, which can be used to solve another 'famous' game and has some important applications to the world around us.

 

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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