2012/2013 Events

Summary report for the 2012/2013 school year

The following is a summary report for the 2012/2013 school year of Math Circles. We are excited to share with you our journeys to school boards around the province. This year we visited many new schools and returned to schools which we visited previously.

Math Circles 2012/2013 Year End Summary Report

Math Circles events at Dal during the 2012/2013 school year

Here was our schedule for the 2012/2013 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 26, 2012
Speakers: Danielle Cox & Karyn McLellan

Topic: Mathemagic

Join us for an exciting evening of magic and illusion! Come be mystified and amazed at our feats and even learn the secrets to perform them yourselves. Learn how to memorize a deck of cards, influence the flipping of a coin, magically untie yourself from ropes. Is it really magic? No! It's math. This talk will introduce concepts such as binary and ternary numbers, modular arithmetic, divisibility rules and even topology

October 17, 2012 
Speaker: Dr Richard Nowakowski

Topic: Toppling Peaks

Come explore some combinatorial game theory by investigating the game of Toppling Peaks.


November 21, 2012
Speaker: Alain Gamache

Topic: Benford's Law

Alain challenges you to the following experiment. Record the result of 200 tosses of a fair coin. The twist? You can cheat!! Yes, you have 2 choices: toss the coin 200 times and record the result of every toss or fake the 200 tosses. Then during Math Cirles, Alain will attempt to use a mysterious law to try to determine who actually did the experiment and who faked it.

December 12, 2012
Speaker: Danielle Cox

Topic: Towers of Hanoi

Join us for the last Math Circles event of 2012. We will be playing with the Towers of Hanoi, looking at recurrence relations and other patterns in the game.


January 16, 2013
Speaker: Dr. Jason Brown (Dalhousie University)

Topic: A Hard Day's Math: The connections between Mathematics and Music

Mathematics and music are a match made in heaven. The ancient
Greeks elevated both to the same level, and every rock
musician uses more mathematics than he or she realizes. In this talk I'll survey some of the most interesting connections between mathematics and music, including:
- trigonometric identities and tunings
- small fractions and musical intervals
- circular seating arrangements, scales and rhythm guitar
- derivation of the blues and graph colourings
- the musical art of being ambiguous (or not)
- musical and mathematical transformations
I'll end off the talk with a discussion of some application of mathematics I carried out on some musical mysteries surrounding The Beatles.

February 13, 2013
Speaker: Dr. Karl Dilcher (Dalhousie University)

Topic: How did we calculate before there were calculators?

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 computer simulated slide rules
(a bit of an irony ...) and/or paper slide rules. Every participant will
receive an old Dalhousie booklet of mathematical tables, including log
tables, to take home

March 2o, 2013
Speaker: Svenja Huntemann

Topic: How can games help us correct errors in data?

Why can we play a DVD that has a scratch? Why can we understand people
on the phone even in bad weather? How can a scanner read a barcode with
a crease in it? And what does cryptography have to do with this?
The answer: MATH!!!
We will discuss how we can use games and some closely related math to
correct errors in data.

April 17, 2013
Speaker: Dr Dorette Pronk (Dalhousie University)

Topic: Changing the Rules of Geometry

Have you ever wondered what inspired M.C. Escher to create his circle limits?
(See for instance, http://www.wikipaintings.org/en/m-c-escher/circle-limit-iv) Did you know that mathematicians after Euclid tried for many centuries to show that the parallel axiom had to follow from the other axioms?

And are you now wondering how these questions are related? Then come to this session of math circles. We will play some games with funny rules, and then learn about a new version of geometry that is more useful than you would have expected! (One of my colleagues says that this is the only mathematics he
has actually used in a practical way in his life.)


May 15, 2013
Speaker: Elham Roshanbin

Topic: Learning How To Count: Combinatorics

Combinatorics is a branch of mathematics that includes lots of
entertaining problems and uses different creative approaches! In this talk we are going to have a glance at some of these interesting
approaches including some counting tricks, coloring and tiling
techniques, as well as some fun problems.


June 5, 2013
Speaker: Dr. Suzanne Seager (Mt. St. Vincent University)

Topic: Finding Patterns

We look at how a simple children's game on the internet can lead to some interesting and entertaining mathematics by applying the general principle of finding patterns.


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.

We are looking forward to new faces as well as many of our usual suspects returning this fall!


Many Thanks to our Partners!

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