2018/2019 Events

Summary report for the 2018/2019 school year

Math Circles 2018/2019 Year End Summary Report

Math Circles events at Dal during the 2018/2019 school year

Below is our schedule for the 2018/2019 school year in Dalhousie Campuses at Halifax and Truro.

September 26 (Halifax Campus)
Speaker: Asmita Sodhi

Topic: Pentomino Puzzlers

A pentomino is a shape made by joining five equal squares side-by-side – think TETRIS, but with five squares instead of four! In this talk we’ll discover the different possible pentominoes, and explore some games and tiling puzzles that use these shapes.


October 19 (Halifax Campus)
Speaker: Dr. John McLoughlin (University of New Brunswick)

Topic: Random Walks and other Mathematical Journeys

Wandering without knowing where one will be next can be surprisingly effective in addressing mathematical problems. Insights into probability and other mathematical ideas will emerge through focusing attention on random walks. The journeying will not end there as surely some mathematical detours into interesting problems, curious numbers, and other forms of travel will find their way into the evening.


November 23 (Truro Campus)
Speaker: Dr. Svenja Huntemann (Mount Allison)

Topic: A History of Problem Solving

Join us while we take a stroll through some of the most influential and interesting problems throughout history. We will see if we can solve some of them on our own!


December 12 (Halifax Campus)
Speaker: Erick Lee (HRSB)

Topic: Chopsticks, Ciphers and Curves

What do chopsticks, ciphers and curves all have in common? Come find out how modular arithmetic plays a role in all of these as we explore some games, puzzles and even do some art.


January 16 (Halifax Campus)
Speaker: Dr. Peter Selinger

Topic: Counting and Symmetry

It is always fun to count how many ways there are of doing something. Counting can be especially challenging when there are symmetries involved. How many ways are there of tiling a 3x3 square with black and white tiles, if two tilings that differ by a rotation are considered equal? How many ways of coloring the 6 sides of a cube with 3 colors, up to a rotation of the cube? We will explore Polya's counting method, which can be used to answer these and similar questions.


DATE CHANGED: February 20 (Halifax Campus)
Speaker: Dr. Roman Smirnov

Topic: Linear Inequalities and Economic Problems

We will explore how linear inequalities can be used, for example, to help a local chocolate company to produce two very popular on Valentine's Day brands of chocolate - Hearts and Friends. Both brands of chocolate are made of milk and cocoa butter only. Suppose that in order to manufacture each box of Hearts and Friends, the following quantities are required:
- Each box of Hearts requires 1 unit of milk and 3 units of cocoa butter,
- Each box of Friends requires 1 unit of milk and 2 units of cocoa butter.
The company has a total of 5 units of milk and 12 units of cocoa butter. On each sale made on Valentine's Day, the company expects to make a profit of
- $6 per box of Hearts sold,
- $5 per box of Friends sold.
The question is how many boxes of each brand should the company produce to maximize its profit on Valentine's Day? Join us tonight to learn more about mathematical modelling of economic problems.


March 13 (Halifax Campus)
Speaker: Dr. Danielle Cox and Alan Godin (MSVU)

Topic: Recipes for Pi

People are fascinated with Pi, so much so it has its own day, March 14th. In this Math Circles we will talk about some fascinating techniques used to compute digits of pi, learn some tricks for memorizing digits of pi and explore the interesting history of our favourite mathematical constant.


April 26 (Halifax Campus)
Speaker: Dr. Mayada Shahada

Topic: Cryptography

Cryptography is the study of protecting, coding, storing and transmitting information and messages so that only those who are intended to may read it. In other words, it is the study of secret messages and codes. Encryption is the conversion of messages to the secret code, called ciphertext. In order to read the information normally, one must decrypt the ciphertext, converting it back into plaintext. In this talk, we will look at some different types of cryptography that are used.


May 17 (Halifax Campus)
Speaker: Dr. Angela Siegel (Computer Science) and Dr. Dorette Pronk

Topic: Oak Island Mathematical Treasure Mystery

Note: This event is from 5:30-7:30pm.
The Oak Island treasure has been stolen, and your team are the only people who can foil the thieves! But they've locked you in a room and are about to make their getaway. Can you get out in time to rescue the treasure? Join us for an evening of puzzles and mystery to find out!


June 5 (Halifax Campus)
Speaker: Annamieka Aerts and Sarah Li

Topic: Probability Buffet
What are the chances of rolling at least 10 with three dice? What about the same problem, given that you know one of the rolls is a 2? How likely is it that someone in your class has the same birthday as you? Join us as we sample a number of dishes at a buffet of probability topics, and learn to solve problems like these and more!


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 our team at mathcircles@dal.ca and we will work it into our repertoire.



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