2019/2020 Events

Math Circles events at Dal during the 2019/2020 school year

Below is our tentative schedule for the 2019/2020 school year. Events' timing is from 6:30-8:30pm. Halifax campus events will be held in the Chase Building, Room 119 (Student Learning Centre) of Dalhousie University. Truro campus events' location will be announced before the event and it may vary each time. In each event, pizza and pop will be served.

These workshops are appropriate for senior high and advanced junior high students.

Are you interested in what talks we have had in the past? Check out old events here.

September 25th
Speaker: Dr. Peter Selinger

Topic: Fun with slide rules

The slide rule, based on an invention by John Napier in the 17th century, was the most important calculation tool for scientists and engineers for almost 350 years. It was still in widespread use in the 1950s and 1960s, but disappeared almost completely after it was replaced by the electronic calculator in the 1970s. In this math circle, you will learn how to use a slide rule to compute multiplications, divisions, roots, powers, and other operations. You will also learn some of the theory behind how a slide rule works. Each participant will assemble their own working slide rule out of materials that will be provided.


October 23rd
Speaker: Dr. Keith Taylor

Topic: Cardinal Sins of the Infinite

The concept of infinity has fascinated people since ancient times. In this math circle, we will carry out a number of activities that naturally involve infinity in some manner. From a practical problem of stacking blocks with maximum overhang off a supporting edge to a totally impractical supernatural tale about a Genie and his pets, we will explore the sometimes surprising consequences of processes repeated infinitely often. Participants should be prepared to do a little arithmetic and some algebra.


November 20th
Speaker: Sarah Meng Li

Topic: Logic and Puzzles

Math is not just computation. Mathematical thinking is a way of observing and understanding the world. Math allows us to see hidden order in real world chaos. This workshop will introduce you to another aspect of Mathematics, logic. We will show you how to use mathematical thinking to solve problems, identify the hidden patterns, and think like a mathematician.

In the first part of the workshop, we will talk about the fundamental building block in mathematics, namely set theory. There will be a buffet of set puzzles for you to investigate sets. We will use Venn diagrams to understand operations on sets and use these diagrams to solve puzzles.

In the second part of the workshop, we will play with logic! Logic is a systematic way of thinking that allows us to parse the meanings of sentences and to deduce new information from old information. We will use logic to distinguish Truth Tellers from Liars, and use logical inferences to play Werewolves.


December 11th
Speaker: Erick Lee (HRCE)

Topic: Prime Time!

In this session we’ll be exploring prime numbers. Do you know to quickly find all the prime numbers from 1 to 100? Do you know why prime numbers are important in computer security? We’ll answer these questions as well as tackle some prime number problems, puzzles and games in a fun and engaging session.


January 22nd
Speaker: Dr. Danielle Cox & Dr. Douglas Whitaker (MSVU)

Topic: SET & Spot It

In this Math Circles we will play & explore the connections between statistics & SET, and examine the mathematics of Spot It! If you have your own game of SET or Spot It, feel free to bring it along to play!


February 26th
Speaker: Dr. Robert Milson

Topic: Proportional Games and Magic Numbers

We will explore the golden ratio and the Fibonacci numbers by playing games and mastering astounding feats of mathematical magic.


March 25th
Speaker: Dr. Daniele Turchetti

Topic: TBA



April 22nd
Speaker: Dr. John McLoughlin (UNBF)

Topic: TBA



May 20th
Speaker: Annamieka Aerts

Topic: TBA



June 10th
Speaker: TBA

Topic: TBA


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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