Math Circles events at Dal during the 2023/2024 school year

Below is our tentative schedule for upcoming events in the 2023/2024 school year. Events' timing is from 6:30pm - 7:45pm.
For events with in-person attendance, we plan to serve pizza at 6:00pm.

These workshops are generally appropriate for junior to senior high students.

For those attending in-person, we will be at the Chase Building on the Dalhousie Studley Campus. This is at the end of Lord Dalhousie Drive,
which is off Coburg Rd. Our events will be held in Rm 119.

NOTE: These events will be recorded over Zoom. The videos will be posted as unlisted items on our YouTube channel,
which means that only those with the link can view them.

May 29, 6:00 - 7:45pm. (Pizza at 6, presentation at 6:30)
~~~In-person with option to attend online~~~
Speaker: Erick Lee (HRCE)

Topic: Twists and Turns – Exploring Mathematical Loops and Spirals

Abstract: Join us as we create and explore spirolaterals. These geometric patterns are created by following simple rules.
The twisting and turning lines create graceful works of mathematical art. We'll also try our hand at solving a Loops
puzzle and see how this puzzle is connected to Knot Theory.
If we have time, we'll also play the classic math game Sprouts. This is a simple paper and pencil strategy game that has a surprising amount of depth.

Jun 19, 6:00 - 7:45pm. (Pizza at 6, presentation at 6:30)
~~~In-person with option to attend online~~~
Speakers: Drs. Karyn McLellan and Danielle Cox

Topic: Exploring Mathematical Research

Abstract: What is math research? In this talk we will learn how a mathematician discovers new results,
look at some famous math problems that sparked interesting research
and let you try your own hand at discovering some mathematical theorems of your own.

April 24, 6:00 - 7:45pm. (Pizza at 6, presentation at 6:30)
~~~In-person with option to attend online~~~
Speakers: Marissa Assam Andrecyk (Dalhousie, with Imhotep's Legacy Academy )

Topic: Cryptography

Abstract: Cryptography is the study of hidden writing, and reading or writing secret messages or codes. In
this presentation students will be introduced to cryptography, its importance in modern day
computing, and get to learn how to encrypt and decrypt their own messages using various
popular methods.

March 27, 6:00 - 7:45pm. (Pizza at 6, presentation at 6:30)
~~~In-person with option to attend online~~~
Speaker: Dylan Pearson (Dalhousie)

Topic: The Game(s) of Cops and Robbers on Graphs

Abstract: Cops and Robbers is a two-player game played on a graph. The game is simple: one player controls a cop, and the other player controls a robber.
The cop's goal is to capture the robber, and the robber's goal is to evade capture forever.

Despite having a straightforward ruleset, this game is very well-studied. We will explore some notable results, including a characterization of exactly when the cop wins, and talk about some variations of the game.

Feb 28, 6:00 - 7:45pm. (Pizza at 6, presentation at 6:30)
~~~In-person with option to attend online~~~
Speaker: Dr. Roman Smirnov (Dalhousie)

Topic: What is π?

Abstract: Everyone knows that the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter is a constant
number that is the same for all circles, and this number is called π. This conclusion can be reached by asking the question:
why are all circles similar to each other? Because of this similarity, it is natural to assume proportionality in their linear dimensions.

The fact that the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter is constant has been known since ancient times.
The first use of this number's symbol, the Greek letter π, is found in the work “Synopsis Palmariorum Matheseos” (“Overview of Mathematics Achievements”)
by the English teacher William Jones (1675–1749), published in 1706. The symbol π for the ratio of the circumference to the diameter became
widely used after it was employed in the works of Leonhard Euler (1707–1783) — one of the greatest mathematicians in history.
His work spans all areas of mathematics and he wrote 80 volumes of research.

We will give a mathematically rigorous definition of π by actually proving that the ratio of the circumference of any circle to its diameter is a constant value.

Jan 31, 6:00 - 7:45pm. (Pizza at 6, presentation at 6:30)
~~~In-person with option to attend online~~~
Speakers: Marissa Assam Andrecyk (Dalhousie, with Imhotep's Legacy Academy )

Topic: How Many Handshakes?

Abstract: Counting techniques are very important in many areas of mathematics. In this presentation, students will look at a classic counting problem and its
variations as a brief introduction to combinatorics.
They will be encouraged to try their own solutions and share their ideas. Those on zoom will need pencil and paper.

November 29, 6 - 7:45pm. (Pizza at 6, presentation at 6:30)
~~~In-person with option to attend online~~~
Speaker:Iresha Madduwe Hewalage (Dalhousie)

Topic: Problem Solving

Abstract: Problem solving is central to mathematics. In this presentation we will work on a series of fun and challenging problems.
Students will be encouraged to attempt their own solutions and share their ideas with us. If joining us on Zoom, you'll need pencil and paper.

October 25, 6 - 7:45pm. (Pizza at 6, presentation at 6:30)
~~~In-person with option to attend online~~~
Speaker: Bram Ogus (Dalhousie)

Topic: When Math Stops Making Sense

Abstract: When we think of Mathematics, we don't usually think about problems that contradict our intuition.
Seemingly valid proofs for things that should obviously be false. When we look at paradoxes, everything we know about math is flipped on its head.
All horses are pink, we can create perpetual motion using only a cat and a slice of toast, we can fill up an infinite hotel with infinite people and still have more space, and so much more.
In this presentation, we will explore the world of the paradoxical by learning and using some basic notions of set theory like union and intersection, cardinality, and induction.

September 27, 6 - 7:45pm. (Pizza at 6, presentation at 6:30)
~~~In-person with option to attend online~~~
Speaker: Tom Potter (Dalhousie)

Topic: Dots and Boxes

Abstract: Dots and Boxes is a game invented by French mathematician Édouard Lucas, who first published a paper on it in 1895. Lucas called it la pipopipette.
It is generally a two-player game, although it can be adapted to three or more players.
The game is played on a grid of dots, and the goal is to form the most boxes by filling in edges between the dots.
Dots and Boxes is an excellent introduction to games involving strategy.
Learning this game can increase your capacity for strategic thinking, but it is also a lot of fun!
We will guide you through the simple rules by going through an example, and then let you play and experiment to see what outcomes you can achieve.
If time permits, the audience can play a round against the presenter!

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 try to work it into our repertoire.

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