Madison Math Circle/newsletter12521

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Jan 25, 2021

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Madison Math Circle {#madison-math-circle style="font-size:16px;color:#ffffff;font-weight:normal;margin:0;"}


Providing Madison children with a friendly environment that fosters learning beautiful mathematical theories beyond the regular school curriculum and developing critical thinking and problem solving skills.


Pick's theorem

      1. February 1, 2021 at 5-6pm

by Connor Simpson

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Pick's theorem relates the area of a polygon whose vertices lie on points of an evenly spaced grid to the number of grid points inside it. We'll do a sequence of examples to discover this theorem, outline a proof, and consider 3-dimensional analogues.

Math Circle is Back!


(virtually for now)

After a semester off, we are excited to wake from our slumber! Until we can go back to normal in-person meetings, the Madison Math Circle will operate in a reduced format during the semester.

We will have a monthly Zoom talk on the first Monday of every month (February through May). It's a lot less than before, but do not fret! On weeks without a talk, we will send out a lovely math-filled newsletter — just like this one! Each newsletter will have a riddle or two for you to grapple with and a fun math video to watch.

Looking forward to a great semester of learning!

– Professor Andrews

Video of the Week


Remark: The last part of the video contains some material requiring some knowledge of trigonometry. The first 20 minutes needs no background.

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Weekly Stumper

Hancock tower in Chicago has 100 floors. Your task is to find the highest floor of Hancock tower from which you can drop an ostrich egg without it cracking. For each of the following cases, describe a procedure that always finds the right answer, and in the worst case scenario has the lowest number of drops. So, a procedure which might give the right answer in 1 drop, but might also take 100 drops is less good than a procedure which always takes 90 drops.

1. You have exactly one ostrich egg 2. You own an ostrich farm (so, you have an unlimited supply of eggs) 3. You have exactly two ostrich eggs

Example for a “bad” procedure for case 1 that may not result in the exact correct answer: drop your single egg from floor 100. If it doesn’t break, then floor 100 is the highest floor from which you can drop an egg without cracking it, but if the egg breaks, then you are out of eggs and did not find the answer.

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