Madison Math Circle
What is it?
The UW-Madison math department organizes a series of talks aimed at interested middle school and high school students throughout the semester. Our goal is to present fun talks that give students a taste of interesting ideas in math and science. In the past (as part of "High School Math Nights") we've had talks about plasma and weather in outer space, the way images are shaded in video games, and how credit card numbers are securely transmitted over the internet.
For more information about Math Circles see http://www.mathcircles.org/
Important: After each talk we'll have pizza provided by the Mathematics Department, and students will have an opportunity to mingle and chat with the speaker to ask questions about some of the topics that have been discussed, and also about college, careers in science, etc.
Alright, I want to come!
Great! If you are a student, we hope you will tell other interested students about these talks, and speak with your parents or with your teacher about organizing a car pool to the UW campus (and tell us how many people are coming so we can purchase the appropriate amount of pizza!)
If you are a parent or a teacher, we hope you'll tell your students about these talks and organize a car pool to the UW (all talks take place in Van Vleck Hall room B223, on the UW-Madison campus). We'd also appreciate if you email us the dates that your group will be attending.
Parking on campus is free at most (but not all) outdoor parking lots after 4:30pm. Parking lots #25 (Elizabeth Waters) and #26 (Observatory Hill) may be the most convenient. These parking lots are on Observatory Drive just west of the intersection with Charter Street. If you park there, then walk east along Observatory Drive to the top of Bascom Hill, then turn right to Van Vleck Hall. See also the map at http://www.map.wisc.edu/?keyword=public%20parking
Questions?
If you have any questions, suggestions for topics, or so on, just email the organizers: math-night@math.wisc.edu.
Talks this semester
More details about each talk to follow. All talks in October are at 7pm in Van Vleck Hall, room B223. Talks in November will be at 6pm (same room).
Date | Speaker | Talk (click for more info) |
---|---|---|
October 3rd, 2011 | Gheorghe Craciun | Introduction to Mathematical Proofs |
October 10th, 2011 | Gheorghe Craciun | Introduction to Mathematical Proofs (part 2) |
October 17th, 2011 | Sigurd Angenent | What are horseshoes and where can you find them? |
October 24th, 2011 | Mimansa Vahia | Math and Origami |
October 31st, 2011 | no lecture today (Halloween night) | |
November 7th, 2011 | Jean-Luc Thiffeault | Making taffy with the Golden mean |
November 14th, 2011 | Uri Andrews | Fair division algorithms |
TBA | Julie Mitchell | TBA |
TBA | Bret Larget | TBA |
Introduction to Mathematical Proofs
October 3rd, 2011, 7pm, Van Vleck Hall room B223, UW-Madison campus
The first ever meeting of the Madison Math Circle will describe mathematical proofs using many examples from 2D and 3D geometry, algebra, logic, puzzles, and games (yes, games!). Free and open to the public. Middle school and high school students are invited to attend.
Introduction to Mathematical Proofs (part 2)
October 10th, 2011, 7pm, Van Vleck Hall room B223, UW-Madison campus
We will present more examples of mathematical proofs, including solutions to some of the puzzles we have discussed last week. You don't need to have been here last week to understand the topic for this week. Most of the discussion will be about "graphs", or "networks", including Euler's formula about vertices, edges, and faces of special 3D graphs, and many interesting 2D and 3D examples (including the "buckyball"). Free and open to the public. Middle school and high school students are invited to attend.
What are horseshoes and where can you find them?
(or : The weatherman's excuse)
October 17th, 2011, 7pm, Van Vleck Hall room B223, UW-Madison campus
Dynamical systems are the mathematical tools that scientists use to predict the future from the present. I'll show examples of some simple dynamical systems, and try to show how even simple dynamical systems can produce randomness — this is one reason why it is so hard to predict the weather. (The theory of dynamical systems uses a lot of calculus, but I'll avoid calculus and instead try to explain everything in pictures, pictures and more pictures). For more information about related ideas see this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaos_theory and this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horseshoe_map .
Math and Origami
October 24th, 2011, 7pm, Van Vleck Hall room B223, UW-Madison campus
Presenter: Mimansa Vahia. In this hands-on session participants will learn some origami folds and their connection to mathematical concepts. For more information about origami see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origami and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathematics_of_paper_folding . More details coming soon. Free and open to the public.
Making taffy with the Golden mean
November 7th, 2011, 6pm (note time change!), Van Vleck Hall room B223, UW-Madison campus
Presenter: Jean-Luc Thiffeault. Taffy pullers are devices used to make candy or bread. They are very interesting mathematically: we can relate the number of folds of dough to some famous mathematical sequences. Free and open to the public.
Fair division algorithms
November 14th, 2011, 6pm (note time change!), Van Vleck Hall room B223, UW-Madison campus
Presenter: Uri Andrews. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_division . More details coming soon. Free and open to the public.