|OFF ON A TANGENT
|A Fortnightly Electronic Newsletter from the Hope
College Department of Mathematics
Congratulations go out to our
Another year, another great group of graduates. Twelve students
will be graduating with mathematics majors next week. (Did you
know that twelve is the smallest abundant
number?) As they head off to graduate schools, jobs, and the
unknown, we wish them all well.
(who also majored in chemistry) will be
attending graduate school at Cornell University to study mathematical
biology. Mike is from Cadillac, Michigan.
(who also majored in Spanish) plans to work for a few years and then go
to graduate school in order to teach at a community college.
Melissa is from Normal, Illinois.
Gould (who also majored in English) plans to get a job in
industry. Henry is from Zeeland, Michigan.
Johnson (who also majored in computer science) is pursuing a job that
uses his computer science and math skills. He is also leaving
open the option of going to graduate school. Chris is from White
|Heidi Libner (who also majored in physical education)
plans to teach mathematics at the secondary level. Heidi is from
Park Ridge, Illinois.
Marvin plans to teach mathematics at the elementary level.
Kristen is from Mount Pleasant, Michigan.
Nelsen (who also majored in biology) plans to get a job in the Holland
area or the John Ball Zoological Garden. Mike is from Grant,
Rininger plans to go to graduate school and study algebra. Mike
is from Holland, Michigan.
Schrock plans to teach mathematics at the secondary level. Troy
is from Hopkins, Michigan.
Sumner (who also majored in computer science and German) will be
attending graduate school at Purdue to study computer science.
Nick is from Midland, Michigan.
VanWylen (who also majored in classical studies) plans to teach
overseas or do some other sort of mission work. Peter is from
Wells (who also majored in classical studies) plans to go to graduate
school and study algebra. Andrew is from Midland, Michigan.
Senior and sophomore prizes in
mathematics given out last night
This year's winners of the Albert E. Lampen Award in
Mathematics were Mike Cortez and Andrew Wells. This award is
given each year to the graduating senior (or seniors) in
recognition of his or her outstanding achievement in the study of
mathematics at Hope. This year's winners of the John H.
Kleinheksel Award in Mathematics were Aimin Walsh, Matt Paarlberg,
Megan Patnott, and Robert Lloyd. This award is given each year to
students taking sophomore level courses for their outstanding
achievement in mathematics and promise for future success. This
year's winner of the senior mathematics education award was Heidi
Libner. Congratulations go out to all these students for a job
More mathematics majors received
awards in the past couple of weeks
On April 25 Sigma Xi awards were given to science and
students that maintained a high GPA and did scientific research.
Mathematics majors that received these awards were Mike Cortez, Henry
Gould, Chris Johnson, Mike Nelsen, Mike Rininger, Nick Sumner, and
Phi Beta Kappa
On Sunday, April 17, any amazing eight mathematics majors were
into the Zeta of Michigan chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's
oldest scholastic honorary society. These students are Mike
Cortez, Melissa Gifford, Henry Gould, Chris Johnson, Heidi Libner, Nick
Sumner, Peter VanWylen,
and Andrew Wells.
Pi Mu Epsilon
Many students were recently invited to join the Michigan Delta chapter
of Pi Mu Epsilon. The purpose of this national mathematics
society is to promote scholarly activity in mathematics among the
students in academic institutions. An induction ceremony was
held Thursday, April 14. After the induction ceremony everyone
enjoyed our tradition of eating pie.
Those joining this year are
Laura DeHaan, Robert Dody, Lindsey Greene, Heidi Lam, Crystal Lucas,
Nicole Morell, Kimberly Mosley, Scott Murdoch, Matt Paarlberg, Megan
Patnott, Kurt Pyle, Jamie Reitsma, Jordan Siemon, Jennica Skoug, Megan
Vivian, Ryan Weaver, and Kyle Williams.
Probability and Statistics text
The seventh edition of Probability
and Statistical Inference, co-written by Professor Emeritus
Elliot Tanis, was released earlier this
semester by Prentice-Hall
Inc. First published in 1977, Probability
and Statistical Inference
is an introductory calculus-based text geared toward
and seniors. Dr. Tanis, who retired from teaching at Hope in
co-wrote the book with Dr. Robert Hogg of the University of Iowa.
Problem solvers of the
We ushered out the 2004-05 problem solving season in style, with 17
correctly determining that Homer shook 4 hands at the party. This
was one of those problems that seemed to contain nowhere near enough
information to arrive at a solution, and yet once you make all the
deductions, there's only one possibility. Congratulations to Erin
Block, Bobby Brown, Michael Cortez, Jenny Crisman, James Daly, Paula
Graham, Kim Harrison, Maya Holtrop, Clint Jepkema, Rachel Lash, Robert
Lloyd, Nicole Mulder, Matt Paarlberg, Amanda Runge, Laura Shaedig,
Jennica Skoug and Aimin Walsh! Problem solvers of the fortnight
are, as always, invited to drop by Dr. Pearson's office to claim their
Over the course of the year, we received an astonishing 238 submissions
to the Problems of the Fortnight! Thanks to all of you for making
this such a successful endeavor. The Problem of the Fortnight is
officially on vacation until the fall semester, but we are looking
forward to an even more successful problem solving season next
year. Have a wonderful summer!
The mathematics book sale
There are still lots of mathematics books for sale in the Reading Room
(VWF 222). The books are located on the shelves by the
windows. The prices just can't be beat! You can get
one book for $0.25, 5 books for $1.00, or your best deal is 10 books
for $1.50. Stop by and load up on these great books before you
head home for the summer.
||Got a Math Question?
Ask Elvis ...
... email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
This is it! The last issue of Off
on a Tangent for the school year. I hope you have enjoyed
the newsletter and my column. I plan to continue next year.
If you are graduating and still want to receive Off on a Tangent, just let me know
what your email address is and I will add you to my list.
I had a little more publicity in the last couple weeks. Keith
Devlin, a professor from Stanford, wrote at book called The Math Instinct: Why You're a
Mathematical Genius (Along with Lobsters, Birds, Cats, and Dogs).
Chapter two in this book is about me! You find out more
information about the book at http://www.mathinstinct.com/.
Have a great summer!
Dear Dear Dee Dee,
This isn't really a math
question, but I'm curious about something. In your last column, you
said that it was nice to go outside without freezing your tail off. But
I noticed that you don't have a tail. If you didn't freeze it off, what
happened to it? The reason I ask is because I keep trying to chase
mine, but have never actually seen it. When I turn my head to look for
it, my butt swings the other way. It's like I have a hinge in the
middle of my back. When I'm happy, something back there feels like it's
moving, but I can't figure out what it is. Since you're so smart and
know calculus and all, maybe you can enlighten me. What happened to our
Your loving sister in Minnesota,
When I was talking about not freezing my tail off, I was actually thinking
of a different word that wasn't appropriate to use in this
newsletter. We should probably leave it at that.
Now to the question of what happened to our tails. Well, as your
big brother, I guess it is time that you had that information.
When we were about two days old, we had our tails
removed by a technique known as "banding." It is interesting why
this took place. Our ancestors had the job of herding and
livestock (everything from geese to cattle) back in Wales. It
seemed as though our tails made us look to much like foxes. Since
foxes are usually violently discouraged from mingling with the
livestock, farmers had the tails for their Corgis removed. As a
practice continues to this day.
I don't think having
a tail would stop us from running fast, understanding calculus, or
knowing which professor just started eating lunch in his or her
office. It would, however, make you look like a real fox!
Your big brother,
intended to teach us that not everything in nature has a function.
-- Garrison Keillor