|Off on a Tangent
|A Fortnightly Electronic
Newsletter from the Hope
College Department of Mathematics
week's colloquium shows how mathematics can illuminate theology
| The Battle of the Queens: Mathematics
Illuminates Theological Mysteries
September 24 at
Abstract: In the Middle Ages,
theology was known as the "Queen of the Sciences." But this lofty
title has also been used to describe mathematics. Although these
two queens have done battle (Berkeley and Halley, e.g.), mathematics
can help explain theological concepts. In particular, we discuss
an apparent flaw in The Apostle's Creed and consider what it implies
about the Trinity, we se how L'Hopital's Rule enhances wisdom, and we
use dynamical systems to help understand the relationship between good
and evil. For those who think the speaker is unable to give a
talk without his trusted sidekick, notice that Elvis is not mentioned
in this abstract.
ringing and abstract algebra will be the topic in next week's colloquium
| The Sound of Algebra
October 1 at
Abstract: This talk will
introduce bell ringing (English change ringing, to be
more precise) as an application of abstract algebra. We'll talk
- and hear! - some bell ringing. Then we'll describe a problem faced by
those who compose bell methods for which algebra has the solution.
(This work formed an undergraduate senior thesis at Kalamazoo College.)
Calling all math students! The first math club meeting of
the semester is
scheduled for next Tuesday, September
29th at 7:00 pm in VanZoren 299
(right before math lab starts). We are working hard on
getting the math club on its feet so we encourage you to come and give
input as to how you would like it to be run. This year, we plan on
doing things such as social events, math conferences, and sometimes we
will even work on the problem of the fortnight together.
You do not
have to be a math major to join the club; it is open to anyone who is
interested in joining. Joining the club is also a good way to meet some
of the upper
class math majors as well as students in the elementary and secondary
education programs. If you cannot make the first meeting but are still
interested in joining and would like to meet at a different time,
please email email@example.com and she will try and accommodate
everyone. Hope to see you there!
mathematics competitions that
take place each fall are the MATH
Challenge and the Putnam Exam. Students can compete in either of
these competitions without leaving Hope's campus. Information
about each of these follows.
The 2009 Michigan Autumn Take
Home Challenge (or MATH Challenge) will take place on the morning of
Saturday, October 31 this year. Teams of two or three students
take a three-hour exam consisting of ten interesting problems dealing
with topics and concepts found in the undergraduate mathematics
curriculum. Each team takes the exam at their home campus under
the supervision of a faculty advisor.
The department pays the registration
fee for each team and will provide lunch to participants afterwards.
The sign-up deadline is Wednesday, October
4:00 p.m. Interested students can sign up by
sending Prof. Yurk an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by signing up on
the list on his door (VWF 214).
A group of students may sign up as a
team. Individual students are also encourage to sign up; they
will be assigned to a team on the day of the competition. For
more information, please talk with any member of the
Mathematics Department or visit http://www.mcs.alma.edu/mathchallenge/, where you can also view old copies of
The William Lowell Putnam
Mathematical Competition, administered by the Mathematical Association
of America, is the most prestigious mathematical competition for
undergraduates in the nation. If you are interested in taking the
Wm. Lowell Putnam Exam, you must email Professor Cinzori
at email@example.com by 4:00 p.m.
on Friday, October 9. The date of the exam is Saturday,
December 5, 2009. There is both a morning and an afternoon session of
this exam; lunch will be provided by the mathematics department during
the break. For more information about the Putnam Exam visit http://math.scu.edu/putnam/.
Solvers of the Fortnight
necessarily distinct) integers have the property that if all but one of
them are added, the possible results are:
83, 84, 85, 87, 89, 90, 91, 92.
(This is not a misprint; there are only nine possible results.)
What are the ten integers?
The ten integers are 5, 6, 7, 7, 8, 10,
12, 13, 14, 15, and our
Solvers of the Fortnight are: Eric Lunderberg, Josh Borycz,
Jeff Minkus, Jon Wielenga, Andrea Eddy, Kelsey Bos, Kayla Lankheet,
Eileen Sanderson, Tara Hamming, Danelle Koetje, Jessica Clouse, Scott
DeClaire, Zach Mitchell, Leah Patenge, Nate Bowerman, Chelsea Miedema,
Lauren Steel, Patrick Lutz, Kyle McLellan, Kelsey Ensz, Robert Sjoholm,
and Matt Koster. Kyle McLellan's solution is posted on the
board, and special thanks to Kelsey Ensz for the Tigers v. Twins
tickets. Congratulations to all our Problem Solvers of the
What is the total number of squares
(of all sizes) on a 40 x 40 checkerboard?
your solution on a square piece of paper and drop it in the Problem of
the Fortnight slot outside Dr. Pearson's office (VWF 212) by 3:00 p.m. on Friday, October 2.
As always, be sure to include your name, your math class(es), and the
name(s) of your professor(s) -- e.g. I.M. Countin, Math 123 & 345,
Professors I. Tally and E. Numerate. Good luck and have fun!
There is currently
mathematics book sale going on in the Reading Room (VWF 222). The books
are located on the
bookshelves by the windows. These books are priced to sell at
only 25 cents a piece. You may pay at the mathematics department
office. Supplies are limited so hurry in for best selection.
In the binary
system we count on our fists instead of on our fingers.