Off on a Tangent
A Fortnightly Electronic Newsletter from the Hope College Department of Mathematics
   April 30, 2009 Vol. 8, No. 13

Congratulations Graduates!

This year there are 17 mathematics majors graduating from Hope.  As they head out to jobs, graduate schools, and places yet unknown, we wish them all the best in their future endeavors.  The graduates are shown below. 

Tim Boman

Nate Bowerman
Jessica Clouse

Andrea Eddy

Kelsey Ensz

Mark Gilmore

Tara Hamming
Lydia Hurd

Hannah Kasperson
Kim Klask

Kayla Lankheet

Chelsea Miedema
Zach Mitchell
Megan Pearson

Eileen Sanderson
Lauren Steel
Heather Thompson


Mathematics Awards given out last night

During last night's honors convocation a number of awards were given to our mathematics majors.  This year's winner of the Albert E. Lampen Award in Mathematics is Zach Mitchell.  This award is given each year to the graduating senior in recognition of his or her outstanding achievement in the study of mathematics at Hope. This year's winner of the senior mathematics education award is Chelsea Miedema.  One of the Egbert Winter Education Awards was presented to Tara Hamming.

Zach Mitchell

Chelsea Miedema

Tara Hamming

The John H. Kleinheksel Awards in Mathematics were given to Scott DeClaire, Xisen Hou, Courtney Kimmel, Leah LaBarge, and Morgan Smith.  These awards are given each year to students taking sophomore level courses for their outstanding achievement in mathematics and promise for future success.  Congratulations go out to all these students for a job well done!

Scott DeClaire

XiSen Hou

Courtney Kimmel

Leah LaBarge

Morgan Smith

Mathematics majors inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Xi

Sigma Xi
During last night's honor's convocation, Sigma Xi awards were given to science and mathematics students that maintained a high GPA and did scientific research.  Those receiving this honor for mathematics were Zach Mitchell, Andrea Eddy, Tim Boman, Tara Hamming, Kelsey Ensz, Chelsea Miedema, Nate Bowerman, and Kayla Lankheet.

Phi Beta Kappa
On Saturday, April 18, three mathematics majors were initiated into the Zeta of Michigan chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest scholastic honorary society.  Congratulations to Tim Boman, Andrea Eddy, and Zach Mitchell for receiving this honor.

Student Research Award winner announced

There will be a number of mathematics students conducting research this summer at Hope College.  One of them will be Scott DeClaire.  It was recently announced that Scott is the the winner of the Dean of Natural Sciences Student Research Award in Mathematics for 2010.  Congratulations!

Problem Solvers of the Fortnight

In our last problem of the fortnight for the year we noted that each U.S. $1 bill contains an 8-digit string between two letters as a serial number.  For example, E12345678A might be such a serial number.  Suppose that the two letters of the serial number are given, say E at the beginning and A at the end.  Under the assumption that every 8-digit string is equally likely to occur between the E and the A, what is the probability that a serial number contains five or more of the same digit?

Solution:  The total number of possible 8-digit strings is 108.  The number of ways to have EXACTLY five of some digit, call it x, in the 8-digit string is counted as follows: There are 10 ways to choose x.  Once x is determined, there are C(8,5)=56 ways to determine the location of the five x’s in the string.  Since there are no restrictions on the other three digits except that they can’t be x, there are 93 possibilities for the other three digits.  Therefore, the number of ways to have exactly five of some digit is 10*56*93=408,240.  In a similar fashion, we determine that the number of ways to have EXACTLY six of the some digit is 10*C(8,6)*92=22,680.  The number of ways to have EXACTLY seven of some digit is 10*C(8,7)*91=720.  The number of ways to have EXACTLY eight of the same digit is 10*C(8,8)*90=10.  Putting everything together, the probability of a serial number with five or more of some digit occurring is (408,240+22,680+720+10)/108 = 0.0043165.

The correct problem solvers are:  Micheal Bowerman, QiLang Dong, Brian Ward, Allie Cerone, Brian Kurzawa, Christian Calyore, Zach Mitchell, and Neal Schutt.

How did it get so late so soon?  It's night before it's afternoon.  December is here before its June.  My goodness how the time has flewn.  How did it get so late so soon?

~ Dr. Seuss

Off on a Tangent