Off on a Tangent 
A Fortnightly Electronic
Newsletter from the Hope College Department of Mathematics 
February 5, 2016  Vol. 14, No. 9 
http://www.math.hope.edu/newsletter.html 
Next week's colloquium: What happens if rooks fly? 
Title: What happens if the
rooks fly? A combinatorial adventure in three and higher dimensions 

Speaker: Feryal Alayont, Grand Valley State University  
Time: Tuesday, February 9 at 4:004:50 pm  
Place: VanderWerf 102 
Upcoming Colloquia 

The following colloquia are currently on the
schedule
for this semester. Others will be added as the semester goes along.

Stats Showcase 

On Friday, January 22, 2016, the Mathematics Department had their annual Statistics Showcase that highlights presentations from their Fall Math 210 Introduction to Statistics classes. This year the following students presented – Allison Hedrick, Logan Meeker, and Quincie Mitchell who were in Jill VanderStoep’s class; Cooper Jennings, Michael Peuler, and Matthew Rose who were in Dawn Verbrugge’s class; Aimée Ndong who was in YewMeng Koh’s class, Elizabeth Evenhouse, Courtney Kuemin, and Kaitlyn Tobin who were in VickiLynn Holmes’ class; and Alyssa Pinkham, Michael Shelton and Isabel Wanyagah who were in Todd Swanson’s class. 
Math Club News 

The Math Club invites you and your friends to The
Theory of Everything on
Friday, February 5 at 9:00 pm in Winants Auditorium in Graves
Hall.
The movie features the life of Stephen Hawking, one of the world's
foremost physicists. The movie tells the heartfelt story of
Stephen
falling in love with arts student Jane Wilde and raising a family, all
while his body is failing him and his popularity soars as his brilliant
ideas become widely known. For more info on the Hope Math Club's latest and greatest activities, visit their FaceBook page (and request to join the group). 
Math Summer Research 

It's time to start thinking about
summer! The mathematics department will host a number of research
students this summer. Typically projects run for eight weeks and
students earn a stipend for their participation. Projects include
work in the mathematical biology, statistics, mathematical modeling,
graph theory, and mathematics education. There are also opportunities
available for summer research in mathematics at other institutions.
You can find a list of NSF funded Research Experience for
Undergraduates in mathematics here. 
Math in the News: Did Ancient Babylonians know Calculus? 
It
has been known that ancient Babylonians tracked the orbits of the moon
and other objects in the sky by using a series of additions,
subtractions, and multiplicationsall in base60. It has also been
known that they used some basic geometric concepts to help with
calculations on earth. Recently, however, a tablet in the British Museum has been deciphered and appears to show that they used geometry to track Jupiter. A trapezoid was used to calculate the first 120 days of Jupiter's orbit. To calculate when Jupiter reaches the midpoint in the first half of this orbit involved taking the left half of a trapezoid and dividing it into two parts that have equal area. The approach the Babylonians used to figure this out is similar to integration in calculus. While they probably didn't go this far since they only divided the trapezoid a few times, it does show that they recognized the general approach integration. For more information about this visit an article in Ars Technica. 

Math
Road Trip 
On
Saturday,
February 27 the Math in Action Conference
at Grand
Valley State
University presents lively and informative discussions of current
issues in mathematics education while providing an opportunity for
practicing PreK – 12 teachers,
prospective teachers, curriculum directors, and college and university
faculty to share ideas, concerns,
and resources. The conference consists of six hourlong sessions with
eight separate interactive
presentations during each and is an
opportunity for Hope Mathematics and Mathematics
Education majors to attend great conference close to home. For Hope College Mathematics and Math Education Majors, student registration fees and transportation via a Hope College Van will be covered by the Math Department and is being organized by Dr. Mann. Drop him an email at mann@hope.edu or stop by his office, VanderWerf 213, to find out more or reserve your seat in the van by Thursday, February 11. 

Problem
Solvers of the Fortnight 
Problem
of the Fortnight 
Off
on a Tangent 