Off on a Tangent 
A Fortnightly Electronic
Newsletter from the Hope College Department of Mathematics 
September 23, 2016  Vol. 15, No. 2 
http://www.math.hope.edu/newsletter.html 
Student summer research will be the topic of next week's colloquium 
Title: Student Summer Research Reports  
Speakers: Sarah Petersen, Allison VanderStoep, Taylor Rink, Hope College Students  
Time:
Tuesday,
September 27
at 4 pm 

Place: VanderWerf 102 
Upcoming Colloquia 

The following additional colloquia are on
the
schedule
for this semester, but more will be added.

Math Club Game Night! 

Do you like to play games? Or, maybe
you've never been to a game night, but would like to try it out. We've got some awesome games (party games, strategy games, skill games, card games, etc.) for you and your friends to play and we would love it if you to bring your own games and your friends to the first Math Club game night on Friday, September 30 at 7 pm in Schaap 1116. The first and only rule of Math Club Game Night is that everyone should have fun! Please come! 
Interview with Dr. Martha Precup, Mathematics Postdoctoral Researcher at Northwestern University 
Stephanie Harper receives a Mathematics Education Scholarship 
Stephie Harper recently
received word that she has been awarded a $2,500 Miriam B. Schaefer
Scholarship from the Michigan Council of Mathematics Teachers. Stephie
is a senior, dual major (Mathematics, Elementary Education and
Integrated Science Group, Elementary Education) and is currently
student teaching. She is the fifth recipient of this award at
Hope.
Prof. Kate Vance was our first winner in the scholarship’s inaugural
year and Melanie Leonard was Hope's most recent recipient in 2013. Stephie worked with Prof. Eric Mann as a teaching assistant for his Mathematics for Elementary Teachers courses as well as helped him restructure these courses during the summer to help better meet the needs of the students. In describing Stephie's work, Prof Mann said, "Her work was exceptional; comparable to that of experienced teachers I have had as graduate students at other universities. I have enjoyed (and learned from) our long conversations exploring ways to teach mathematics and science to meet students’ needs at all levels of readiness." 
Congratulations
Prof. Stephanie Edwards! 
A big congratulations to Prof.
Stephanie Edwards on her marriage to Shawn Teegardin last Friday.
Professors Chuck Cusack and Brian Yurk served as witnesses. After the
ceremony the wedding party returned to the mathematics department's Ice
Cream and Fun event to celebrate with the mathematics students and
faculty. 
Prof. Chuck Cusack's mathematical art is now on display at ArtPrize 
Prof. Chuck Cusack, a
member of both the Mathematics Department and Computer Science
Department at Hope College, is currently competing in ArtPrize, the
world's largest art prize competition. He creates mathematical
art out of Lego bricks. His entry this year, Increasing Asquareness, a
Fibonacci Rectangle made out of Latin squares, is currently on display
at the
Fifth Third Bank Plaza located at 111 Lyon Street in downtown Grand
Rapids. You can vote for this this piece of art by registering at the Artprize website, downloading the app, and visiting ArtPrize. Round one voting continues through October 1. The number of this piece is 62580 and Chuck says to vote early and often so he has increasing avoteness. 
Math
Man posts inspirational signs 
Todd Swanson, OOAT News Desk
Correspondent: Hi, Math Man! Some students took a picture of you
posting "Learn Like a Champion Today" signs in the math hallways and
classrooms. Why did you do that? Math Man: I went to the Notre Dame vs. Michigan State football game last weekend, and the people near me said that the Notre Dame football players have a "Play Like a Champion Today" sign on the tunnel leading from the locker room to the field that players touch on their way out to play the game. TS: So, what do you hope to accomplish by posting the "Learn Like a Champion Today" signs? MM: Well, I want students to be fired up to learn! I want students to enjoy what they're doing and to "play hard on the math plane" just like the footballers play hard on the field. I want students to do homework problems together so that they spend less time on answerchecking algebra, more time learning concepts, and more time giving and getting the immediate feedback to and from others that's so critical for learning. Plus, working with others is fun! When studying alone, I want students to use active studying techniques, such as working through an example in the textbook by writing down the problem statement, closing the book, writing as much of the solution as possible, and then going back to the example in the book when stuck or finished to get feedback. Do students know that half of the homework questions in the book have answers in the back? Isn't that great? I also want to encourage students to get the help they need on a regular basis from the free Math Lab and from visiting their professors' office hours! TS: Thanks for caring about our students, Math Man! You'll always be our favorite super hero! (Though based on the outcome of the football game, the team from my alma mater, MSU, played a bit more like champions than the Fighting Irish. Maybe Notre Dame needs a bigger sign!) 
IT & Actuarial Career Opportunity Day 
AutoOwners
invites you to their annual Information Technology & Actuarial
Career Opportunity Day! The event is on Friday, October 14, 2016 from
10:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. IT/Actuarial Day shows students how their
degree can be used in the insurance industry. Sophomores, juniors, seniors, and recent graduates with majors in Mathematics and Computer Science are invited. Faculty is also welcome! Each faculty member who wishes to attend should fill out a registration to ensure we adequately prepare for the correct number of attendees. Register online here from now until end of day Monday, October 10th. If you have any questions, please email Erin McLaughlin at mclaughlin.erin@aoins.com or call 5178861855. 
Problem
Solvers of the Fortnight 

In our last Problem of the Fortnight we
presented the following conversation between Math Man and Prof. Cinzori:
"Hey, Professor Cinzori. What's that?" "Oh, hey, Math Man. This thing? It's a die." "No, I know it's a dice  or, I mean, die  I always get those words mixed up. Mostly because they don't make sense to me, I think. I mean, if we have two dice and one die, shouldn't we have two mice and one mie? . . . Anyway, what I was asking was what shape is that?" "Oh, it's an icosahedron. I always carry an icosahedral die in my pocket. You never know when such a thing will be useful." "How many sides does it have?" "Twenty. Each side is an equilateral triangle." "How long are the sides of the triangles?" "One centimeter." "So what's its diameter?" "Well, Math Man, I have to run to class. But you have enough information now to figure it out for yourself." Congratulations to Brandon Brown, Michaela Jurewicz, Jenna King, Philip LaPorte, Chris Manquen, Jacquelyn Schwark, Daria Solomon, Ashley Trojniak, Alli VanderStoep, and Brittney Weickel  all of whom came to Math Man's assistance by correctly solving the Problem of the Fortnight in the last issue of America's premiere fortnightly electronic mathematics department newsletter. 
Problem
of the Fortnight 

Hi, Professor Vance!
Oh, hi, Math Man. How are you? Just fine, thanks. But I'm a little puzzled at the moment. I found this diagram on a piece of paper outside your office door. I think one of your students must have dropped it. Well, puzzle no longer, Math Man. I can tell you whose that is! It's actually mine  and I need it for my class today. So, I'm really glad you found it. Thanks, Math Man! Well, sure. Happy to help. But I wasn't really puzzled about whose paper it was. I was puzzled about what the diagram is supposed to be showing. I can help you there, too! It's a proof of the law of cosines. Really?!? That's neat! . . . . Just one question: what's the law of cosines, and how does this picture prove it?" I think that was two questions. Well, I wasn't sure how to count that compound sentence. I mean, there are two questions, but they're joined by a conjunction to make a single sentence. . . . Well, whatever. Can you help me understand this? Sorry, Math Man, I can't right now. I have to run to class. Thanks for finding this diagram, though! But wait! Could you just tell me what the law of cosines is? On her way out the door, Professor Vance says, "Not right now, Math Man. Sorry. I'm running late as it is. You can Google it, though." "Yeah, I suppose. That will tell me what the law of cosines is, but how in the world is this diagram supposed to prove anything?" Walking down the hall, Professor Vance turns and, walking backwards, says, "That's a good puzzle for you. You figure it out!" Help Math Man with his latest mathematical conundrum by explaining how this diagram proves the law of cosines. Write your solution on a triangular piece of paper, and drop it in the Problem of the Fortnight slot outside Professor Mark Pearson's office (VWF 212) by 3:00 p.m. on Friday, September 30. As always, be sure to include your name and the name(s) of your math professor(s)  e.g. Noah Dia, Professors I.M. Lost and Bea Wildered  on your solution. Good luck and have fun! 
Off
on a Tangent 