Off on a Tangent 
A Fortnightly Electronic
Newsletter from the Hope College Department of Mathematics 
September 22, 2017  Vol. 16, No. 2 
http://www.math.hope.edu/newsletter.html 
Next week's colloquium will feature Zeno's Paradox and more! 
Title: Zeno’s paradox, the harmonic series, and ½ = 1???  
Speaker: Dr. Stephanie Edwards  
Time: Tuesday, September 26
at 4:00 pm 

Place: VanderWerf 102 
Putnam
and MATH Challenge 

Two 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. 
Chuck Cusack will show his mathematical art at ArtPrize this year 

Chuck
Cusack, a member of both the Mathematics Department and Computer
Science Department at Hope College, will be competing in ArtPrize once
again this year. He creates mathematical art out of Lego
bricks. His entry this year, Squares, is a
collection of squares made out of Lego bricks mostly consisting of
Latin squares. You can read more about his here and you can see many pictures of this and his other mathematical Lego art on his Instagram page and his Facebook page. 
History of the equals sign 

There was an
interesting article in Ars Technica
this past summer about the origin of the equals sign.
It is hard to imagine doing mathematics without it, but as you know,
someone had to invent it before we could use it. About 500 years ago, a
Welshman named Robert Recorde invented the sign and was the first to
use a few more things (like English instead of Latin) to make
mathematics easier to understand.
Read more about this interesting story titled, "The strange and righteous history of the equals sign" where you will also learn that Recorde did not live out his life as a mathematical hero. He instead clashed with an Earl and that led to his ultimate demise. 
Ice Cream and Fun 
At
last week's math social, a super fun mixer game was played. The
participants answered a short series of multiplechoice
questions, like, "If you had a super power, what would it be?" They
then had to find others that had the same answers for all the questions
or others that had no answers in common. A couple of the winning groups
are shown. After that, everyone enjoyed ice cream with fabulous toppings. The weather was perfect for enjoying the dessert and socializing with other students and faculty! The event also inspired the problem of the fortnight shown below. 

Actuarial
Career Opportunity Day 

AutoOwners
invites you to their annual Information Technology & Actuarial
Career Opportunity Day! The event is on Friday, October 20, 2017 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. More information and registration should be available soon and will hopefully be in the next newsletter.

Biostatistics
Prospective Student Information Day 

The Department
of Biostatistics at the University of Michigan will hold a Prospective
Student Information Day on Saturday, September 30, 2017. The purpose of
this event is to provide information to students who may be interested
in graduate study in biostatistics. They expect attendees to be
undergraduate and masters students who have identified biostatistics as
their interest area, as well as students who are completing an
undergraduate degree in math, statistics, biology, or some related
discipline, and have not yet decided on their future plans.
For
more information, please visit their website (where
you can also register). 
Problem
Solvers of the Fortnight 
Problem
of the Fortnight 
Off
on a Tangent 