|Off on a Tangent
|A Fortnightly Electronic
Newsletter from the Hope College Department of Mathematics
|September 22, 2017||Vol. 16, No. 2
|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
and MATH Challenge
competitions that take place each fall are the MATH Challenge and the
Putnam Exam. Students can compete in either of these competitions
Hope's campus. Information about each of these follows.
|Chuck Cusack will show his mathematical art at ArtPrize this year|
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
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|
last week's math social, a super fun mixer game was played. The
participants answered a short series of multiple-choice
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
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.
Career Opportunity Day
Auto-Owners 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.
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.
more information, please visit their website (where
you can also register).
Solvers of the Fortnight
||In our last problem of the
Fortnight, we let A = (a,a2)
and B = (b,b2) be two points on the graph of the parabola y
= x2 such that the tangent lines to the parabola
through A and B are perpendicular. Let C be the point where the
tangent lines meet at a right angle. Find the x- and
y-coordinates of the point C in terms of a.
There were a couple of solutions that were submitted, appropriately so, on parabaloids. One is picture here.
Congratulations to Jacob Conroy, Matthew Dickerson, Calvin Gentry, Keri Haddrill, Karthik, Karyamapudi, Philip LaPorte, Kenneth Munyuza, Andrew Nguyen, Sarah O'Mora, Alex Osterbaan, Zheng Qu, Forest Rulison, Hugh Thiel, Jincheng Yang, Yizhe Zhang for correctly solving this problem!
of the Fortnight
||To help keep you cool on these
unseasonably-warm days, we are giving you an ice cream cone for a
problem of the fortnight!
In the figure shown, the blue triangle POQ is isosceles since sides OP and OQ both have length 4, theta is the angle POQ at the bottom of the triangle, and a pink semicircle sits atop the isosceles triangle.
on a Tangent