Off on a Tangent
A Fortnightly Electronic Newsletter from the Hope College Department of Mathematics
 February 16, 2018 Vol. 16, No. 10

Colloquium: Keno and Lotteries

Title: Follow The Bouncing Ball: Keno and Lotteries
Speaker: Mark Bollman, Albion College
Time: Tuesday, February 20 at 4:00 pm
Place:  VanderWerf 102
Keno, as played in casinos and in bars and restaurants across Michigan, is a descendant of an ancient Chinese game and an ancestor of Powerball and similar lotteries.  In this talk, we shall look at the combinatorial mathematics behind keno and other lottery games and detour--briefly--into the world of integer programming to examine some tricky questions behind what appear to be very simple games.

Upcoming Colloquia

The  following colloquia are on the schedule for this semester. Additional ones may be added later.
  • Tuesday, April 3, Ed Aboufadel, Grand Valley State University
  • Tuesday, April 17, Yew Meng Koh, Hope College
  • Thursday, April 26, Martha Precup, Northwestern University

Mosaic Lecture at Grand Valley

Each year, GVSU's Mathematics Department hosts a lecture, called the Mosaic Lecture, to celebrate diversity in the mathematical sciences. This year's lecture will take place on Tuesday, February 27, at 7:30 p.m. Their speaker is Dr. Deanna Haunsperger, President of the Mathematical Association of America and Professor of Mathematics at Carleton College. Her talk is entitled Making Connections: Lessons Learned from Women Mathematicians

More information can be found here.

Fueling for a successful math class

How do you fuel for your math classes so you can learn like a champion? A heaping helping of some Eggs VanKletz? Last night's pizza? Starbucks? Monster Energy?

How about your professors, how do they fuel so they can teach like champions? I'm not sure what prefueling Prof. Mark Pearson did this morning, but the picture shown is what he was bringing to his Multi 1 class at 9:30 am. He has a coffee for that burst of energy needed to power through a particularly long problem. The apple, I assume, is to keep the doctor away during this difficult flu season. And the rotten banana...

I had to do a web search for this one.  Maria's Farm Country Kitchen came to the rescue with a list of ten things to do with rotten bananas. #1 Banana muffins---I doubt it. #5 A banana smoothie---I don't think so. #7 Bananas Foster---not on campus. #9 Feed it to birds, butterflies or babies---hmm, maybe that's it.

Problem Solvers of the Fortnight

In our last problem of the fortnight we had the following:

"Valentine's Day is coming up soon," thought Mrs. Hartsema.  "I should get a little something for my grandchildren."  She decided to give each of her 31 grandchildren a number of candy hearts along with their Valentines.  After counting her candy hearts and finding 470 of them, Mrs. Hartsema figured that each girl would get 7 more candy hearts than each boy.  She gave 74 candy hearts to the children of her eldest son Art.  How many girls did Art have?

Congratulations to the following correct problem solvers: Thomas Diaz, Forest Rulison, Jincheng Yang, Will Zywicki, Zheng Qu, Grace Ahlgrim, Josiah Brouwer, and Philip LaPorte

Problem of the Fortnight

Four circles are tangent to each other and tangent to two nonparallel lines, as shown in the figure.  The radius of the smallest circle is 4 and the radius of the largest circle is 9.  Find the radii of the other two circles. Write your solution (showing all relevant work) on the back of a circle of radius nine and submit it to the Problem of the Fortnight slot outside Professor Mark Pearson's office (VWF 212) by 3:00 p.m. on Friday, February 23.  As always, be sure to include your name and the name(s) of your math professor(s) -- e.g. Tan Gent, Professor Ray D.I. --- on your solution.

... the next best thing to playing and winning is playing and losing.

R.L. Castleman

Off on a Tangent