Blog

Reimagining the Course Catalog

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BACKGROUND At the start of the year, I was made chair of a committee to reimagine the Williams Course Catalog for 2015-2016.  We were tasked with coming up with a “scheme and shape” for how the course catalog can be organized, and how different kinds of information can be visualized.  Instead of providing a list of

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Best Jobs 2015

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Mathematics and statistics are essential skills for most of the best six jobs in 2015, according to the latest rankings by CareerCast.com. Here are the top six jobs: 1. Actuary 2. Audiologist 3. Mathematician 4. Statistician 5. Biomedical Engineer 6. Data Scientist For more information see also the original post by CarrerCast.com.

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The James Function

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Like many mathematicians, I’m happy when I can combine my work with my other passions. As a lifelong Red Sox fan, I didn’t realize that all those games I watched when I was young was preparing me for a very productive career in sabermetrics, the science of applying math and stats to analyzing baseball. I’ve

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Cartography of Tree Space

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Over six years ago, I wrote a post on ways in which mathematics (at  a research level) and art (at a gallery level) can intersect today.  The problem is that in our enlightened world, the work of the mathematician and the visual artist are not only viewed as incompatible, but held in tension. In my post

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Williams PBK: 150th Anniversary

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Join us Wednesday, March 18th for a day of activities celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Williams Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest academic honor society. Events begin at 10am in Lawrence 231 where William  Arms of Cornell, our distinguished visiting scholar, will give a talk in Math/Stat 341 on “The Early Years of

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Lego Superstar Record!

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In Math 12, The Mathematics of Lego Bricks, while we used lego bricks as a springboard to talk about a lot of interesting math (the lectures and additional comments are available here), the main goal was to successfully build the Superstar Destroyer in under 10 minutes. It was an interesting challenge to divide the work

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Putnam 2014

Cake created by Maija Lindaas

For the second year in a row, over 2% of the Williams campus chose to spend a significant part of a Saturday taking the Putnam: 12 problems each worth 10 points in 6 hours, with a score of 1 out of 120 excellent as the most common score is a zero! The problems are available here (if

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2014 Green Chicken Defense

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The upperclassmen returned and led Williams to a successful defense of the Green Chicken in 2014, 157 to 109 (led by John Bihn, Sam Donow and Granger Carty; exam and solution here, pictures here). See also the blurb on the bottom right of the Athletics homepage.

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Sweet treats and probability

Source: http://www.channel4.com/food/recipes/chefs/hugh-fearnley-whittingstall/chocolate-and-beetroot-brownies-recipe_p_1.html

I love baking. More importantly, I love sweet things. However, I can’t and/or shouldn’t eat a full batch of cookies, bars, or brownies.  I bake for my students instead. I use homemade sweet treats as prizes for going above and beyond the course work. This semester in my Stat 101 class, the first person in each

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Mountain Day!

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Today is Mountain Day, a great long-standing tradition of Williams, and it causes me to reflect on my first year here at Williams. My time before coming here had been spent primarily in large research institutions, but I knew that I wanted to end up at a small liberal arts college. Eventually that landed me

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