Lego Superstar Record!


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

Continue Reading →

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

Continue Reading →

2014 Green Chicken Defense


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.

Continue Reading →

Sweet treats and probability


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

Continue Reading →

Mountain Day!


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

Continue Reading →

WCMA Geek-Out: Miller vs Books: Thurs Oct 2: 6:30-7pm Reading Room


I was asked to participate in a Geek-Out at the Williams College Museum of Art (Thursday, October 2nd from 6:30 – 7pm; refreshments will be served beforehand). This is part of the series of events related to the visits of Publication Studio. I will be taking the position that we should accelerate the book joining

Continue Reading →

Math Problem Solving


The  purpose of this column is to talk about the weekly math puzzle night dinners run by myself and Professor Palsson, and to invite you to join us for this and other related activities. Here’s a quick summary of problem solving activities here; for more information or to be added to the email lists, contact me

Continue Reading →

First Williams-Exeter Undergraduate Math Conference

Screen shot 2014-05-28 at 6.53.09 AM

Jesse Freeman ’15: An Update from Oxford One of the things I’ve missed most about the US and about Williams especially is the involvement that undergraduates have with the broader math community. Giving a senior colloquium, doing original research, or presenting at a conference are all essentially unheard of at the undergraduate level in the

Continue Reading →

Prizes Announced at Majors’ Banquet


Professor and Chair Stewart Johnson announced this year’s Math/Stats prizes at the annual gala Majors’ Dinner at the Williams Inn Tuesday evening, May 13, 2014 (photos below): ROSENBURG PRIZE for excellent senior: Ilya Amburg and Vu Le. GOLDBERG AWARD for best colloquium: Nina Horowitz “The Mathematics Behind Playing Hard to Get“ Joseph Iafrate “Random Walk, Random Strikeout: Baseball

Continue Reading →

Williams at Hudson River


The hundreds of attendants at the 2014 Hudson River Undergraduate Mathematics Conference, this year at Marist College, included seven speakers from Williams: The Golden Ratio and the Fibonacci Sequence by Megumi Asada Benford’s Law and the Fibonacci Numbers by John Bihn Isoperimetric Regions in the Plane and Beyond by Wyatt Boyer Limit of Sequence in

Continue Reading →