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 →

Best Jobs 2014


According to the latest ranking by, the best four jobs of 2014 are: 1. Mathematician. 2. Tenured professor. 3. Statistician. 4. Actuary. (The worst was lumberjack.)

Continue Reading →

Williams Wins 2014 AMS Exemplary Department Award


The American Mathematical Society has recognized the Williams College Department of Mathematics and Statistics as the 2014 Exemplary Program, as announced and described in the May Notices. Also see the College press release, the Williams Record, and our own story.

Continue Reading →

Burger Inauguration as Southwestern President


Recent Williams Mathematics Professor Edward B. Burger was inaugurated as President of Southwestern University on March 25, 2014 (preceded by Prof. Morgan’s Soap Bubble Geometry Contest). Watch Burger’s address, read the transcript, or watch the entire installation ceremony. See interview of “The Jovial College President” in the Georgetown Sun. Burger received an honorary degree from Williams at Commencement June

Continue Reading →

Adding Fractions


  Mathematics has got to be the most interesting of all subjects. As I was telling the wonderful math faculty at Berkshire Community College, even arithmetic is fascinating. Addition and multiplication are commutative: 4+7=7+4 and 4×7=7×4. I recall MIT Professor Michael Artin saying: When I ask my kids what’s 4×7, they answer “28.” 7×4? “28.”

Continue Reading →

π Day 3/14


Annual π Day Missive from Nick Yates ’06 Once again, Pi Day has arrived! As you probably know, pi (π) is a mathematical constant found in circles and throughout mathematics! Since pi’s decimal expansion starts off 3.14…, and today’s date is 3/14, we celebrate pi and all things mathematical on this day! <> 3.141592653589793238462643383279…, to

Continue Reading →

Rubik’s Cube Competition


An official World Cube Association Rubik’s Cube Competition filled Goodrich Hall Saturday March 2, 2014, organized by local school student Ric Donati and Professor Mihai Stoiciu. Competitors included Adam Reich ’14. Williams Record account.

Continue Reading →