1. Mathematician.

2. Tenured professor.

3. Statistician.

4. Actuary.

(The worst was lumberjack.)

]]>Williams News Release on Burger as Southwestern President.

Here are pictures of President Burger at Convocation and helping Southwestern students move in:

Burger’s book with Starbird on “The 5 Elements of Successful Thinking” has been named 2013 Silver Medal Winner in the Independent Publisher Book Awards, Self-Help category.

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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.”

4+7? “11.”

7+4? “You already asked us that.”

Commutativity of multiplication is true, but commutativity of addition is obvious. Later on those youngsters will find that for matrices, addition remains commutative but multiplication does not.

“Now if you could only make fractions interesting,” the math faculty responded.

]]>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 be a bit more precise! Image copyright David Reimannn.

**MY TOP PI WAYS TO CELEBRATE PI DAY**

1. Share pi (and pie) with friends

2. Read and learn more about pi

3. Contemplate the wonder of the universe and mathematics’ role within it

.14159…. Shout “Happy Pi Day!” and/or “Happy Pi Moment” at the top of your lungs when the appropriate time occurs

Art from pi’s digits, copyright Martin Krzywinski.

**PIECES OF PI**

Related to #1 and #2 above, here are a few cool tidbits about pi and pi day:

A piem, that is, a poem where the number of letters in each word yields the sequence of pi’s digits. Though I’ve discussed several of these before (most notably, *Poe, E. Near a Raven*), I had not run across this century-old piem before this week!

A statistical analysis on the probability of writing piems or other pilish phrases by accident!

If you’re a fan of mathematical art, check out this Numberphile video explaining some of the art I’ve featured in today’s post, and also this gallery of mathy art from this winter’s Joint Mathematics Meetings in Baltimore!

Challenge yourself with some pi puzzles from Brainfreeze!

Some other ways to celebrate can be found in my (Pi Day – 2) post here.

More pi artwork, copyright Cristian Ilies Vasile / Martin Krzywinski.

**PI PAST**

I cannot believe it’s been 10 years since my first pi day expansive email that set up (or continued) a crazy propaganda war between the mathematical constants pi and e. (Going back even further, by my count I’ve been celebrating pi day in some form or another for almost 18 years now!) Just about each year since 2004 I have sent out my annual missive on Pi Day, by email and/or by blog (a few years when March was especially busy for me, I sent out messages on other pi-related days). A list can be found in yesterday’s pre-pi-day post here.

One more, also copyright Cristian Ilies Vasile / Martin Krzywinski

Have a great Pi Day today, and many more!

Nick

]]>It was previously featured in an article by NBC News on “Why killing vampire bats won’t stop spread of rabies” and also on the Williams College site.

Photo by Daniel Streicker, used by permission, all rights reserved.

]]>A full schedule for the event can be found below.

**10:30-11:05am **

BSC 104 Adam Reich: “15-Puzzle”

BSC 105 Courtney McLaughlin: “Newton’s Method”

BSC 106 Ernest Higginbotham: “The ABC Conjecture and Polynomial Analogues”

**11:05-11:15am Short Break**

**11:15-11:50am **

BSC 104 Sam Austin: “Random Walks on Lattices”

BSC 105 Chris Chandler: “Do Me a Platonic Solid”

BSC 106 Marnie Lanphier: “Buffon’s Ball Theorem”

**11:50-1:00pm Lunch Break**

*Pizza will be provided in the library area. All are welcome!*

**1:00-1:35pm **

BSC 105 Catherine Gerkis: “Penalized Regression: Ridge and LASSO Regressions”

BSC 106 Amy Berg: ” Hartog’s Extension Theorem”

**1:35-1:45pm Short Break**

**1:45-2:20pm **

BSC 105 Ally Ensor: “Deming Regression”

BSC 106 Cotton Engleby: “The Mathematician’s Cup of Coffee: The Brouwer Fixed Point Theorem”

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