Articles by Steven Miller

Blended Upper Level Math Classes

In September 2016, a team of mathematics faculty, technologists and instructional designers from six leading liberal arts colleges (LACOL member schools Amherst, Haverford, Pomona, Swarthmore, Vassar and Williams) are launching a new collaboration to explore blended course sharing for select topics in advanced mathematics. The goal of the project is to experiment with models for

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Learning the Cube

I’ve had a lot of fun with some cubing events recently in Williamstown. The first was an official cube event organized by local student Ric Donati. For results see https://www.worldcubeassociation.org/results/c.php?top3=Top+3&competitionId=WilliamsWinter2016 http://cubecomps.com/live.php?cid=1377 The second was earlier today, a cube workshop run by myself and my son, Cameron, at the Milne Library in town. We hope to

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To bead, or not to bead: II

This is a sequel to an earlier post: To bead, or not to bead. In that post my daughter Kayla and I did a fuse bead picture of the Fibonacci spiral, and we talked about how it can be used to give a geometric proof to the sum of the squares of the first n Fibonacci

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Lego Brickumentary at Images: Aug 8 and 9

AFTER IMAGES — A LEGO BRICKUMENTARY: Steven J. Miller, Associate Professor of Mathematics and instructor of The Mathematics of LEGO Bricks, will join Images Cinema Executive Director Doug Jones in a post-screening discussion about the creative possibilities of LEGOs following screenings of the family-friendly A LEGO Brickumentary on Saturday, August 8 at 2pm and Sunday,

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May the Fourth be with you…….

For the past two winter studies I’ve taught a course on the Mathematics of LEGO bricks, with a goal of assembling a team to assemble the 3152 piece Superstar destroyer  in under 10 minutes (we just missed by a few seconds the first year, and did it in under 9 in the second). This left

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To bead, or not to bead….

It is often said that mathematics  is universal; one of my greatest joys, both as a parent and as a professor, is finding interesting and novel ways to illustrate various concepts. Over the past few years I’ve been fortunate to work with many great SMALL students on projects related to Zeckendorf’s theorem, which says that

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The James Function

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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Williams PBK: 150th Anniversary

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!

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

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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