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… Continue reading »

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… 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 »

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… Continue reading »

Putnam 2013

While December 7 will always justly live in infamy, this year we’ve added a good reason to remember it. Over 2% of the Williams’ campus took the 2013 Putnam exam; 44 students at Williams and 2 in Budapest. To be precise, the registrar says there are… Continue reading »

Williams Defends Green Chicken: 165 – 142

Last two years have been close in the Green Chicken. In 2013 no seniors or juniors participated for Williams, but fortunately our school has depth! Our all frosh/soph team of Philip Brockman, David Burt, Sam Donow and Ben Kaufman stepped up and retained the Green Chicken in another tight match,… Continue reading »

Conundrum: September 2013: Welcome back, Welcome to the Major

Math Puzzles / Contests at Williams  Lots of opportunities for math puzzles and contests, including Weekly Math Puzzle Night Dinners Monthly Math Conundrums (first one below) The Putnam Exam (early December — cash prizes!) The Green Chicken Contest (at Middlebury this year) Mathematical Contest in Modeling Project Euler… Continue reading »

Conundrum: October 2013: I Value Your Input!

Alice and Bob are playing the following game: Alice has a secret polynomial P(x) = a_0 + a_1 x + a_2 x^2 + … + a_n x^n, with non-negative integer coefficients a_0, a_1, …, a_n. At each turn, Bob picks an integer k and Alice tells Bob the value of P(k). Find, as… Continue reading »

2014:01: We Value Your Input

5th Conundrum: January 2014: Ringing in the New Year Not only was midnight January first the start of a new year, but it also marked a moment when the hour, minute and second hands of a clock were all aligned. OK, the latter isn’t as interesting or special; unlike… Continue reading »