Articles by Steven Miller

The 2010 Green Chicken Exam

This Saturday was the annual Green Chicken math contest between Middlebury and Williams. Over 30 students spent several hours doing (and then discussing) math problems in order to determine which school shall have the honor of being the home to a green porcelin chicken. Our team (with top scorers Carlos Dominguez, Wei Sun, David Thompson

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Williams 17th in 2009 Putnam

Continuing our strong performance in last year’s Putnam Competition, the Williams team (comprised from Nick Arnosti, Carlos Dominguez, Jake Levinson and Wei Sun) placed 17th in North America, with all four scoring in the top 500 of over 3000 students. Click here for the problems and solutions. There are 12 problems on the Putnam; students

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Mathematics and the Iranian Elections

One of the many things I love about mathematics is that results initially discovered in one realm pop up in surprising places. A terrific example is Benford’s law of digit bias (those taking Math 341 in the fall will get to learn a lot more about this!). Benford’s law says that for many data sets,

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The Putnam and Other Math Competitions

In honor of the strong performance by Williams College on the Putnam Math Competition (placing 14th out of over 500 teams, with two students in the top 200 and two in the top 500 in North America), this is a good time to talk about why these competitions are worth doing. There are many reasons

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Random thoughts on primes

Recently, we saw in the headlines that a new world record has been set for the largest prime (not surprisingly, it’s a Mersenne prime, which means it’s of the form for some n); see here, or for more details, see here. Also, StewJo started a blog on Guesstimation and Benford’s law; Benford’s law says that

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