Mathematics

Interview with Eyvindur Ari Palsson

Meet & Potatoes with Eyvindur Ari Palsson

Our very own Professor Palsson was featured on the show Meet & Potatoes on WilliNet, the community television for Williamstown. During the show a number of topics were covered including several mathematical in nature. Professor Palsson gave a shout out to the weekly Math Puzzle Dinners – come try them on Wednesday evenings at 5:30 PM

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Sphere Packing in Dimensions 8 and 24

In a remarkable new paper, Maryna Viazovska has put forth a proof of a most efficient way to pack unit spheres in dimension 8. In a follow-up paper, Henry Cohn, Abhinav Kumar, Stephen D. Miller, Danylo Radchenko, and Viazovska have a similar result in dimension 24. Dimensions 8 and 24 are especially interesting and easy cases, because there are very

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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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“The Magic of Math” by Art Benjamin

by Gabriel Ngwe ’17 “The Magic of Math” is a book on general mathematics which aims to reveal the underlying magic. What lies behind “The Magic of Math” is the same thing that lies behind magic in general: manipulation and redirection. These themes underlie the book, and Arthur Benjamin uses them well to explain the

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Egyptian Fractions

by Nam Nguyen ‘19 Numbers and basic computation appeared in Ancient Egypt as early as 2700 BCE. But you might not know that Ancient Egyptians demanded that every fraction have 1 in the numerator. They wanted to write any rational between 0 and 1 as a sum of such “unit” fractions. Such sums are called

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Nebraska Conference for Women

by Sarah Fleming Over Dead Week, Nina Pande and I attended the Nebraska Conference for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. We had a wonderful experience, and we are grateful to the Clare Boothe Luce Program and the Math Department for providing us with the opportunity to go. Over the course of

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Lightning Talks by Thesis Students

The AMS Williams Student Chapter and SMASAB joined forces yesterday in organizing a special event called Lightning Talks by Thesis Students. This event, which was exclusively for students, gave attendees an opportunity to listen to brief thesis presentations and learn about some cool new math problems. Listen to Greg Kehne on YouTube.

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Williams Defends Green Chicken 2015

The Williams team led by Granger Carty ’18, Zhiqi Li ’19, Gregory Kehne ’16 and Sam Donow ’16 defended the 2015 Green Chicken, defeating Middlebury 179-134 on their home turf. For those interested then here is the exam and solutions. Early on the Saturday morning of Halloween, 14 Williams students gathered in Bronfman before heading on

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WIMIN Conference at Smith

Post by Sarah Fleming ’17 and Nina Pande ’17 Last Saturday, we attended WIMIN15, a conference sponsored by the Center for Women in Mathematics at Smith College. We heard two invited speakers, Linda Chen of Swarthmore College and Mariel Vazquez of University of California at Davis. Chen gave the Alice Dickinson Lecture in Mathematics, “Enumerative

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