Mathematics

Math Puzzles and Contests

The  purpose of this post is to talk about the weekly math puzzle night dinners run by myself and my sidekick, Professor Miller, and to invite you to join us for this and other related activities. Here’s a quick summary of problem solving activities; for more information or to be added to the email list, contact me

Continue Reading →

Centennial MathFest

The centennial summer meeting (“MathFest“) of the Mathematical Association of America, August 5-8, 2015, in Washington DC, featured Hedrick Lectures on “Algebra Over Finite Fields” by Karen Smith, Centennial Lectures by Erik Demaine, Jennifer Chayes, Ingrid Daubechies, Carlos Castillo-Chavez, Karen Parshall, and Manjul Bhargava, and other invited lectures by Jeffrey Lagarias, David Bressoud, Erica Walker, Joseph

Continue Reading →

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,

Continue Reading →

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

Continue Reading →

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

Continue Reading →

Crash Takes Nash Four Days after Abel Prize

On the way home from receiving the million-dollar Abel Prize from King Harald of Norway, John Nash, along with his wife Alicia, was killed in a taxicab crash on the New Jersey Turnpike. I was at the Abel ceremonies May 21-22 myself to give the Science Lecture. Louis Nirenberg and John Nash received math’s highest

Continue Reading →

Math/Stat Awards Banquet

It was another glorious year in the Math/Stat department at Williams.  We celebrated its end with our annual banquet, packed with over 150 faculty and students.  As tradition, the new majors received a beverage wrench, and everyone joined in applauding the winners of this year’s awards. Colloquium Attendance: Mary Gong Goldberg Prize for Best Colloquium:

Continue Reading →

Best Jobs 2015

Mathematics and statistics are essential skills for most of the best six jobs in 2015, according to the latest rankings by CareerCast.com. Here are the top six jobs: 1. Actuary 2. Audiologist 3. Mathematician 4. Statistician 5. Biomedical Engineer 6. Data Scientist For more information see also the original post by CarrerCast.com.

Continue Reading →

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

Continue Reading →

Cartography of Tree Space

Over six years ago, I wrote a post on ways in which mathematics (at  a research level) and art (at a gallery level) can intersect today.  The problem is that in our enlightened world, the work of the mathematician and the visual artist are not only viewed as incompatible, but held in tension. In my post

Continue Reading →