# Mathematics

## 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

## 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

## 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 added to the email lists, contact me

## Adding Fractions

Mathematics has got to be the most interesting of all subjects. As I was telling the wonderful math faculty at Berkshire Community College, even arithmetic is fascinating. Addition and multiplication are commutative: 4+7=7+4 and 4×7=7×4. I recall MIT Professor Michael Artin saying: When I ask my kids what’s 4×7, they answer “28.” 7×4? “28.”

## π Day 3/14

Annual π Day Missive from Nick Yates ’06 Once again, Pi Day has arrived! As you probably know, pi (π) is a mathematical constant found in circles and throughout mathematics! Since pi’s decimal expansion starts off 3.14…, and today’s date is 3/14, we celebrate pi and all things mathematical on this day! <> 3.141592653589793238462643383279…, to

## Blackwood Bat Research Featured by Berkshire Eagle

Williams Professor Julie Blackwood’s research on bats has been featured in an article in the Berkshire Eagle: It was previously featured in an article by NBC News on “Why killing vampire bats won’t stop spread of rabies” and also on the Williams College site. Photo by Daniel Streicker, used by permission, all rights reserved. Williams

## Million-Second-Quiz Kaplan Gave Faculty Seminar

Nathan Kaplan, who worked with Prof. Allison Pacelli in our 2005 SMALL Undergraduate Mathematics Research Project and who gallantly competed September 13 on Million Second Quiz, gave our Faculty Seminar Friday November 22 on “Curves and Surfaces Over Finite Fields and Coding Theory.” Kaplan is now Gibbs Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Yale. On Million Second

## Senior Pizza

Math seniors gathered for pizza and a program on the coming year by introduced by Colloquium Czar Professor Pacelli and Department Chair Professor Stewart Johnson. Professors Miller and Stoiciu announced coming contests and puzzles. Philippe Demontigny received the 2012-13 nonsenior colloquium attendance prize. Professor Garrity explained how to give a colloquium talk.

## SMALL Undergraduate Research 2013

The 2013 Williams College SMALL Undergraduate Research Project is in full swing, many preparing for the summer meeting of the Mathematical Association of America in Hartford next week. The SMALL Undergraduate Research Project marched proudly in the Williamstown Parade, July 4, 2013:

## Math Has New Numbers

Math has finally renumbered our courses according to difficulty, with Linear Algebra moved from Math 211 to its central spot Math 250 and the core courses moved to the middle of the 300s, with the pre-core electives below and the post-core electives above. (For the full list of our offerings fall 2013, go to the

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