Art – Sol LeWitt – Math

This past week marks the rising of the Sol LeWitt sun in my part of the world.  At the Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA), a beautiful new exhibition on The ABCDs of Sol LeWitt has just opened, exploring the underlying grammar of his art and ideas. … Continue reading »

Elections – can we do better?

It is highly unlikely that the Electoral College will be abolished anytime soon. A constitutional amendment requires ratification by three-fourths of all states, over half of which have single-digit numbers of electoral votes. Given that most people believe the Electoral College favors small states, these small states will… Continue reading »

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… Continue reading »

Dada Math

Math departments are full of smart people.  But with the demands (and joys) of research and teaching (and of our personal lives), most people in math departments do not talk to each other about math nearly enough.  Certainly that is true at Williams.  We do have a fairly… Continue reading »

Guesstimation and Benford’s Law

Nice senior colloquium presentation today (9/22/08) by Richard McDowell ’09 on Benford’s Law. This law explains why, when looking at numbers that come to us from newspapers, stock quotes, and various data sources, the digit 1 appears most often as the leading digit. Benford’s Law derives from… Continue reading »

A new experiment in a new era.

A great strength of the Mathematics and Statistics department here at Williams is the removal of classical boundaries. The two towers of research and teaching are not separated into distinct domains but integrated in one structure. Our conversations in the hallways, during our lunch… Continue reading »