Blog

The Banach-Mazur Game by John Damstra

This spring, I presented my senior colloquium on a topological game called the Banach-Mazur Game. This game was formulated by Stanislaw Mazur in 1935. It is the earliest example of an infinite game with perfect information. The game proceeds as follows. Continue reading. . John Damstra is a senior mathematics major at Williams College.

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Putnam 2015 Results

Williams had another strong showing in the William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition. We had over 1.5% of campus take the exam, and our team placed in the top 50 in the nation with over 550 institutions participating. Over 4000 students took the exam nationwide and we had two students ranked in the top 500, Blake Mackall

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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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Hello from Montenegro

by Nela (Vukmirović) Milošević ’08 I am writing from my homeland Montenegro, a small country in the Balkans, and in this post I just wanted to give a perspective from someone who now lives far away from Williams. I am class of 2008, and I decided to go to Williams after attending Li Po Chun UWC

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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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FrankFest 2016

Williams College hosted a conference on the occasion of Frank Morgan’s retirement from Williams College. The conference webpage is: web.williams.edu/Mathematics/csilva/FrankFest-2016.html

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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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