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10/1 – Tom Braden: “Applying to Graduate School in Mathematics”

Tom Braden, Professor of Mathematics and the Director of the Graduate Program here at UMass will give a presentation on applying to graduate school in mathematics. We will meet in LGRT 147.

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9/24 – Jeff Hatley: “p-adic numbers”

This is an after-the-fact post. Jeff gave a great talk on the p-adic numbers. We learned lots of cool things! A couple of my favorites: in the world of the p-adics every triangle is isosceles, and every point in the … Continue reading

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4/30, Pizza Party!

Join us for lots of pizza, conversation, and puzzles as we celebrate the end of the year! It’s been a pleasure running Math Club these past three years. -Nico

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4/23: Tobias Wilson, “History of Functions (subtitled: Putting the Fun in Functions)”

Abstract: Although functions are fundamental mathematical objects, they weren’t actually defined until 1673, by Leibniz. Since that time, the definition has evolved in a variety of directions- occasionally false, as when Fourier defined functions to be anything with a Fourier series. In this talk, … Continue reading

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4/2: Dan Nichols, “Public-key cryptography and the discrete logarithm problem”

Abstract: The problem of finding a discrete logarithm in a finite group is the basis for some widely-used cryptographic systems including Diffie-Helman key exchange (DHKE) and elliptic curve cryptography (ECC). You may not be familiar with these encryption methods, but … Continue reading

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3/26: Professor Rob Kusner, “Pi Day Redux”

Abstract: Because Pi Day fell on the Friday before break, many of you may have missed out on the festivities.  We’ll develop a bit of integral geometry (a.k.a. geometric probability) that lets us compute Pi by a random process – the Buffon … Continue reading

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3/12: Stephanie Reinders, “Splines on Cycles”

Abstract: Start with a graph whose edges are labeled by positive integers. Label each vertex with an integer so that if two vertices are joined by an edge the vertex labels are congruent modulo the edge label. A set of … Continue reading

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3/5: Allison Tanguay, “The Needle Problem”

Abstract: In 1917 a Japanese mathematician named Kakeya posed “the needle problem,” asking: what is the area of the smallest figure in the plane in which a unit line segment (a “needle”) can be rotated 180 degrees? It was conjectured … Continue reading

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2/26: Nico Aiello, “Chases and Escapes: Virtue or Vertigo for the Lady in the Lake?”

Chases and Escapes: Virtue or Vertigo for the Lady in the Lake? The ideas of pursuit and evasion pervade much of human existence and as a result have always been a huge part of human entertainment – it has been said that half of all … Continue reading

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2/19: Jon Judge (UConn), “Euler’s Constant”

Euler’s Constant Everyone has heard about the number π, everyone who has taken calculus has heard about the number e, but there’s a third important number in mathematics that fewer people have heard about: γ (called gamma, or Euler’s constant). … Continue reading

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