4/24: Luke Mohr, “Game Theory, Hex, and Brouwer’s Fixed Point Theorem”

Please join us for the last Undergraduate Math Seminar talk of the semester!  It is at its usual time and place, Wednesday 5:30-6:30 in LGRT 1634. This week, Luke Mohr will speak on: “Game Theory, Hex, and Brouwer’s Fixed Point Theorem” (abstract below).  As always, pizza and soda will be provided.  Hope to see you there!

After a brief introduction to the subject of Game Theory we will
discuss Hex, a board game played on a hexagonal grid in which two players
attempt to connect opposing sides of the board as they take turns claiming
individual hexes. We will show that this game can not end in a draw and, in
fact, the first player always has a winning strategy. We will marvel at the
beauty and interconnectedness of mathematics as we use the game of Hex to
prove a theorem from  topology: any continuous function from the unit
square to itself must have a fixed point.

4/10 Prof. Bruce Turkington, “Predicting the record times in rowing”

This week on Wednesday at 5:30 in LGRT1634, Prof. Turkington will speak; his talk is titled “Predicting the record times in rowing” (abstract below). As always, we’ll be providing pizza and soda. This talk was chosen especially to focus on basic modeling and applied math, so if you think you might be interested in those topics, please come!

How much faster is a 4-man boat than a 2-man
boat in Olympic rowing? Is there a mathematical
model that predicts the record times for single, 2-man,
4-man and 8-man rowing sculls? In this talk I will
show how to explain the data with a very simple model,
mostly based on scaling and dimensional analysis.
If there is time, I will mention some other problems
that can be handled in a similar way.

4/3: Anna Kazanova, “Math Behind Sudoku”

Join us this week for a talk by Anna Kazanova on “The Math Behind Sudoku” (abstract below) on Wed, 4/3, in LGRT 1634 from 5:30-6:30. As always, we’ll have free pizza and soda.

Abstract: To solve Sudoku, one needs to use a combination of logic and trial-and-error, but there is more math involved behind the scene. There are lots of different possible valid Sudoku grids, and by lots I mean 6,670,903,752,021,072,936,960. We will talk about how to come up with this number. We will also learn how to construct a Sudoku that has a unique solution. If time permits, we will describe some variations of Sudoku.