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.


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


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, we’ll
trace the development of the definition through history and then discuss
extending the notion of a function to a variety of branches of modern
mathematics. This talk will be very accessible and (hopefully) entertaining.

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


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 you use them every day when you visit a secure webpage or send a message from your smartphone. I will describe this problem and explain how it is used for secure communication and authentication in web browsers, electronic devices, and more.