3/28 – Ben Orlin: Numbers We Cannot Name

Check out the abstract below.



The number line seems simple. It ain’t. The riddles of the continuum have bugged Chinese philosophers, Argentine poets, Greek trolls, and 20+ centuries of mathematicians. We’ll explore the puzzles of the irrational, the transcendental, and the non-computable. Bad drawings copiously featured.

3/21- Shelby Cox: Counting Curves in the Plane

We are very happy to restart the math club with the talk given by Shelby Cox, our own undergraduate student, after the spring break. Please see the abstract below.


Counting Curves in the Plane

Curve counting goes all the way back to Euclid, who asked how many lines pass through 2 given points in the plane. More generally, we can ask how many curves of degree d pass through 3d-1 points. In this talk, I will present a beautiful and well-known proof for the case when d=3, which uses methods from Topology, Geometry, and Algebraic Geometry. The talk will focus on introducing concepts like the Euler characteristic, projective space, and blow-ups, which can help us answer long-standing questions, like: how many pentagons are on a soccer ball? In particular, the talk should be accessible to most math majors.


3/07- GaYee Park: Seven Bridges of Königsberg

Here is the rescheduled GaYee’s  math club talk tomorrow about “Seven Bridges of Königsberg”. See her abstract below.

Long ago in a little town on a river in Prussia, the people wondered: can you visit every part of the city, crossing all seven bridges only once? This is called the Seven Bridges of Königsberg problem which was popular in the 18th century. In this talk I will introduce basic graph theory and Euler’s solution to this problem. Using the result, we will also explore other related puzzles and its application.