Mathematics Department seminar asks: ‘What’s Math Got to Do with It?

The Grand Rapids Community College Mathematics Department will host its first monthly Mathematics Seminar of Winter 2013 on Wednesday, January 23, 3:00 – 4:00 PM in 107 Cook.  Our speaker will be former GRCC mathematics student and current GRCC Director of Learning Assistance and Adjunct Instructor Yumi Watanabe.  The title and abstract for Yumi’s talk are at the bottom.

This talk will survey the beauty and utility of mathematics, and should appeal to a broad audience.  Knowledge of mathematics at the Pre-Calculus level will be helpful, but much of this seminar will be accessible to anybody who is curious about mathematical thinking.  As always, everyone is welcome to attend.

Pop and cookies will be served at 2:45 PM.

What’s Math Got to Do with It?

In this talk we will explore the world of mathematics.  Beginning with our ability to sense quantities, we will survey various aspects of ideas and concepts that make up the world of mathematics, including numbers, algebra, calculus and areas of modern mathematics.  Along the way we will ask and attempt to answer questions such as, “What is mathematics, anyway?”, “What is it good for?”, “Why is it so hard?” and  “Does mathematics have anything in common with disciplines such as language arts and social sciences?”  At the end of the talk, borrowing words of Sir Isaac Newton, a definition of mathematics (perhaps an unconventional one) will be given.

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