Posted tagged ‘math’

Mathematics Seminar is today

November 15, 2017

The Grand Rapids Community College Mathematics Department is pleased to announce that it will host its next Mathematics Seminar on Wednesday, November 15, 3:30-4:30 PM in 103 Cook.

Our speaker, GRCC Mathematics Instructor Meghan VanderMale, will discuss how mathematics has been used to determine if U.S. Congressional districts have been gerrymandered.  For the title and abstract of Meghan’s talk, please see below.

This timely presentation will appeal to a wide range of students and faculty; no previous mathematics background is required.  All are welcome!

Pop and cookies will be served at 3:14 PM. You can watch a livestream of this presentation on Facebook.

Measuring Fairness: Beyond the “Eyeball Test” for Detecting Gerrymandering

At the beginning of October, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments for the case of Gill v Whitford. It is one of the only cases on partisan gerrymandering to reach the Supreme Court and it challenges the redistricting of Wisconsin following its 2010 census. In this landmark case, a relatively simple mathematical measure called the efficiency gap was featured. This talk will discuss the efficiency gap and explore what exactly it measures and where it may fall short of being a miracle gerrymander measure. We will also discuss other mathematical measures that apply to gerrymandering cases and the challenges of using them in legal settings. The mathematics involved is very accessible and requires no previous math background, nor is it necessary to know much about gerrymandering. The talk will be of particular interest to students of mathematics, government, political science, law, and statistics. You are encouraged (though not required) to bring a laptop or iPad as a portion of the talk will have computer interactive elements.

Meghan VanderMale to present Mathematics Seminar

November 14, 2017

The Grand Rapids Community College Mathematics Department is pleased to announce that it will host its next Mathematics Seminar on Wednesday, November 15, 3:30-4:30 PM in 103 Cook.

Our speaker, GRCC Mathematics Instructor Meghan VanderMale, will discuss how mathematics has been used to determine if U.S. Congressional districts have been gerrymandered.  For the title and abstract of Meghan’s talk, please see below.

This timely presentation will appeal to a wide range of students and faculty; no previous mathematics background is required.  All are welcome!

Pop and cookies will be served at 3:14 PM.

Measuring Fairness: Beyond the “Eyeball Test” for Detecting Gerrymandering

At the beginning of October, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments for the case of Gill v Whitford. It is one of the only cases on partisan gerrymandering to reach the Supreme Court and it challenges the redistricting of Wisconsin following its 2010 census. In this landmark case, a relatively simple mathematical measure called the efficiency gap was featured. This talk will discuss the efficiency gap and explore what exactly it measures and where it may fall short of being a miracle gerrymander measure. We will also discuss other mathematical measures that apply to gerrymandering cases and the challenges of using them in legal settings. The mathematics involved is very accessible and requires no previous math background, nor is it necessary to know much about gerrymandering. The talk will be of particular interest to students of mathematics, government, political science, law, and statistics. You are encouraged (though not required) to bring a laptop or iPad as a portion of the talk will have computer interactive elements.

Mathematics Seminar looks at gerrymandering

November 8, 2017

The Grand Rapids Community College Mathematics Department is pleased to announce that it will host its next Mathematics Seminar on Wednesday, November 15, 3:30-4:30 p.m. in 103 Cook.

Our speaker, GRCC mathematics instructor Meghan VanderMale, will discuss how mathematics has been used to determine if U.S. Congressional districts have been gerrymandered.  For the title and abstract of Meghan’s talk, please see below.

This timely presentation will appeal to a wide range of students and faculty; no previous mathematics background is required.  All are welcome!

Pop and cookies will be served at 3:14 PM.

Measuring Fairness: Beyond the “Eyeball Test” for Detecting Gerrymandering

At the beginning of October, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments for the case of Gill v Whitford. It is one of the only cases on partisan gerrymandering to reach the Supreme Court and it challenges the redistricting of Wisconsin following its 2010 census. In this landmark case, a relatively simple mathematical measure called the efficiency gap was featured. This talk will discuss the efficiency gap and explore what exactly it measures and where it may fall short of being a miracle gerrymander measure. We will also discuss other mathematical measures that apply to gerrymandering cases and the challenges of using them in legal settings. The mathematics involved is very accessible and requires no previous math background, nor is it necessary to know much about gerrymandering. The talk will be of particular interest to students of mathematics, government, political science, law, and statistics. You are encouraged (though not required) to bring a laptop or iPad as a portion of the talk will have computer interactive elements.

Mathematics Seminar today in Cook

October 18, 2017

The Grand Rapids Community College Mathematics Department is pleased to announce that it will host its October Mathematics Seminar today from 3-4 p.m. in 103 Cook.

This presentation will appeal to a wide range of students and faculty.  Much of it requires no understanding of mathematics beyond arithmetic.  All are welcome!

Pop and cookies will be served at 2:45 p.m.

Our speaker, GRCC Mathematics Instructor Andrea Hayes, will discuss division by zero in various forms of mathematics from basic arithmetic to higher-level mathematics.  For the title and abstract of Andrea’s talk, please see below:

Undefined

Division by zero is often confusing and misinterpreted.  Is (1/0) undefined or infinity?   The answer often depends on who you ask and can lead to lively discussions, even arguments.  The source of such discussions usually resides in the difference between actual division by 0 and what happens when the denominator approaches zero.  This talk will provide an in-depth look at the complexity of division by zero at various levels of mathematics.

 

 

 

October 18 Mathematics Seminar

October 17, 2017

The Grand Rapids Community College Mathematics Department is pleased to announce that it will host its October Mathematics Seminar this Wednesday, October 18, from 3-4 p.m. in 103 Cook.

This presentation will appeal to a wide range of students and faculty.  Much of it requires no understanding of mathematics beyond arithmetic.  All are welcome!

Pop and cookies will be served at 2:45 p.m.

Our speaker, GRCC Mathematics Instructor Andrea Hayes, will discuss division by zero in various forms of mathematics from basic arithmetic to higher-level mathematics.  For the title and abstract of Andrea’s talk, please see below:

Undefined

Division by zero is often confusing and misinterpreted.  Is (1/0) undefined or infinity?   The answer often depends on who you ask and can lead to lively discussions, even arguments.  The source of such discussions usually resides in the difference between actual division by 0 and what happens when the denominator approaches zero.  This talk will provide an in-depth look at the complexity of division by zero at various levels of mathematics.

 

 

 

October Mathematics Seminar

October 11, 2017

The Grand Rapids Community College Mathematics Department is pleased to announce that it will host its October Mathematics Seminar on Wednesday, October 18, from 3-4 p.m. in 103 Cook.

Our speaker, GRCC Mathematics Instructor Andrea Hayes, will discuss division by zero in various forms of mathematics from basic arithmetic to higher-level mathematics.  For the title and abstract of Andrea’s talk, please see below.

This presentation will appeal to a wide range of students and faculty.  Much of it requires no understanding of mathematics beyond arithmetic.  All are welcome!

Pop and cookies will be served at 2:45 p.m.

Undefined

Division by zero is often confusing and misinterpreted.  Is (1/0) undefined or infinity?   The answer often depends on who you ask and can lead to lively discussions, even arguments.  The source of such discussions usually resides in the difference between actual division by 0 and what happens when the denominator approaches zero.  This talk will provide an in-depth look at the complexity of division by zero at various levels of mathematics.

 

 

 

Mathematics Seminar to be held today

September 21, 2017

The Grand Rapids Community College Mathematics Department is pleased to announce that it will host its first Mathematics Seminar of the 2017-2018 academic year on Thursday, September 21, 3:00-4:00 p.m. in 101 Cook.  Our speaker will be Ph.D. student Javier Ronquillo.  His topic is the mathematics of mosaics.  The title and abstract may be found below.

Sufficient background for this talk requires nothing more than an appreciation of beauty and a willingness to see how mathematics may be used in its creation.  Everyone is encouraged to attend.

Pop and cookies will be served at 2:45 p.m.

 An investigation of angles, polygons and mosaics

Have you noticed that the New Year’s Eve ball that comes down every year in Times Square is not perfectly round? It is really made out of a bunch of smaller triangles! Could we make a ball like this using just stop signs? Have you noticed that soccer balls are hybrids of pentagons and hexagons? Could we do a hybrid ball with stop signs and triangles?

All these questions have to do with arranging regular polygons (these arrangements need not form a ball; for example, the polygons could also be sitting on a wall). We will call one of these kinds of arrangements a mosaic. Throughout history mosaics have been some of the most beautiful pieces of art, and mathematics is used to help create their harmony and beauty.

In this talk we will explore the questions listed above and many more. This material is accessible to everyone and provides a great opportunity to see math and art interact.

Mathematics Seminar set for September 21

September 20, 2017

The Grand Rapids Community College Mathematics Department is pleased to announce that it will host its first Mathematics Seminar of the 2017-2018 academic year on Thursday, September 21, 3:00-4:00 p.m. in 101 Cook.  Our speaker will be Ph.D. student Javier Ronquillo.  His topic is the mathematics of mosaics.  The title and abstract may be found below.

Sufficient background for this talk requires nothing more than an appreciation of beauty and a willingness to see how mathematics may be used in its creation.  Everyone is encouraged to attend.

Pop and cookies will be served at 2:45 p.m.

 An investigation of angles, polygons and mosaics

Have you noticed that the New Year’s Eve ball that comes down every year in Times Square is not perfectly round? It is really made out of a bunch of smaller triangles! Could we make a ball like this using just stop signs? Have you noticed that soccer balls are hybrids of pentagons and hexagons? Could we do a hybrid ball with stop signs and triangles?

All these questions have to do with arranging regular polygons (these arrangements need not form a ball; for example, the polygons could also be sitting on a wall). We will call one of these kinds of arrangements a mosaic. Throughout history mosaics have been some of the most beautiful pieces of art, and mathematics is used to help create their harmony and beauty.

In this talk we will explore the questions listed above and many more. This material is accessible to everyone and provides a great opportunity to see math and art interact.

Mathematics Seminar looks at mosaics

September 14, 2017

The Grand Rapids Community College Mathematics Department is pleased to announce that it will host its first Mathematics Seminar of the 2017-2018 academic year on Thursday, September 21, 3:00-4:00 p.m. in 101 Cook.  Our speaker will be Ph.D. student Javier Ronquillo.  His topic is the mathematics of mosaics.  The title and abstract may be found below.

Sufficient background for this talk requires nothing more than an appreciation of beauty and a willingness to see how mathematics may be used in its creation.  Everyone is encouraged to attend.

Pop and cookies will be served at 2:45 p.m.

 An investigation of angles, polygons and mosaics

Have you noticed that the New Year’s Eve ball that comes down every year in Times Square is not perfectly round? It is really made out of a bunch of smaller triangles! Could we make a ball like this using just stop signs? Have you noticed that soccer balls are hybrids of pentagons and hexagons? Could we do a hybrid ball with stop signs and triangles?

All these questions have to do with arranging regular polygons (these arrangements need not form a ball; for example, the polygons could also be sitting on a wall). We will call one of these kinds of arrangements a mosaic. Throughout history mosaics have been some of the most beautiful pieces of art, and mathematics is used to help create their harmony and beauty.

In this talk we will explore the questions listed above and many more. This material is accessible to everyone and provides a great opportunity to see math and art interact.

 

 

Winners to Math Awareness Month Contest

April 21, 2017

A big thank you to all participants in the Math Awareness Month Contest. Of all the contest entries with correct answers, two students and two staff members were randomly drawn to win a prize. The student winners are Elise Dornbush and Justin Rackham. The staff winners are Linda Blanford and Dorothy Paradis. A special thank you to Jenn Rockafellow and the GRCC Bookstore for donating contest prizes!

Mechanical and Architectural Department collaborate using the Maker Lab

April 19, 2017

With the implementation of the new Maker Lab, the Mechanical/Architectural Design department collaborated on some projects across the college this semester.  Using the technology in the lab, we were able to have some conversations with other departments on how we could join together, centered around student learning.  Three projects that came out of this were working with Scott Garrard from the Visual Arts Department, Chef Gilles Renusson from the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education and John Dersch from the Math Department.

Working with Scott, the students were able to cut their chairs on the laser out of cardboard to make a prototype of their idea.  Chef Gilles brought in both chocolate and sugar to be etched for their state competition coming up at the state capital this month.  John brought their calculus equations to us and we brought them into our 3D CAD software and then were able to 3D print them.

Overall, it has been a great year and we look forward to more amazing ways to use the lab.

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Students to present two Mathematics Seminars

April 18, 2017

The Grand Rapids Community College Mathematics Department is pleased to announce that it will host presentations by two current students at its final Mathematics Seminars of academic year 2016-2017.

The first seminar features José Garcia, who will discuss “The Origins of Numbers” on Tuesday, April 18, 3-4 p.m. in 103 Cook.  This talk should appeal to those with an interest in mathematics, mathematics education and history.  Jose’s abstract follows.

The Origins of Numbers

Every time we wonder if there is enough money to buy that new iPad AND groceries, numbers are used. We take for granted what it means to do basic arithmetic and, even more so, why the numbers came to be the way they are.  Come join us in looking into the origins of numbers and why they look the way they do today!

Our second talk will be given by Jeff Powers.  His topic, “The Open Gate of Mathematics: From the Alhambra to Escher,” will be presented Thursday, April 20, 3-4 p.m. in 103 Cook.  In addition to those with a love of mathematics and its teaching, this talk should be of interest to anyone who appreciates art and beauty.  Jeff’s abstract provides more information.

The Open Gate of Mathematics: From the Alhambra to Escher

In 1922, a 24-year-old artist named M.C. Escher visited the Alhambra, a 13th-century Moorish fortress and palace in Granada, Spain. The stunning Islamic design and geometric patterns overwhelmed the young artist, who began a 50-year obsession with dividing the plane. Today, Escher’s name is synonymous with tessellations, symmetry, and impossible shapes. His art’s mathematical structure has affected fields as far-reaching as combinatorics, graph theory, non-Euclidean geometry, and crystallography. This seminar focuses on Escher’s exploration of the two-dimensional plane and his link to the Moorish artisans of the past, begging the question: Were these artists doing math? 

Both talks will be accessible to a wide range of students, faculty and administrators.  As always, everyone is welcome to attend.  Assorted refreshments will be available at 2:45 p.m.

Mathematics Seminars look at origin of numbers, Escher

April 14, 2017

The Grand Rapids Community College Mathematics Department is pleased to announce that it will host presentations by two current students at its final Mathematics Seminars of academic year 2016-2017.

The first seminar features José Garcia, who will discuss “The Origins of Numbers” on Tuesday, April 18, 3-4 p.m. in 103 Cook.  This talk should appeal to those with an interest in mathematics, mathematics education and history.  Jose’s abstract follows.

The Origins of Numbers

Every time we wonder if there is enough money to buy that new iPad AND groceries, numbers are used. We take for granted what it means to do basic arithmetic and, even more so, why the numbers came to be the way they are.  Come join us in looking into the origins of numbers and why they look the way they do today!

Our second talk will be given by Jeff Powers.  His topic, “The Open Gate of Mathematics: From the Alhambra to Escher,” will be presented Thursday, April 20, 3-4 p.m. in 103 Cook.  In addition to those with a love of mathematics and its teaching, this talk should be of interest to anyone who appreciates art and beauty.  Jeff’s abstract provides more information.

The Open Gate of Mathematics: From the Alhambra to Escher

In 1922, a 24-year-old artist named M.C. Escher visited the Alhambra, a 13th-century Moorish fortress and palace in Granada, Spain. The stunning Islamic design and geometric patterns overwhelmed the young artist, who began a 50-year obsession with dividing the plane. Today, Escher’s name is synonymous with tessellations, symmetry, and impossible shapes. His art’s mathematical structure has affected fields as far-reaching as combinatorics, graph theory, non-Euclidean geometry, and crystallography. This seminar focuses on Escher’s exploration of the two-dimensional plane and his link to the Moorish artisans of the past, begging the question: Were these artists doing math? 

Both talks will be accessible to a wide range of students, faculty and administrators.  As always, everyone is welcome to attend.  Assorted refreshments will be available at 2:45 p.m.

Mathematics Seminar is today

April 13, 2017

The Grand Rapids Community College Mathematics Department is pleased to announce that it will host its next Mathematics Seminar on Thursday, April 13, 3:00-4:00 PM in 103 Cook.  Our speaker will be current GRCC mathematics student Carolyn Evans.  Her topic is Pythagoras and the Pythagoreans.  Please see below for the title and abstract.

In the realm of mathematics, the name Pythagoras is usually associated with right triangles and not much else.  However, within the context of philosophy and history, there is a great deal more to consider.  The teachings of Pythagoras and the Pythagorean Society had significant influence on ancient Greek philosophers and the evolution of Western thought.  This seminar will be of interest to a wide range of individuals; everyone is welcome to attend.

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

Math Hippies – The Pythagoreans

Once upon a time, in an Italian seaport far far away, a strange cult of young aristocrats arose under the leadership of the mystical and mysterious Pythagoras…

The Pythagoreans were a philosophical society with some pretty radical world views and hippie-esque habits. They believed “that the elevation of the soul to union with the divine occurs by means of mathematics”, and that being strict vegetarians, abstinent from alcohol, and keeping no personal belongings would help them reach this goal.

This seminar will cover some of the philosophical foundations, famous legends, mathematical discoveries, and longstanding impacts that this group accomplished thousands of years ago.

Mathematics Seminar to look at Pythagoreans

April 12, 2017

The Grand Rapids Community College Mathematics Department is pleased to announce that it will host its next Mathematics Seminar on Thursday, April 13, 3:00-4:00 PM in 103 Cook.  Our speaker will be current GRCC mathematics student Carolyn Evans.  Her topic is Pythagoras and the Pythagoreans.  Please see below for the title and abstract.

In the realm of mathematics, the name Pythagoras is usually associated with right triangles and not much else.  However, within the context of philosophy and history, there is a great deal more to consider.  The teachings of Pythagoras and the Pythagorean Society had significant influence on ancient Greek philosophers and the evolution of Western thought.  This seminar will be of interest to a wide range of individuals; everyone is welcome to attend.

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

Math Hippies – The Pythagoreans

Once upon a time, in an Italian seaport far far away, a strange cult of young aristocrats arose under the leadership of the mystical and mysterious Pythagoras…

The Pythagoreans were a philosophical society with some pretty radical world views and hippie-esque habits. They believed “that the elevation of the soul to union with the divine occurs by means of mathematics”, and that being strict vegetarians, abstinent from alcohol, and keeping no personal belongings would help them reach this goal.

This seminar will cover some of the philosophical foundations, famous legends, mathematical discoveries, and longstanding impacts that this group accomplished thousands of years ago.