Happy Tau Day! Learn about tau and Tau Day in this GRCC video. Special thanks to Klaas Kwant and Noah DeSmit for producing the video.

The daily employee newsletter of Grand Rapids Community College

Happy Tau Day! Learn about tau and Tau Day in this GRCC video. Special thanks to Klaas Kwant and Noah DeSmit for producing the video.

Thank you to all who participated in the Math Awareness Month Contest. Of all the correct entries, three students and three staff were randomly drawn to receive a prize. Special thanks to the GRCC Bookstore for donating prizes for students!

The student prize winners are:

- Lauren Schulte
- Nick Veltema
- Samuel Johnson

The staff prize winners are:

- Patricia Williams
- Luke Ellison
- Daniel Tjapkes

In celebration of April being Math Awareness Month, enter the Math Awareness Month Contest. You may win a prize! The contest is open to all GRCC students and staff. Pick up a copy of the contest from the Math Tutoring Lab on first floor Cook. All contest entries are due by Monday, April 16.

The Grand Rapids Community College Mathematics Department is pleased to announce that it will host its next Mathematics Seminar on Wednesday, March 21, 3:00-4:00 PM in 515 Cook.

Our speaker, former GRCC student and current GRCC tutor Katrina Teunis, will discuss mathematics as a language. For the title and abstract of Katrina’s talk, please see below.

When discussions of a “universal language” arise, mathematics is usually at or near the top of the list. But at the same time, many people admit that they don’t understand mathematics very well, and some may go on to say that they don’t like it very much. In her presentation Karina will endeavor to show that treating mathematics as a language may make it more understandable, and, by extension, more likable. No mathematics background is needed for this talk, and, as always, everyone is welcome!

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

**The Language of Mathematics**

*Have you ever joked about math being a language you don’t understand? Have you ever wondered what the purpose was in learning algebra when you have absolutely no plans to use math in your future careers? Well, what if math really is a language, and treating it as one could both help you understand mathematics and why it applies to your daily life? Seeing math as the language it is can open the door to understanding why math works the way it does and how it is more than just manipulating numbers. This talk will answer the question “is math a language” and address how viewing math in this way will improve your ability to work with numbers, use logic in your daily life, and truly understand mathematics.*

The Grand Rapids Community College Mathematics Department is pleased to announce that it will host its next Mathematics Seminar on Wednesday, March 21, 3:00-4:00 PM in 515 Cook.

Our speaker, former GRCC student and current GRCC tutor Katrina Teunis, will discuss mathematics as a language. For the title and abstract of Katrina’s talk, please see below.

When discussions of a “universal language” arise, mathematics is usually at or near the top of the list. But at the same time, many people admit that they don’t understand mathematics very well, and some may go on to say that they don’t like it very much. In her presentation Karina will endeavor to show that treating mathematics as a language may make it more understandable, and, by extension, more likable. No mathematics background is needed for this talk, and, as always, everyone is welcome!

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

**The Language of Mathematics**

*Have you ever joked about math being a language you don’t understand? Have you ever wondered what the purpose was in learning algebra when you have absolutely no plans to use math in your future careers? Well, what if math really is a language, and treating it as one could both help you understand mathematics and why it applies to your daily life? Seeing math as the language it is can open the door to understanding why math works the way it does and how it is more than just manipulating numbers. This talk will answer the question “is math a language” and address how viewing math in this way will improve your ability to work with numbers, use logic in your daily life, and truly understand mathematics.*

The Grand Rapids Community College Mathematics Department is pleased to announce that it will host its next Mathematics Seminar on Wednesday, March 21, 3:00-4:00 PM in 515 Cook.

Our speaker, former GRCC student and current GRCC tutor Katrina Teunis, will discuss mathematics as a language. For the title and abstract of Katrina’s talk, please see below.

When discussions of a “universal language” arise, mathematics is usually at or near the top of the list. But at the same time, many people admit that they don’t understand mathematics very well, and some may go on to say that they don’t like it very much. In her presentation Karina will endeavor to show that treating mathematics as a language may make it more understandable, and, by extension, more likable. No mathematics background is needed for this talk, and, as always, everyone is welcome!

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

**The Language of Mathematics**

*Have you ever joked about math being a language you don’t understand? Have you ever wondered what the purpose was in learning algebra when you have absolutely no plans to use math in your future careers? Well, what if math really is a language, and treating it as one could both help you understand mathematics and why it applies to your daily life? Seeing math as the language it is can open the door to understanding why math works the way it does and how it is more than just manipulating numbers. This talk will answer the question “is math a language” and address how viewing math in this way will improve your ability to work with numbers, use logic in your daily life, and truly understand mathematics.*

**Workforce development initiatives show signs of progress**

*Feb. 18, 2018; mibiz.com*

By focusing on an internal culture that favors employee retention and support for external training initiatives, some West Michigan executives say they’ve largely avoided any problems associated with labor shortages.

… A founding member of the CWDA, ABC of West Michigan also works closely with organizations like Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) and Michigan Works!, largely as a means of identifying where specific gaps exist in construction training, developing curriculum and securing funding for the training programs.

**Manufacturers solve problems internally, bring training in-house**

*Feb. 18, 2018; mibiz.com*

Over the last few years, manufacturers have developed extensive in-house training programs in a move to combat skilled worker shortages.

… “This program provides the specific skills we are looking for while allowing our tradespeople to share their knowledge with others before retiring,” (Steelcase manager of corporate communications and public relations Katie) Woodruff said. “We have partnered with (Grand Rapids Community College) who provides an educational component, while our current tradespeople provide the on-the-job training. … We have had a mix of internal and external candidates join our apprentice program, which has proven to be a great balance.”

**AMP Lab @WMU leverages partnerships to address talent shortage**

*Feb. 18, 2018; mibiz.com*

GRAND RAPIDS — With the new AMP Lab @WMU that’s set to open this fall, Western Michigan University wants to leverage public- and private-sector partnerships to help local manufacturers innovate and access talent.

… The initiative also tapped into other institutions across the region, including Grand Rapids Community College, Ferris State University, Central Michigan University, Aquinas College and others.

**Grand Rapids Community College celebrates 10th annual Creating Connections Breakfast**

*Feb. 16, 2018; therapidian.org*

On Thursday, February 15, 2018, Grand Rapids Community College brought scholarship donors and recipients together through their 10th annual Creating Connections Breakfast. While enjoying eggs, bacon, and other delicious morsels prepared by GRCC’s culinary arts faculty and students, donors and recipients had the opportunity to interact and share their stories.

**Sen. Stabenow to unveil new plan to help young people train, find work in Michigan**

*Feb. 19, 2018; WWMT*

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow will make a stop in West Michigan Monday to talk about her new “New Skills for New Jobs” agenda.

Sen. Stabenow (D-Michigan) will be at Grand Rapids Community College’s Michigan Technical Education Center Monday at 11 a.m.

**8 apply for vacant Forest Hills School Board seat, NAACP calls for diversity**

*Feb. 18, 2018; MLive*

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – The Forest Hills School Board received eight applications to fill a vacancy on the seven-member board, officials announced Friday, Feb. 16.

… Oscar Neal is a professor of mathematics and statistics at Grand Rapids Community College. He wants to help the district in developing youth by lending his advisory and planning skills. He cites enhancing performance and resourcefulness as key strengths and says he thrives on finding resolutions to problems. Neal, who is black, said his experience, educational qualifications and skills can be an asset.

**Foul shots count for LMC women**

*Feb. 17, 2018; The Herald-Palladium (St. Joseph)*

BENTON TOWNSHIP — It was a foul game against Grand Rapids Community College on Friday night.

**Grand Rapids officials express concern over students violating housing codes downtown**

*Feb. 19, 2018; The Lanthorn (GVSU student newspaper)*

Officials from the city of Grand Rapids and Grand Valley State University wish to remind students living downtown of compliance codes upheld by the city.

… “The city of Grand Rapids has dealt with the issue for at least 20 or 30 years,” he (Grand Rapids compliance supervisor Eric Jordan) said. “We’ve always had Calvin (College) and Aquinas (University), Grand Rapids Community College. In the past 10 years, Ferris (State) has increased its operations down in the city, as well as GVSU.”

The Grand Rapids Community College Mathematics Department is pleased to announce that it will host its next Mathematics Seminar on Wednesday, February 14, 3:00-4:00 PM in 515 Cook.

Our speaker, GRCC student Fisher Pham, will discuss mathematics related to solving Rubik’s Cube. For the title and abstract of Fisher’s talk, please see below.

If you’ve ever solved Rubik’s Cube, attempted to solve it, glanced at it occasionally as it gathered dust on a shelf, or simply watched in amazement as someone else solved it in a few seconds, there will much of interest in this seminar. As always, everyone is welcome!

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

**God’s Algorithm: A Simple Solution for the Rubik’s Cube**

The Rubik’s Cube–a puzzle that seems impossible to solve, yet some have managed to solve it in mere seconds. Whether you know how to solve it or if you’ve spent hours twisting and turning it to no avail, you might have wondered, “Is there a simple pattern that I could repeat over and over to eventually solve the Rubik’s cube?” This hypothetical pattern is called “God’s Algorithm”. In this talk, we will find out if “God’s Algorithm” exists and discuss other mathematical aspects of the Rubik’s Cube.

The Grand Rapids Community College Mathematics Department is pleased to announce that it will host its next Mathematics Seminar on Wednesday, February 14, 3:00-4:00 PM in 515 Cook.

Our speaker, GRCC student Fisher Pham, will discuss mathematics related to solving Rubik’s Cube. For the title and abstract of Fisher’s talk, please see below.

If you’ve ever solved Rubik’s Cube, attempted to solve it, glanced at it occasionally as it gathered dust on a shelf, or simply watched in amazement as someone else solved it in a few seconds, there will much of interest in this seminar. As always, everyone is welcome!

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

**God’s Algorithm: A Simple Solution for the Rubik’s Cube**

The Rubik’s Cube–a puzzle that seems impossible to solve, yet some have managed to solve it in mere seconds. Whether you know how to solve it or if you’ve spent hours twisting and turning it to no avail, you might have wondered, “Is there a simple pattern that I could repeat over and over to eventually solve the Rubik’s cube?” This hypothetical pattern is called “God’s Algorithm”. In this talk, we will find out if “God’s Algorithm” exists and discuss other mathematical aspects of the Rubik’s Cube.

The Grand Rapids Community College Mathematics Department is pleased to announce that it will host its first Mathematics Seminar of 2018 on Thursday, January 18, 3:00-4:00 PM in 103 Cook.

Our speaker, GVSU Mathematics Instructor Michael Santana, will discuss mathematics underlying the sometimes vexing problem of seating arrangements at tables. For the title and abstract of Michael’s talk, please see below.

Very little mathematics background is needed to appreciate this talk, making it accessible to a wide range of students and faculty. All are welcome!

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

**A graph theory approach to seating people at parties**

You’re hosting a party with at least three people, and you want to seat everyone around a large table so that each person is friends with the person on their left and the person on their right. How do you know when you can do this? This seemingly innocent question turns out to be quite difficult to answer! On the other hand, the question becomes (MUCH) easier when you don’t require that everyone be seated at the table (so you’re okay with some people standing around). In this talk we’ll consider both questions (focusing mainly on the second question), look at several extensions of these questions, and see how doing research in mathematics can be like playing the wooden block game, Jenga.

The Grand Rapids Community College Mathematics Department is pleased to announce that it will host its first Mathematics Seminar of 2018 on Thursday, January 18, 3:00-4:00 PM in 103 Cook.

Our speaker, GVSU Mathematics Instructor Michael Santana, will discuss mathematics underlying the sometimes vexing problem of seating arrangements at tables. For the title and abstract of Michael’s talk, please see below.

Very little mathematics background is needed to appreciate this talk, making it accessible to a wide range of students and faculty. All are welcome!

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

**A graph theory approach to seating people at parties**

You’re hosting a party with at least three people, and you want to seat everyone around a large table so that each person is friends with the person on their left and the person on their right. How do you know when you can do this? This seemingly innocent question turns out to be quite difficult to answer! On the other hand, the question becomes (MUCH) easier when you don’t require that everyone be seated at the table (so you’re okay with some people standing around). In this talk we’ll consider both questions (focusing mainly on the second question), look at several extensions of these questions, and see how doing research in mathematics can be like playing the wooden block game, Jenga.

The Grand Rapids Community College Mathematics Department is pleased to announce that it will host its first Mathematics Seminar of 2018 on Thursday, January 18, 3:00-4:00 PM in 103 Cook.

Our speaker, GVSU Mathematics Instructor Michael Santana, will discuss mathematics underlying the sometimes vexing problem of seating arrangements at tables. For the title and abstract of Michael’s talk, please see below.

Very little mathematics background is needed to appreciate this talk, making it accessible to a wide range of students and faculty. All are welcome!

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

**A graph theory approach to seating people at parties**

You’re hosting a party with at least three people, and you want to seat everyone around a large table so that each person is friends with the person on their left and the person on their right. How do you know when you can do this? This seemingly innocent question turns out to be quite difficult to answer! On the other hand, the question becomes (MUCH) easier when you don’t require that everyone be seated at the table (so you’re okay with some people standing around). In this talk we’ll consider both questions (focusing mainly on the second question), look at several extensions of these questions, and see how doing research in mathematics can be like playing the wooden block game, Jenga.

The Grand Rapids Community College Mathematics Department is pleased to announce that it will host its final Mathematics Seminar of 2017 on Wednesday, December 6, 3:00-4:00 PM in 103 Cook.

Our speaker, GRCC Mathematics Instructor Alejandro Saldivar, will discuss a seemingly simple topic from geometry that leads to intriguing examples and unexpected consequences. For the title and abstract of Alejandro’s talk, please see below.

This 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 2:45 PM.

**Reassembling Pieces of a Figure to Form Other Ones**

*Given two figures with the same area, can we always cut one into pieces so the pieces can be reassembled to form the second figure? We investigate this question and provide some very interesting examples. This talk is suitable for an audience with a wide range of math backgrounds.*

The Grand Rapids Community College Mathematics Department is pleased to announce that it will host its final Mathematics Seminar of 2017 on Wednesday, December 6, 3:00-4:00 PM in 103 Cook.

Our speaker, GRCC Mathematics Instructor Alejandro Saldivar, will discuss a seemingly simple topic from geometry that leads to intriguing examples and unexpected consequences. For the title and abstract of Alejandro’s talk, please see below.

This 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 2:45 PM.

**Reassembling Pieces of a Figure to Form Other Ones**

*Given two figures with the same area, can we always cut one into pieces so the pieces can be reassembled to form the second figure? We investigate this question and provide some very interesting examples. This talk is suitable for an audience with a wide range of math backgrounds.*

Tom Worthington, a respected faculty member at GRCC/JC for nearly 50 years, died over the weekend following an extended illness. His colleagues in the Math Department have put together this retrospective and memorial:

*August 20, 1964: Grand Rapids Junior College was about to celebrate its 50th anniversary. We had approximately 3,500 students and 90 full-time faculty. In-district tuition was $6 per credit hour. Semesters were 18 weeks long, with the second semester ending in mid-June. All Mathematics, Physics and Engineering instructors were in the same office, 326 Main; some taught courses in all three disciplines. Total mathematics enrollment was around 700 students each semester, in roughly 30 sections.*

*It was in this environment that a 21-year-old Tom Worthington began his 47-year career at GRJC/CC. Having recently completed his MS in Engineering at MSU, Tom was hired to teach Physics. Over the next 19 years he taught Physics 125, 126, 245 and 246; Engineering 208 (Statics), and a course that sounds fascinating but no longer exists: Physics 101, “Physics Theories,” in which “…emphasis will be placed on the social and philosophical implications of scientific theories, rather than on mathematical and technical applications.”*

*Tom created the college’s first computer programming course. Since there was no Computer Applications Department at that time, it was listed under mathematics as Ma 120 “Computer Mathematics.” In a 2-hour lecture plus 2-hour lab format, students wrote programs in Fortran II to solve problems involving Newton’s Method, Simpson’s Rule and solutions to systems of equations. Programs were run on an IBM 1620 computer that sold for $45,000 in 1966 (about $350,000 today). It was slower and had less memory than today’s simplest graphing calculators.*

*In 1983, Tom made the move from Physics to Mathematics, and in the ensuing 28 years taught Ma 004/104 (now 098), 107, 108, 110, 131, 133, 134 and 255. That he taught at least 15 different courses in two separate departments is a testament to his versatility as an instructor. He also exhibited a great deal of curiosity and creativity, especially when it came to technology. When graphing calculators came to GRJC in 1990, his initial skepticism quickly changed to enthusiasm, and his ability to write useful calculator programs became legendary. Tom shared his knowledge with the greater GRCC community at three of the Mathematics Department’s Monthly Seminars, giving talks on Chaos, Curve Fitting and the Doomsday Algorithm. *

*Tom will be remembered for many things. His 47 years as a full-time faculty member has been surpassed only once, by Dick Foster (Electronics, 50 years). The 400-plus sick days he accumulated must rank at or near the top. And how he was able, day after day, year after year, to arrive on campus at 8:58 for a 9:00 class will forever remain a mystery. *

Visitation will take place from 4-7 p.m. Nov. 30 at Metcalf-Jonkhoff Funeral Home, 4291 Cascade Road SE. A memorial service will be held at 12:30 p.m. Dec. 1 at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 47 Jefferson Ave. SE, with visitation from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.