Posted tagged ‘Mathematics’

Physical Sciences hosts STEM event

March 20, 2017

Last month, the Physical Sciences Department hosted a collaborative public outreach event led by faculty and students from GRCC and Van Andel Institute. The event, titled “Fall in Love With STEM” was part of a series of similar events sponsored by the Association of Women in Science West Michigan chapter. The GRCC site featured a unique “Exploration Station” format, where middle-school-aged registrants investigated scientific disciplines across science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, making this a true STEM event.

From the Physical Sciences Department, Assistant Professor Ashley Campanali led a station on engineering and Assistant Professor Lauren Woolsey led a station on astronomy. From the Mathematics Department, GRCC student Rachel Swem led her own station on mathematics and game theory. From the Biological Sciences Department, Professor Leigh Kleinert organized a station that was run entirely by the following GRCC students as part of their service learning program: Shelsy DeLeon-Lopez, Afrika Earvin, Alma Garcia-Bautista, Mollie Hettinger, Brendan Howe, Jenna Meyers, Mauricio Perez, Monica Rivera, Taylor Swift, Megan Thomas, and Ana Villagomez.

Sincere thanks and congratulations to all those involved, including the countless volunteers and support staff who made this event possible! Other station leaders include Alison Bernstein (MSU), Jamie Grit (VAI), Marie Adams (VAI), Allie Weber (VAI), and Jacqueline Peacock (FSU). Julie Turner led the VAI logistics and event registration, and Lauren Woolsey led the GRCC logistics and event setup. Photos in this post were taken by Katie Krajnak from VAI. Dozens of families attended this inaugural event, and we look forward to expanding the event in future years!

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Mathematics Seminar is today

March 14, 2017

The Grand Rapids Community College Mathematics Department is pleased to announce that it will host its next Mathematics Seminar on Tuesday, March 14, 3:00-4:00 p.m. in 101 Cook.  Our speaker will be GRCC mathematics instructor Nancy Forrest, and she will discuss the number pi.  Her title and abstract are below.

Numbers, like people, are all special in their own way, but pi is one the very few numbers that has its own day.  Mathematicians, teachers, students and mathematical aficionados of all stripes will take a few minutes on March 14 to pause and reflect on a number that has fascinated (some might say obsessed) people for over 2000 years.  This talk will have something for everyone, so a high level of mathematical sophistication is not required.   Everyone is always welcome to our mathematics seminars.

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

Pi, My Favorite Number

One might argue that there is an infinite supply of interesting numbers.  But no other number has generated as much curiosity, international competition, and mathematical passion as pi.  Plus it even boasts a holiday; Pi Day is on 3/14. This talk will include highlights of the history of pi, how it was named, calculation of its value, and various ways people have memorized some of its digits.

Nancy Forrest to lead Mathematics Seminar

March 13, 2017

The Grand Rapids Community College Mathematics Department is pleased to announce that it will host its next Mathematics Seminar on Tuesday, March 14, 3:00-4:00 p.m. in 101 Cook.  Our speaker will be GRCC mathematics instructor Nancy Forrest, and she will discuss the number pi.  Her title and abstract are below.

Numbers, like people, are all special in their own way, but pi is one the very few numbers that has its own day.  Mathematicians, teachers, students and mathematical aficionados of all stripes will take a few minutes on March 14 to pause and reflect on a number that has fascinated (some might say obsessed) people for over 2000 years.  This talk will have something for everyone, so a high level of mathematical sophistication is not required.   Everyone is always welcome to our mathematics seminars.

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

Pi, My Favorite Number

One might argue that there is an infinite supply of interesting numbers.  But no other number has generated as much curiosity, international competition, and mathematical passion as pi.  Plus it even boasts a holiday; Pi Day is on 3/14. This talk will include highlights of the history of pi, how it was named, calculation of its value, and various ways people have memorized some of its digits.

Mathematics Seminar will look at pi

March 1, 2017

The Grand Rapids Community College Mathematics Department is pleased to announce that it will host its next Mathematics Seminar on Tuesday, March 14, 3:00-4:00 p.m. in 101 Cook.  Our speaker will be GRCC mathematics instructor Nancy Forrest, and she will discuss the number pi.  Her title and abstract are below.

Numbers, like people, are all special in their own way, but pi is one the very few numbers that has its own day.  Mathematicians, teachers, students and mathematical aficionados of all stripes will take a few minutes on March 14 to pause and reflect on a number that has fascinated (some might say obsessed) people for over 2000 years.  This talk will have something for everyone, so a high level of mathematical sophistication is not required.   Everyone is always welcome to our mathematics seminars.

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

Pi, My Favorite Number

One might argue that there is an infinite supply of interesting numbers.  But no other number has generated as much curiosity, international competition, and mathematical passion as pi.  Plus it even boasts a holiday; Pi Day is on 3/14. This talk will include highlights of the history of pi, how it was named, calculation of its value, and various ways people have memorized some of its digits.

 

Mathematics Seminar is today

February 23, 2017

The Grand Rapids Community College Mathematics Department is pleased to announce that it will host its next Mathematics Seminar on Thursday, February 23, 3:00-4:00 PM in 101 Cook.  Our speaker, GRCC mathematics instructor Sang Lee, will discuss mathematics related to the Tower of Hanoi puzzle.  The title and abstract are below.

In 1883 Édouard Lucas, working under the pseudonym M. Claus, created a puzzle that may have been inspired by an ancient legend.  Anyone who attempts to solve this puzzle will notice the need for logical thinking and pattern recognition, which means mathematics is close at hand.  Sang will discuss various aspects of this mathematics and related applications.  Regardless of your puzzle-solving ability or background in mathematics, you are encouraged to attend – everyone is always welcome to our mathematics seminars.

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

Mathematics in the Tower of Hanoi

The Tower of Hanoi puzzle was first introduced by the Frenchman M. Claus in 1883.  The puzzle has been popular ever since, and it can be found in toy/game shops around the world.  The puzzle has drawn interest from a wide range of people, especially those who plan to study computer science.  In this math seminar we will look at some fascinating, beautiful and powerful mathematics hidden in the Tower of Hanoi, along with those mathematicians related to the puzzle.  Tower of Hanoi puzzles will be available for those attending the seminar.

Instructor Sang Lee to lead Mathematics Seminar

February 22, 2017

The Grand Rapids Community College Mathematics Department is pleased to announce that it will host its next Mathematics Seminar on Thursday, February 23, 3:00-4:00 PM in 101 Cook.  Our speaker, GRCC mathematics instructor Sang Lee, will discuss mathematics related to the Tower of Hanoi puzzle.  The title and abstract are below.

In 1883 Édouard Lucas, working under the pseudonym M. Claus, created a puzzle that may have been inspired by an ancient legend.  Anyone who attempts to solve this puzzle will notice the need for logical thinking and pattern recognition, which means mathematics is close at hand.  Sang will discuss various aspects of this mathematics and related applications.  Regardless of your puzzle-solving ability or background in mathematics, you are encouraged to attend – everyone is always welcome to our mathematics seminars.

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

Mathematics in the Tower of Hanoi

The Tower of Hanoi puzzle was first introduced by the Frenchman M. Claus in 1883.  The puzzle has been popular ever since, and it can be found in toy/game shops around the world.  The puzzle has drawn interest from a wide range of people, especially those who plan to study computer science.  In this math seminar we will look at some fascinating, beautiful and powerful mathematics hidden in the Tower of Hanoi, along with those mathematicians related to the puzzle.  Tower of Hanoi puzzles will be available for those attending the seminar.

Mathematics Seminar looks at ‘Tower of Hanoi’

February 16, 2017

The Grand Rapids Community College Mathematics Department is pleased to announce that it will host its next Mathematics Seminar on Thursday, February 23, 3:00-4:00 PM in 101 Cook.  Our speaker, GRCC mathematics instructor Sang Lee, will discuss mathematics related to the Tower of Hanoi puzzle.  The title and abstract are below.

In 1883 Édouard Lucas, working under the pseudonym M. Claus, created a puzzle that may have been inspired by an ancient legend.  Anyone who attempts to solve this puzzle will notice the need for logical thinking and pattern recognition, which means mathematics is close at hand.  Sang will discuss various aspects of this mathematics and related applications.  Regardless of your puzzle-solving ability or background in mathematics, you are encouraged to attend – everyone is always welcome to our mathematics seminars.

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

Mathematics in the Tower of Hanoi

The Tower of Hanoi puzzle was first introduced by the Frenchman M. Claus in 1883.  The puzzle has been popular ever since, and it can be found in toy/game shops around the world.  The puzzle has drawn interest from a wide range of people, especially those who plan to study computer science.  In this math seminar we will look at some fascinating, beautiful and powerful mathematics hidden in the Tower of Hanoi, along with those mathematicians related to the puzzle.  Tower of Hanoi puzzles will be available for those attending the seminar.

Free Fall in Love with STEM event set for Feb. 18

February 14, 2017

Investigate a series of Exploration Stations during the Fall in Love with STEM event from noon to 3 p.m. Feb. 18. The free event was developed in a collaboration between Grand Rapids Community College, Van Andel Institute and Michigan State University.

From the very large (the solar system) to the very small (blood cells), explore all that science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) has to offer! Each station is designed to be a 15- to 30-minute activity, targeted at middle school students. Pick and choose which stations to complete, or explore all of them over the course of the afternoon! Program a robot or computer to make a drawing, investigate skeletons by dissecting an owl pellet, figure out mathematical strategies in games, identify DNA to help solve a crime, control objects with your brain waves, and more! Registration limited to 100 students, parking passes will be provided to registrants. This event is sponsored by the West Michigan Association for Women in Science.

This Open House of STEM activities is geared towards middle school and high school students and will be held on the first floor of the Calkins Science Center. The event is sponsored by the West Michigan Association for Women in Science.

For more information or to RSVP, please click this link.

 

Mathematics Seminar is today

January 25, 2017

The Grand Rapids Community College Mathematics Department is pleased to announce that it will host its first Mathematics Seminar of 2017 on Wednesday, January 25, 3:00-4:00 PM in 101 Cook.  Our speaker, GRCC mathematics adjunct Steve Harris, will discuss the Central Limit Theorem.  His title and abstract are below.

In 1920 the Hungarian-born mathematician George Pólya first used the name Central Limit Theorem to describe the result that has become so important in the study of probability and statistics.  Usefulness is not fully appreciated without understanding, and Steve’s presentation is designed to give participants a visual comprehension of the meaning of the Central Limit Theorem.  Some background in statistics would be helpful, but it is not required.  As always, everyone is welcome to our mathematics seminars.

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

Why People Trust Statistics

Many students in an introductory Statistics course sail along fine until “Distribution of a Sample Mean” sinks their boat.  After failing to find an illustration that explained the concept in a way I could use with both math-oriented and non-math-oriented students, I built my own.  The result is an Excel spreadsheet that visually demonstrates the power of the Central Limit Theorem. 

Adjunct Steve Harris to lead Mathematics Seminar on Jan. 25

January 24, 2017

The Grand Rapids Community College Mathematics Department is pleased to announce that it will host its first Mathematics Seminar of 2017 on Wednesday, January 25, 3:00-4:00 PM in 101 Cook.  Our speaker, GRCC mathematics adjunct Steve Harris, will discuss the Central Limit Theorem.  His title and abstract are below.

In 1920 the Hungarian-born mathematician George Pólya first used the name Central Limit Theorem to describe the result that has become so important in the study of probability and statistics.  Usefulness is not fully appreciated without understanding, and Steve’s presentation is designed to give participants a visual comprehension of the meaning of the Central Limit Theorem.  Some background in statistics would be helpful, but it is not required.  As always, everyone is welcome to our mathematics seminars.

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

Why People Trust Statistics

Many students in an introductory Statistics course sail along fine until “Distribution of a Sample Mean” sinks their boat.  After failing to find an illustration that explained the concept in a way I could use with both math-oriented and non-math-oriented students, I built my own.  The result is an Excel spreadsheet that visually demonstrates the power of the Central Limit Theorem. 

Mathematics Seminar to look at Central Limit Theorem

January 18, 2017

The Grand Rapids Community College Mathematics Department is pleased to announce that it will host its first Mathematics Seminar of 2017 on Wednesday, January 25, 3:00-4:00 PM in 101 Cook.  Our speaker, GRCC mathematics adjunct Steve Harris, will discuss the Central Limit Theorem.  His title and abstract are below.

In 1920 the Hungarian-born mathematician George Pólya first used the name Central Limit Theorem to describe the result that has become so important in the study of probability and statistics.  Usefulness is not fully appreciated without understanding, and Steve’s presentation is designed to give participants a visual comprehension of the meaning of the Central Limit Theorem.  Some background in statistics would be helpful, but it is not required.  As always, everyone is welcome to our mathematics seminars.

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

Why People Trust Statistics

Many students in an introductory Statistics course sail along fine until “Distribution of a Sample Mean” sinks their boat.  After failing to find an illustration that explained the concept in a way I could use with both math-oriented and non-math-oriented students, I built my own.  The result is an Excel spreadsheet that visually demonstrates the power of the Central Limit Theorem. 

Mathematics Seminar is today

December 7, 2016

The Grand Rapids Community College Mathematics Department is pleased to announce that it will host its next Mathematics Seminar on Wednesday, December 7, 3:00-4:00 PM in 107 Cook.  Our speaker, GRCC mathematics student Bethany Austhof, will discuss the relationship between Calculus and Statistics.  Her title and abstract are below.

While Statistics can be successfully studied and applied at a pre-Calculus level, a better understanding of many fundamental concepts and processes hinges on ideas from Calculus.  Bethany’s talk will provide some historical background that will accessible to anyone, so if you know a bit of statistics and not much Calculus, consider this to be an opportunity to learn more!  As always, everyone is welcome to our mathematics seminars.

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

Probability: Curves Inspired by the Cosmos

In this seminar, we will look at the applications of Calculus in the field of Statistics. Topics of discussion will include how we can derive exact probabilities using integration techniques, how to  determine the mean of a continuous random variable using the center of mass formula, and a look at the derivation of the normal curve distribution function.

Mathematics Seminar looks at calculus, statistics

December 6, 2016

The Grand Rapids Community College Mathematics Department is pleased to announce that it will host its next Mathematics Seminar on Wednesday, December 7, 3:00-4:00 PM in 107 Cook.  Our speaker, GRCC mathematics student Bethany Austhof, will discuss the relationship between Calculus and Statistics.  Her title and abstract are below.

While Statistics can be successfully studied and applied at a pre-Calculus level, a better understanding of many fundamental concepts and processes hinges on ideas from Calculus.  Bethany’s talk will provide some historical background that will accessible to anyone, so if you know a bit of statistics and not much Calculus, consider this to be an opportunity to learn more!  As always, everyone is welcome to our mathematics seminars.

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

Probability: Curves Inspired by the Cosmos

In this seminar, we will look at the applications of Calculus in the field of Statistics. Topics of discussion will include how we can derive exact probabilities using integration techniques, how to  determine the mean of a continuous random variable using the center of mass formula, and a look at the derivation of the normal curve distribution function.

Student Bethany Austhof to lead Mathematics Seminar

November 30, 2016

The Grand Rapids Community College Mathematics Department is pleased to announce that it will host its next Mathematics Seminar on Wednesday, December 7, 3:00-4:00 PM in 107 Cook.  Our speaker, GRCC mathematics student Bethany Austhof, will discuss the relationship between Calculus and Statistics.  Her title and abstract are below.

While Statistics can be successfully studied and applied at a pre-Calculus level, a better understanding of many fundamental concepts and processes hinges on ideas from Calculus.  Bethany’s talk will provide some historical background that will accessible to anyone, so if you know a bit of statistics and not much Calculus, consider this to be an opportunity to learn more!  As always, everyone is welcome to our mathematics seminars.

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

Probability: Curves Inspired by the Cosmos

In this seminar, we will look at the applications of Calculus in the field of Statistics. Topics of discussion will include how we can derive exact probabilities using integration techniques, how to  determine the mean of a continuous random variable using the center of mass formula, and a look at the derivation of the normal curve distribution function.

Mathematics Seminar is today

November 15, 2016

The Grand Rapids Community College Mathematics Department is pleased to announce that it will host its next Mathematics Seminar on Tuesday, November 15, 3:00-4:00 PM in 102 Cook.  Our speaker, GRCC mathematics instructor Alejandro Saldivar, will explore geometric constructions in which only a compass is used.  The title and abstract are below.

For centuries, the classical approach to solving geometry problems required that solutions be demonstrated using only a compass and straightedge.  It was later discovered that the straightedge, while useful, was not really needed.  This talk will be accessible to anyone with an interest in geometry and an appreciation for understanding different ways of solving problems.  As always, everyone is welcome!

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

Compass-Only Geometric Constructions

In the geometry of straightedge and compass constructions, it turns out that the straightedge is not necessary.  This math seminar will cover the following:

  • a bit of history involving compass-only geometry
  • why a collapsible compass is sufficient
  • some examples of constructions with just a compass
  • at least one reason why the straightedge is superfluous in the geometry of straightedge and compass