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2017 Art!

I spent even longer than usual at the JMM Mathematical Art Exhibit this year.  In the back left corner of the exhibit hall, there are 107 different pieces by over 70 different artists.  There is “math that is pretty,” “art that looks like math,” and a whole range of pieces that truly hybridize the two disciplines in ways I can’t totally categorize.  I can’t possibly show all the great pieces in one post, but luckily a full catalog of the art can be found here.

Andrew Smith and his Protogons at the art exhibition.

Andrew Smith and his Protogons at the art exhibition.

Andrew Smith, Mathematical Artist and instructor at the University of Waterloo created two lovely pieces using spirals formed by joining an equal-length side from each regular n-gon as n increases. These “protogons” have some magic-eye properties; the design in “Central Protogon” seems to move as a viewer moves closer or farther away.

Clayton Shonkweiler's "My Destination" represents the orbit of a point in hyperbolic space under modular transformations

Clayton Shonkweiler’s “My Destination” represents the orbit of a point in hyperbolic space under modular transformations

Clayton Shonkwiler, Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Colorado State University, created the video “Rotation” and the print “My Destination,” illustrating two mathematical explorations in hyperbolic space.

More that I liked:

"Fish" by Umut Isik.

“Fish” by Umut Isik.

"Petersen-Embellished Non-orientable Blanket Square" by sarah-marie belcastro

“Petersen-Embellished Non-orientable Blanket Square” by sarah-marie belcastro

Marie-Renne Laurent's "Implausible Star"

Marie-Renne Laurent’s “Implausible Star”

"Champy" by George Hart

“Champy” by George Hart

The art show includes a prize competition.  Entries were judged based on:

  • Mathematical depth and sophistication,
  • Craftsmanship,
  • Aesthetic appeal,
  • Originality and innovation, and
  • Overall interest.
"Torus" by Jiangmei Wu

“Torus” by Jiangmei Wu

The top entry in the textile, sculpture or other medium category was the stunning “Torus” by Jiangmei Wu.  This sculpture was folded from a single sheet of uncut paper and is lit from within by small lightbulbs.

"AAABBB, two juxtapositions: Dots & Blossoms, Windmills & Pinwheels" by Mary Klotz

“AAABBB, two juxtapositions: Dots & Blossoms, Windmills & Pinwheels” by Mary Klotz

An honorable mention went to Mary Klotz, a Maryland/West Virginia artist, for “AABB, two juxtapositions: Starts and Tadpoles, Dots and Triceratops.”  Her two weavings follow identical patterns with different starting colors.

"Fractal Monarchs" by Doug Dunham and John Shier

“Fractal Monarchs” by Doug Dunham and John Shier

The top photograph, painting or  print was “Fractal Monarchs” by Doug Dunham and John Shier of the University of Minnesota Duluth.  The areas of the butterflies are determined by a formula involving the Hurwitz zeta function.

Who Wants to be a Mathematician?

Meet Graham O’Donnell, this year’s winner of “Who Wants to be a Mathematician?”

A Night of Receptions!

Last night was one of those magical JMM nights of hopping from receptions to repletion. Somehow we made it though this labyrinth of hotels to attend the reception for Mathematical Reviews, something I started doing a few years ago and absolutely love. Next we hit up the poster session and reception for the AWM. And finally, our night ended at the fabulous Project NExT reception, where there was blessedly a great spread bread and cheese. Below are a few photos from the night.

James Ricci (Daemen College) and Justin Sawon (U. of N. Carolina Chapel Hill) chat with Ursula Witcher (AMS) about her work with the AMS Math Reviews.

James Ricci (Daemen College) and Justin Sawon (U. of N. Carolina Chapel Hill) chat with Ursula Witcher (AMS) about her work with the AMS Math Reviews.

Graduate student Alicia Marino (Wesleyan University) presents her results at the AWM poster session last night.

Graduate student Alicia Marino (Wesleyan University) presents her results at the AWM poster session last night.

Francis Su addresses the assembled NExTers at last night's reception. He reminds us "Find someone, and be their advocate!"

Francis Su addresses the assembled NExTers at last night’s reception. He reminds us “Find someone, and be their advocate!”

Green Dot Ben Linowitz (Oberlin College), Brown Dot Lola Thompson (Oberlin College), and Gold Dot Anna Haensch (Duquesne University) catching up at the reception.

Green Dot Ben Linowitz (Oberlin College), Brown Dot Lola Thompson (Oberlin College), and Gold Dot Anna Haensch (Duquesne University) catching up at the reception.

Project NExT Director David Kung (St. Mary's College of Maryland) inspires us from atop a chair.

Project NExT Director David Kung (St. Mary’s College of Maryland) inspires us from atop a chair.

Local max and min at the Project NExT Reception.  Barry Minemyer (The Ohio State University), Bernadette Boyle (Sacred Heart University), and Andrew Lazowski (Sacred Heart University)

Local max and min at the Project NExT Reception. Barry Minemyer (The Ohio State University), Bernadette Boyle (Sacred Heart University), and Andrew Lazowski (Sacred Heart University)

MAA Student Poster Session — Video

Meet twelve of the student groups presenting their research at the MAA Student Poster Session:

 

And read more about the poster session here: http://blogs.ams.org/jmm2017/2017/01/06/maa-undergraduate-poster-session/.

JMM in One Minute

Feeling busy? Take a 30 second tour of the art exhibit:

 

And follow it up with a 30 second tour of the exhibit hall:

Previews of Upcoming Talks

The Joint Meetings are so full of exciting talks that it’s hard to figure out which ones to go to. To help out, we got a sneak preview of two upcoming talks that look fantastic.

Tomorrow morning (Friday, 9:00 a.m.) Francis Su will talk about “Mathematics for Human Flourishing” in the Marriott Atrium Ballroom

 

And on Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m. James Tanton will talk about “Weird Ways to Multiply” in the Hyatt Regency Ballroom VII

 

There’s two morning math pick-me-ups for you enjoy!

 

Profession, State Of

Carlos Castillo-Chavez, Duane, Helen Grundman, Kristin Lauter, and Talithia Williams.

Carlos Castillo-Chavez, Duane Cooper, Helen Grundman, Kristin Lauter, and Talithia Williams.

In the spirit of sharing things in time for quick readers to partake in awesome events, I am live blogging at the AMS Committee on the Profession Panel Discussion: Diversity and Inclusion in the Mathematical Sciences.  Moderator Helen Grundman (brand new AMS Director of Education and Diversity) has just asked the panelists, Carlos Castill0-Chavez of Arizona State University, Duane Cooper of Morehouse College, Kristin Lauter of Microsoft Research and outgoing president of the AWM, and Talithia Williams of Harvey Mudd College, to give one suggestion each to increase diversity in the profession. Carlos Castillo-Chavez kicked off with a great answer that we need to both remember what it is like to be an undergraduate, and remember that times have changed, so we cannot insist on giving our students exactly the same training we ourselves had.  “It is not the middle of the last century,” he says, and pretending that it is a ticket to driving students away.

Duane Cooper says, “Do what you can, where you can.  I would encourage professors to be aware of just how powerful our opinions are to our students, and our encouragement.” “Identify the potential, polished or raw, in the students that you encounter.”  “Make a point to say something, and encourage that.  See yourself as a headhunter for mathematics.  Share the possibilities of mathematics with students–they may not know.”

Kristin Lauter has noted that increasing diversity is more than an ethical imperative–“It is truly good for the profession.”  She notes that under 10% of tenure track positions at Research 1 universities are held by women. “That’s my number one priority–to hire more women in research positions at universities.”  In support of this goal, Kristin has devoted an incredible amount of energy to building research networks to support women doing mathematics.  She says, “Doing mathematics research is a community endeavor.  People think it’s merit based but it’s not–it’s network based.”

Talithia Williams, a “mathemastatistician” (my new favorite word) says that in high school in Columbus, GA, “I wasn’t a star student.”  Her AP calculus teacher took “17 seconds” to tell her that she was actually talented in math and she should consider majoring in math in college.  “Those 17 seconds have lived with me every day in this life.”  “Intentional invitations to the mathematical table” are essential, she says.  “Stop people where they are and encourage people to dig into the field.”

This promises to get better and better.  Further controversial quotes: “No more calculus reform!” “We do not live in a meritocracy!” Stop by in A601, Atrium Level, Marriott Marquis.  The panel was organized by Pamela Gorkin, Monica Jackson, and John McCleary, started at 4:30 and continues until 6 PM.

Be Curious, Not Furious!

Whew, I made it. This place is confusing, so before I talk math, let me quickly tell you everything I know about the geography of the JMM. The meetings are taking place mostly in the Marriott, which is connected to the Hyatt (at the atrium level at the Marriott, lobby level at the Hyatt) and connected to the Hilton (atrium level at the Hilton, atrium level at the Marriott). Registration is in the Hyatt and most of the talks are in the Marriott. Also, to make things even more confusing, restaurants for lunch are in the Peachtree Center, which is connected to the Hyatt at…some level. So, somehow you can get between all of the hotels and restaurants without going outside. But it’s confusing. But that’s why we’re here right, we like to solve puzzles!

Alive Silverberg is introduced by Karl Rubin.

Alive Silverberg is introduced by Karl Rubin.

On that note, I just came from Alice Silverberg’s Invited Address, “Through the Cryptographer’s Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There.” Silverberg gave a wonderful talk about pairing based cryptography, like the Diffie-Hellman Key Exchange and higher order analogues. She talked about the relationships between key exchanges, the quest for efficiently computable multilinear maps, and the discrete log problem: if you can solve one, you get the others for free.

Since in its essence, the purpose of cryptography is communication, Silverberg closed her talk with a few moments in praise of good communication, and the importance of listening and being kind. Playing on the title of a book written by Marty Hellman (of Diffie-Hellman) and his wife, Silverberg reminded in “Be curious, not furious.” Especially when you write or read a referee report. Curious, not furious. Got it.

Now I’m off to do some many more wonderful things to feed my curiosity, first up the AWM Panel on Mentoring Women in Mathematics in A707, Atrium Level, Marriott Marquis.

Later today I’m looking forward to the special panel on the Mathematicians and Mathematics in Hidden Figures in A704, Atrium Level, Marriott Marquis.

Video – Welcome From the Press Room!

For our inaugural video blog post, we introduce you to the press room and to Beth’s awesome quilt! Check out the MAA Session on Math and Art in Marriott Marquis #A706 going on now.

Good Morning, JMM!

Mike Breen from the AMS, Kelsey Houston-Edwards, and Adriana Salerno having a nice morning in the press room. Check out our retro phone!

Mike Breen from the AMS, Kelsey Houston-Edwards, and Adriana Salerno having a nice morning in the press room. Check out our retro phone!

Here in the press room we’re drinking coffee and planning today’s blogging (and video blogging!) fun. I am really excited to be writing this week with Kelsey Houston-Edwards, Adriana Salerno, and Anna Haensch. You’ll hear a lot more from us in the next few days but here’s a quick preview of some of the events the AMS press crew will be attending today:

Art and Math: This morning I’m hanging out (and speaking about quilts) at the MAA Session on Mathematics and the Arts, which has its first session 8:00-10:55 AM.

Barry Simon’s AMS invited address: Spectral Theory Sum Rules, Meromorphic Herglotz Functions and Large Deviations, 10:50-10:55 AM, Atrium Ballroom, Atrium Level, Marriott Marquis.

Alice Silverberg’s AMS/MAA invited address: “Through the Cryptographer’s Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There” 11:10 AM- Noon, Atrium Ballroom, Atrium Level, Marriott Marquis.

Laura Taalman’s MAA Invited Address: “Math by design: 3D printing for the working mathematician.” 2:15 p.m.-3:05 p.m, Atrium Ballroom, Atrium Level, Marriott Marquis

Diversity and Inclusion in the Mathematical Sciences, 4:30 p.m.-6:00 p.m. A601, Atrium Level, Marriott Marquis

Special Panel Presentation “The Mathematics and Mathematicians Behind Hidden Figures.” 6:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m. A704, Atrium Level, Marriott Marquis

John Preskill’sAMS Josiah Willard Gibbs Lecture: “Quantum computing and the entanglement frontier.” 8:30 p.m.-9:20 p.m. Atrium Ballroom, Atrium Level, Marriott Marquis.

Association for Women in Mathematics Reception and Awards Presentation, 9:30 p.m.-11:00 p.m.  Imperial Ballroom B, Marquis Level, Marriott Marquis