Fields Medal 2014

Congratulations to the 2014 Fields Medalists! Every four years, the International Mathematical Union (IMU) awards the Fields Medal to two, three, or four mathematicians under forty, recognizing them for their research and contributions to the discipline. The Fields Medal was established in 1936 and is often compared to the Nobel Prize. This year four mathematicians were honored: Artur Avila for his contributions to chaos theory and dynamical systems; Martin Hairer for his study of stochastic PDEs; Manjul Bhargava for his work in algebra and number theory; and Maryam Mirzakhani for her research on the dynamics and geometry of Riemannian surfaces. This year’s prize was particularly historic because Mirzakhani is the first woman to be awarded the Fields Medal. Continue reading “Fields Medal 2014” »

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Classes Starting – Tech Note-Taking Resources

2014-08-18 09.50.18With classes starting back up again, I thought it might be nice to share my favorite note taking resources. I bought an iPad Air a while back and love the Adonit Jot Script that I purchased for it. This stylus (although a bit costly, $74.99), has a much smaller tip than other styluses. It also connects via bluetooth to my iPad to help with palm rejection. It is the same size as ink pens I would use which makes it much more natural of a writing process.

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Logarithms Celebrate Their 400th Birthday – A Science News Article

A pocket slide rule.  Photo acquired from Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository

A pocket slide rule. Photo acquired from Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository

The first time I entered the math library at Lebanon Valley College, I was struck by what I saw on top of the bookcases – a giant slide rule!  Though I had never used one, I remembered my dad telling me about how he had to use a slide rule in his math classes in college.  This iconic piece of mathematical technology owes its existence to the mathematical development that is celebrating its 400th birthday this year – the invention of logarithms.

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Why Do Americans Stink at Math? – an NYTimes Article

In school, did you “learn” mathematics by just memorizing some facts and not really understanding where those facts arose? Karen Morgan Ivy Tweeted the below Calvin and Hobbes comic.

(Transcription below by http://blog.onbeing.org/post/250746172/calvin-and-hobbes-math-is-a-religion)

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The Four Color Theorem

Photo Credit: Stephanie Blanda

Photo Credit: Stephanie Blanda

This weekend, I was helping paint flats for a play when an interesting problem arose – we wanted to use three colors of paint to create rectangles of different sizes on a rectangular flat, with the stipulation that no two adjacent rectangles were the same color. Prior to painting, we labeled the rectangles with their colors just to make sure everything worked out. We didn’t run into any problems, but one person did ask the question – was it possible to come up with a configuration of rectangles that was impossible to paint with our condition? Since we were only using three colors of paint, the answer, of course, was yes! In fact, when making up sample designs the night before, our director ran into the issue of three colors not being enough.

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