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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AMS Fall Sectional Meeting — Travel Grants

modern-ams-logo-220x72pxAre you interested in attending an AMS Fall Sectional Meeting but need more funding? You’re in luck. The AMS is offering up to $250 for graduate students to attend this year. Dates and locations of the sectional meetings are:

  • September 20-21, 2014, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Eau Claire, WI
  • October 18-19, 2014, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada
  • October 25-26, 2014, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA
  • November 8-9, 2014, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, Greensboro, NC

To apply and see all qualifications, visit https://www.mathprograms.org/db/programs/280. The deadline for applying is July 18, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time.

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Start an AMS Student Chapter

Before you ask, my university does not currently have an AMS Graduate Student Chapter. I learned about this opportunity through my involvement this year in creating a SIAM graduate student chapter. But the two organizations offer practically the same deal to interested students, even down to the due dates for required forms. Hence the following advice applies equally well to either organization. This article will also include some facts which seem specific to the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), but most likely have analogs in your neck of the woods.

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