Saturday Morning Math
Here is a list of talks and relevant links given in years past.
Spring 2003 Schedule:
Organizer: Heather Lehr
- February 1, 2003: Location: RLM
4.102, Speaker: Dr. Lorenzo Sadun, Topic: Continued Fractions
For more information about continued fractions, visit An
Introduction to Continued Fractions (a very comprehensive and fun
and Continued Fractions, or Chaos in
Numberland: The secret life of continued fractions (another very
good site with interesting applications).
- February 22, 2003: Location:
Hall) 3.02, Speaker: Dr. Bruce Palka, Topic: Dido's Problem
- March 22, 2003: Location:
4.102, Speaker: Dr. Fernanado
Rodriguez-Villegas, Topic: Nimmity,
Nimmity, Nimmity: More
- April 12, 2003: Location:
4.102, Speaker: Dr. Kathy Davis, Topic: "Digital Music"
Fall 2002 Schedule:
Organizer: Heather Lehr
- September 14, 2002: RLM
Starbird, "INFINITY: How to Count When You Run Out of Toes"
For more information about infinity, visit Ask
Dr. Math or Hotel
- October 12, 2002: RLM
4.102: Dr. Chaim
Goodman-Strauss (the original founder of SMMG along with Karen
Uhlenbeck), "Up to 1,000,000 Dollars in Prize Money Will Be Given
Away!" (see the
For more information on Game Theory, visit Clever
Games for Clever People, The
Game of Life, Another
explanation of the Game of Life, and Gametheory.net for lots of
games, links, resources, and more on game theory.
- November 16, 2002: RLM
4.102: Dr. Felipe
For more information on Barcodes and related topics, visit Dr. Voloch's
barcode page, Clocks
and Modular Arithmetic Discussion, Math
Alive Modular Arithmetic, and info on
Casting Out Nines.
- December 14, 2002:RLM
4.102: Dr. Vrej
Zarikian: "Infinite Sums"
Spring 2002 Schedule:
Organizer: Melissa Macasieb
- February 2, 2002:
- February 23, 2002: RLM 4.102:
Dr. James Vick, "Topology and Euler Number"
Topological Zoo to learn more about topology.
- April 13, 2002: RLM 4.102:
Dr. Barry Cipra, "Mathematical Anti-Chairs and Other Thoughtful Fun"
- May 4, 2002: RLM 4.102:
"Space Shuttles and Manhole Covers"
Fall 2001 Schedule:
Organizer: Melissa Macasieb
- September 15, 2001: RLM 4.102:
Starbird, "Cool Geometry: Ice Cream Cones,
Pies, and Snowballs"
- October 27, 2001: PAI
Dr. Michael Marder, "Maps and Chaos"
To find out more about chaos and dynamical systems, visit this website used in the
- November 17, 2001: RLM 4.102:
Hammond Marshall, "What do doughnuts have to do with numbers and
- December 8, 2001: RLM 4.102:
Dr. Cynthia Verjovsky Marcotte, "The Seven Bridges of Konigsberg"
website to lean more about this famous mathematical problem.
Here are some more photos from this talk.
Spring 2001 Schedule:
NOTE NEW LOCATION FOR THE
All talks this semester will be held in T.S. Painter
- January 20, 2001:
- February 17, 2001:
PAI 3.02: Dr.
Cynthia Marcotte, "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways!"
- March 3, 2001:
Dr. Frank Shirley, "The Mathematics of
This special presentation is part of the Explore UT
program. TIME CHANGE: SMMG meets 2:00-4:00 today!
- April 7, 2001:
PAI 3.02: Dr. Stathis Tompaidis of the McCombs School of Business
"Modern Portfolio Theory: The Mathematics Behind Choosing a Stock
- April 28, 2001:
Dr. Henrietta Edmonds,
"Putting the Ocean in a Box: Simple Numerical Models in Oceanography."
Fall 2000 Schedule:
- September 9:
- September 23:
- October 21:
- November 18:
Spring 2000 Schedule:
Organizer: Leslie Hayes. <>
- February 5,
Dr. Bruce Palka, "Dido's Problem. What does a legendary Phoenecian
have to do with mathematics?"
For a three dimensional Pentomino sort of puzzle, check out this Soma Cube
- March 4, RLM 4.102:
Dr. Chaim Goodman Strauss, "Can't Decide? Undecide!!"
Some excellent, readable sources are:
anything by Douglas Hofstader, but mostly Godel-Escher-Bach
or anything by Raymond Smullyan
- March 25, RLM 4.102:
Dr. Felipe Voloch, "BIG Primes"
Here's the site for the
Prime Pages Dr. Voloch mentioned on Saturday.
(You can get more information about GIMPS here)
- April 15, RLM 4.102:
Dr. Hugh Howards, "Knots from a Mathematical Perspective"
Here's some information about
Check out the KnotPlot
site for some great images of knots.
A wonderful book about knots is "The Knot Book" by Colin Adams.
Fall 1999 Schedule:
Organizer: Leslie Hayes.
- September 18, RLM 4.102:
Dr. Patrick Callahan, "Math in the Bath: The Geometry of Soap Bubbles".
for an interesting site with more information on bubbles.
- October 16,
Dr. Terutake Abe, "On Numbers and Games: How Familiar and Exotic
Arise out of Games".
If you are interested in more games like we played during the activity
here are a couple of sites:
games for Clever People. Here you'll find a collection of rules and
illustrations of games.
Toys and Puzzles. There are lots of links here, including many more
games, and research reports.
A good book to look for is Winning Ways, volumes 1 and 2 by Berlekamp,
Conway and Guy, Academic Press, 1982. This book is full of pictures,
cute quotations, and wordplays.
- October 30,
RLM 4.102: Dr. Linda Henderson, "Modern Art and the Fourth
here to explore 2-dimensional space!
- November 20,
RLM 4.102: Dr. Irene Gamba, "Modeling and Computing"
Spring 1999 Schedule:
Verjovsky Marcotte. <>
- March 6,
Dr. Patrick Callahan, "From paperfolding to coffee cup caustics: The
Geometry of Curves".
***This will be in the afternoon, just this once***
This time, SMMG will be part of UT Interactive,
a campus-wide open house.
The talk will be repeated at three different times:
12:30 - 1:45 pm
2:00 - 3:15 pm
3:30 - 4:45 pm
The place will be the same as always: RLM 4.102.
- March 27,
RLM 4.102: Drs. Nicholas
Ormes & Debra
Carney, "Fractals: In between dimensions"
There are many sites on the web where you can learn about fractals and
dimension. You can explore such things as:
Triangle and Sierpinski's
Carpet (also called Sierpinski's Gasket).
You can find fractal
dimensions of many fractals at the this site, by determining the
scale factor and the number of copies used to create the next level of
You can play some games that are related to fractals. You can play The
Two others are Fractalina,
created by Noah Goodman, who is now a graduate student here at UT!
Another good page to try is the Center
for Polymer Studies, which includes several Fractals in Science
- April 24, RLM 4.102:
Fernando Rodriguez-Villegas, "Nimbles for a nimble Nim: The
mathematics of games"
If you want to learn about some of Conway's other games, go to the Clever
for Clever People site. This includes all the games we played
- May 8, RLM 4.102:
Margaret Symington, "Catastrophes: Will the dog attack?"
Fall 1998 Schedule:
Verjovsky Marcotte. <>
- September 19,
Dr. Michael Starbird, "The Fourth Dimension".
Saket Vora told us about a related site, Hypercube,
which has links to other sites. Thanks, Saket! If you want to find out
more about Prof.
Thomas Banchoff, one of the creators of the video "Hypercube:
Projections and Slicing" which was shown at this session, visit his web
- October 10,
RLM 4.102: Dr.
Lorenzo Sadun, "Tilings,
Quasi-Crystals and Continuous Symmetry."
A cool site where you learn about tilings, both periodic and non
periodic, is the one run by the Geometry
Center. You also down load some software
to create your own non periodic
tilings. A great site expalining the 4 plane symmetries and the
wallpaper groups is "Symmetry and
the Shape of Space." This site was created by
Chaim Goodman-Strauss, an old SMMG organizer!
Another good site is "Wallpaper
Groups" by David E. Joyce.
- October 24, RLM 4.102:
Daniel Bonevac, "Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem."
You can read about this theorem in the Mathematics
You can read a quote by Roger Penrose about the implications
of this theorem.
A great book that deals with this and other related
topics is Douglas
Hofstadter's "Gödel, Escher, Bach." Another book that contains
lots of fun puzzles is Raymond Smullyan's "Forever Undecided: A Puzzle
Guide to Gödel."
- November 21,
RLM 4.102: Dr. Diane Radin, "The Prisoner's Dilemma."
Here are some links related to
the Prisoner's Dilemma.
Spring semester, 1998:
and Angela Gibney.
- January 31, RLM 4.102:
Dr. Ted Odell, "Mathematical Insanity."
- February 14, ETC 2.108:
Dr. Jeff Stopple, "Cryptography... the Black Chamber to
- March 7, RLM 4.102:
Rodriguez-Villegas, "Lattice Polygons: What's twelve got to do with
- March 28, RLM 4.102:
Ghrist, "Walking in a 5-Dimensional Room."
Fall 1997 Schedule:
and Angela Gibney.
<> > <>
- September 13, RLM 4.102:
Dr. Patrick Callahan,
" Polyhedra: They're not just for breakfast
anymore. A guided tour from Plato to the
present." There is a handout for this
Check out these sites for more information: Virtual
polyhedra web page , and A
Pavilion of Polyhedrality. Also that day, we'll make Slide-Together
polyhedra like the one in the picture on the right. Here is a
of pictures of uniform polyhedra:
V. Bulatov's polyhedra.
- September 27, ECJ 1.202:
Ghrist, "Will the Solar System Collapse? - a
- October 18, ECJ 1.202:
Dr. Michael Starbird, "Cutting Cake for Greedy People, Topology
to the Rescue."
- November 8, RLM 4.102:
"The Shortest Distance Between Two Points."
- November 22, RLM 4.102:
Address: Department of Math, UT Austin, 1 University Station C1200,
Austin TX 78712
Office: RLM 8.100
Last updated July 24, 2003 by Kathleen Petersen.
Send questions, comments to Kathleen Petersen at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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