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## September 2006
A tiny bug living on a beach ball might think its world is flat, like paper on a desk. In fact, it is a sphere. A sphere is one example of what mathematicians call a manifold. We will learn what manifolds are, and build some of our own. We will also find some ways of telling different manifolds apart -- perhaps enough to help the bug realize it's on a beach ball, or help us see why the surface of the earth might be a sphere. However, not even scientists and mathematicians know what manifold our universe is!
Here is a link to the PowerPoint presentation. Click here to find out about the world's largest glass Klein bottle. ## October 2006
How do we find formulas for the areas of circles, rings, and more exotic objects? Often, an effective strategy involves dividing the object into small pieces and seeing how the small pieces can be re-assembled to produce an object whose volume or area is easier to compute. Cutting up works.
This is the activity
sheet we used during our meeting. Pictures from the meeting are in - you can see them here. ## November 2006
We will investigate how Mathematics and Physics come together in the foundations of classical statistical mechanics.
We will soon post the slides of Dr. Gamba's presentation. In the second half of the meeting we devoted some time to
exploring the
Galton Board, sometimes called the Quincunx, a little further. Also check out some neat facts and problems dealing with
probabilities
in the handout and, of
course, look
at the photos. ## December 2006
Here we will discover some of the amazing structure in nature's flowers and apply our observations to find beautiful patterns in mathematics.
We will not only discover a fantastic sequence of numbers, uncover the most attractive rectangle ever and possibly the most attractive number, but we will also learn a fun game with a number-theory secret! Click here to read a bio of this speaker. |