SMMG – September 2021Date: September 12, 2021
Time: 12pm2pm Location: Zoom (Join the mailing list to receive the zoom link!) Speaker: Cas Monroe Title: NPCompleteness Abstract: We'll discuss the idea behind "complexity" in computer science, which is a way of describing how hard it is for a computer to solve a given problem. If you've been coming to SMMG for a while, you might remember that we once asked "Can a computer solve any problem?" (Spoilers: No!); in this talk, we are asking, "If a computer can definitely solve this problem, how long can it take?" It turns out, this question leads to the heart of one of the seven Millennium Problems! 

SMMG – September 2021Date: September 26, 2021
Time: 12pm2pm Location: Zoom (Join the mailing list to receive the zoom link!) Speaker: Dr. Jennifer Mann Austin Title: SET and EvenQuads Abstract: I will share some of the mathematics of both games and we will play together online. 

SMMG – October 2021Date: October 10, 2021
Time: 12pm2pm Location: Zoom (Join the mailing list to receive the zoom link!) Speaker: Joe Neeman Title: Lost mice and shuffling cards Abstract: Markov chains are what you get when you make a sequence of independent random decisions. We'll talk about some tricks for understanding Markov chains, and also some applications, including "will the lost mouse find the cheese?" and "how many shuffles does it take to randomize a deck of cards?". 

SMMG – October 2021Date: October 24, 2021
Time: 12pm2pm Location: Zoom (Join the mailing list to receive the zoom link!) Speaker: Colin Walker Title: Computer Architecture Abstract: How do computers compute? Can they think? In this talk, we'll start to answer these questions by learning about binary numbers and logic gates. We can even design a small part of the computer processor: an addition machine. 

SMMG – November 2021Date: November 7, 2021
Time: 12pm2pm Location: Zoom (Join the mailing list to receive the zoom link!) Speaker: Allie Embry Title: Knot Theory Abstract: When you think of knots, do you think of tying your shoes, sailors, your computer charger, or a rigorous mathematical theory? If you're one of the former three options, you're in the right place! If you're the latter (and a bit nerdy like me), you are too! My goal is to introduce the mathematical theory of knots, discuss why mathematicians study knots, and talk about some cool methods we can use to study knots. We will even talk about some open problems in the field that have stumped mathematicians for decades. Those who have never heard of a "Reidemeister move" will get to learn the basics of how knot theory works, while those who are knot new to the subject are also bound to learn something exciting! 

The American Mathematics CompetitionDate: November 10 and November 16, 2021
Time: 6:30 – 8:00pm Location: Zoom: register here to receive the zoom link! For more information and registration, click here! 

SMMG – November 2021Date: November 21, 2021
Time: 12pm2pm Location: Zoom (Join the mailing list to receive the zoom link!) Speaker: Luis Torres Title: Euler's Formula and the Euler Characteristic Abstract: In 1750, Leonhard Euler noticed that any convex polyhedron made up of V vertices, E edges, and F faces satisfies the equation VE+F = 2. This formula is known as Euler's polyhedron formula and is a particular instance of what later became known as the Euler characteristic. Join us for a fun journey through history and shapes full of surprises and mysteries as we learn about Euler and his polyhedron formula; how the Greeks missed the formula entirely; how Descartes almost discovered it; how 19th century mathematicians widened the formula's scope; and how 20th century mathematicians discovered that every shape has its own Euler characteristic. Along the way, we'll see a lot of examples and applications, some of them beautiful and unexpected. If we have enough time, we'll even see how the Euler characteristic can be used to show why you can't comb all of a coconut's hairs flat! 