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Community Connections: News and Notes from the Director of Residence Life.

Hood Math Seminar Series Begins

The first mathematics seminar of the semester has been announced:

Prof. Gwyneth Whieldon
“A Combinatorial Gaming Zoo “
Monday, October 20th
3:00 p.m., Hodson 316

Combinatorial games are two-player games in which players take turns making moves. Unlike many games, here both players have perfect information about the positions and moves available in the game, and no chance is involved in a move. Games of this sort appear in the “wilds” of mathematics, in areas ranging from graph theory to knots, tangles, groups and rings. In this talk we’ll explore some of this strange zoo of algebraic and combinatorial games, introducing you as explorers to exotic and fun mathematics along the way. Come ready to try your strategic abilities against your fellow mathe- matics students too!

MAA Section Meeting

The Fall 2014 meeting of the Mathematical Association of America will be held on the weekend of November 7-8 at Bowie State University in Maryland. There will be a Friday night banquet and lecture (“Unsolved: History's Greatest Ciphers”) and a full program on Saturday of invited lectures (“Computable Mathematics” and “Cannonballs, Triangles, and Secrets: An introduction to elliptic curve cryptog- raphy”) and short talks about mathematics, including some by Hood faculty. Registra- tion for students is $5 and includes a free lunch if you register by the deadline of Wednesday, October 29th. The Friday night banquet is $16 for students. To regis- ter, go to http://sections.maa.org/mddcva/ Register_UG.php. This is an event which many Hood faculty and students attend and enjoy. We hope you will join us!

Math Tea

The Mathematics department hosts a weekly "Math Tea," where students from many different majors in the college join us for some fun puzzles and games over tea and snacks. From building pseudo- spheres (objects with constant curvature at every point that aren’t spheres) to creating hexaflex- agons, this semester’s Math Teas are already off to a great start! Over other Math teas we’ve done creative mathematical arts and crafts, including designing tessellations and making paper folding toys and 3-dimensional models of platonic solids. Students have also gotten to play with foldable Platonic solids, created here at Hood on our own 3-D printer. Right before fall break, we spent a day playing the “Game of Hex,” a puzzle popularized by John Nash and Martin Gardner. Come join us during the remainder of the semester for more exciting math activities at 3 p.m. on Mondays in the Bonus room on 2nd floor of the Hodson building!

On Monday, October 27, from 3-5 p.m., we will be hosting a special "Celebration of Mind" themed Math Tea. This event is being held in honor of Martin Gardner, and as part of the cele- brations of his 100th birthday. Gardner is well known for his contributions in puzzles, games, and recreational mathematics. More information on “Celebration of Mind” can be found at http:// www.celebrationofmind.org. Please join us for this celebration, and bring your friends and family too! In order to help us better plan and organize this event, we request you to confirm your participation at http://cs.hood.edu/~whieldon/pages/celebration-of-mind.html.

Alums check in

Toni Border (BA ’04, MS ’09) is the Math Department Chair at Windsor Knolls Middle School in Frederick County, where she teaches 8th grade math and serves on the School Improvement Team. She is also very involved in the Frederick County Teachers Association, mostly thanks to the men- toring of Shirley McDonald '98. She reports, “I love teaching. The other day at lunch one of the teachers asked ‘If you could go back and do anything else what would be?' I honestly could not think of anything I would rather be doing.” The Outstanding Student Award in our master’s pro- gram in Mathematics Education is named in honor of this dedicated mathematics instructor.

Tayib Salami (’08) is currently working part time in Student Support Services at Montgomery College as a math learning skills specialist. He also runs an online business, Welcome to Housakicks, where he sells sneakers and footwear apparel.

Tomilayo Komolafe (’09) has just begun study in a Ph.D. program in Industrial and Systems Engineering at Virginia Tech. This semester he is a Teaching Assistant for the course Engineering Economy.

Melissa Barrick Estes (’07) is a project manager at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab, where she has worked since graduating from Hood. She reports that she spends most of her time in systems engineering or test and evaluation studies. She earned an MS in Applied and Computational Math from JHU several years ago and “still loves graph theory and queueing theory best of all.”

New Statistics Course

As you sign up for spring courses, keep in mind that there is a new, 200-level basic statistics course for math and science students at Hood: MATH 213 Statistical Con- cepts and Methods. If you are a math or science student, you should take this course instead of MATH 112. In fact, it is required for the math major now -- unless you have already taken another statistics course. The textbook, which you will download from the Internet, costs only $25! Its authors say, “Our goal is to introduce you to the practice of statistics, to help you think about the applications of statistics and to study the mathematical underpinnings of the statistical methods... In this class, you will play the active role of investigator. You will read about an actual study and consider the research question, and then we will lead you to discover and apply the appropriate tools for carrying out the analysis. ” The class will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:30 – 2:45 p.m. The prerequisite is Calculus I – not because we will use a lot of calculus in the course, but to make sure you have a basic understanding of and appreciation for mathe- matics. See Dr. Mayfield if you have any questions.

Least Squares Math Club

The Hood Math Club is open to all students with an interest in mathematics and fun. We meet every other Tuesday night at 9 p.m. in Hodson. This year we have made marshmallow-and-toothpick constructions and watched the movie Flatland. Watch for flyers in Hodson about upcoming meetings. Questions? Comments? Concerns? Contact leastsquares@hood.edu

Important dates

  • Monday, October 20th: Mathematics Seminar featuring Prof. Gwyneth Whieldon.
  • Saturday, October 25th, 9— 11:30 a.m.: Virginia Tech Regional Math Contest (at Hood). Contact Prof. Whieldon if inter- ested.
  • November 7-8: MAA Section meeting, Bowie State Universi- ty. See article on page 2.
  • November 18th: Annual Hood College Mathematics Education Lecture, Dr. Tricia Strickland.
  • Every other Tuesday night: Least Squares Math Club
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Hood College Department of Mathematics
401 Rosemont Ave.
Frederick, Maryland 21701
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