Mathematics Awareness Week 1995

Activities at Participating Institutions

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The American University, Washington, DC celebrated MAW with its seventh annual problem solving contest. John Montroll, master designer of origami, gave a talk on that art form, and Professor Danny Gulick gave a lecture geared toward a general audience on his research in chaotic dynamical systems and fractal geometry.

Boston University, Massachusetts held a poster exhibit on symmetry using M.C. Escher's designs and Mathematica computer graphics to explain tessellations. Professor Persi Diaconis was interviewed for the MAA's Student Chapter Newsletter, in which symmetry was a topic discussed.

Central College, Houston, Texas sponsored a week of colloquia on the mathematical sciences. Each lecture was followed by a reception at which students and faculty participated in informal discussions. A portfolio of students' projects, a videotape library, and articles about MAW were on display in the mathematics department. The forums, displays, and colloquia were promoted in local newspapers and on radio stations.

Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond sponsored a talk given by award-winning educator Dr. Helen Reed entitled, "Balance in a Negative World," A contest to solve two mathematical problems was advertised in local newspapers. Prizes included a TI-85 calculator and a copy of Derive. The Governor issued a proclamation designating May 26, 1995 as Mathematics Awareness Day in Kentucky.

Indiana University of Pennsylvania held its third annual poster contest in which four mathematics classes participated. The faculty judged the posters, which were displayed along the halls of the mathematics classroom area.

Lake Forest College, Illinois sponsored a week of activities in April. Events included a lecture by Dr. Kenneth Ross entitled, "Random Walks and Shuffling," and an informal presentation and workshop by Dr. Ronald Graham on "The Mathematics of Juggling." Dr. Graham also gave the 11th Annual Distinguished Volwiler Science lecture on "Searching for the Shortest Network." The college also held activities involving high school students--a mathematics and computer science career night, and a quiz show highlighting some of the clever ideas, famous flaws, and fun of mathematics.

Lycoming College, Williamsport, Pennsylvania co-sponsored a Mathematics Awareness Activity Day for 120 students from area middle schools with the Pennsylvania College of Technology. Hands-on sessions included exploring polyhedra, probability, graphing calculators, mathematics games, and fractal geometry in nature. A planetarium show was also held.

Metro State College of Denver and the University of Colorado at Denver co-sponsored several events including a puzzle contest and scavenger hunt. Students constructed a tetrahedral Sierpinski sponge out of 1,024 one-inch tetrahedrons, which was displayed in the campus bookstore. Several members of the faculty gave talks throughout the week. Presentations on mathematics and the real world were given by Dr. Paul Domich, National Institute for Standards and Technology; quality analyst and statistician Tom Gatliffe, Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site; and Chuck Milligan, consulting engineering manager, Storage Technology Corporation.

New Jersey Mathematics Coalition sponsored Math, Science, and Technology month during April. Some 200 events were held throughout the month that engaged parents and children in hands-on interactive activities. The Governor issued a proclamation designating April as Mathematics, Science and Technology month in New Jersey.

Ohio State University, Lima held its annual Undergraduate Recognition Program during MAW. Professor Robert Mills of the Department of Physics discussed symmetry as it relates to physics and the physical world.

Phoenix College, Arizona held a Mathematics Awareness Day filled with a series lectures, presentations, stories, and poems about mathematics. The students produced a newsletter dedicated to mathematics entitled The Quadratic Chronicle.

Rochester Institute of Technology, New York held a mathematics challenge competition for local high school students. Dr. Herbert Hauptman, Nobel Laureate and President of the Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute gave a lecture entitled, "A Minimal Principle in the Phase Problem of X-Ray Crystallography."

Schenectady County Community College, New York published an article in the campus newspaper, The Binnekill , about the importance of mathematics. Books about mathematics were displayed in the library.

Schoolcraft College, Livonia, Michigan reprinted the article, Mathematics and Symmetry, by Martin Golubitsky and Paul Davis in its monthly departmental newsletter. Extra copies of this publication were distributed to students in upper-level mathematics classes.

St. John's University, Jamaica, New York hosted its fourth Sonia Kovalevsky High School Mathematics Day for 168 female students and their teachers from thirty schools throughout the metropolitan New York area. Mathematician and sculptor Helamon Ferguson brought mathematical concepts to life with his sculptures and his interaction with the audience. Several of his pieces exemplified the theme of mathematics and symmetry.

St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley, Missouri sponsored several activities including a demonstration of interactive CD-ROMs; a demonstration of symmetry in pottery making; a geology display; a mathematics contest for both students and faculty; and a showing of "Monument to a Dream," a documentary on the building of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis.

The University of Montana, Missoula held an awards ceremony and reception at which Dr. Jenny McNulty gave a talk entitled, "Symmetry in Missoula." Other events included a lecture, slide show, and colloquium on mathematics and symmetry. University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls - sponsored several activities including a talk by Seniro Karissa Hobert entitled, "Detecting Symmetry, A Problem in Pattern Recognition." This talk was based on her research in writing software to implement the Hough transform algorithm. A videotape, "The Alhambra Past and Present--A geometer's Odyssey," was shown on the mathematics of symmetry in Islamic art. Local radio stations broadcast "Weekend Radio" and played records for mathematics and symmetry.

The University of Vermont, Burlington sponsored several events including a talk on calculus reform given by Professor Tim Pennings from Hope College in Michigan. A pizza hour and discussion followed the lecture. The Mathematics and Statistics Department held a poster contest on the theme of symmetry for K-8 students from area schools. Students acted as judges. A $50 savings bond was awarded to the winning poster in each of the nine grades. During MAW, mathematics questions were broadcast daily on WRUV with a T-shirt awarded for each day's correct answer. Mathematics Awareness T-shirts were sold for $10.

WGBH Radio, Boston, Massachusetts dedicated a program to Mathematics in Music in celebration of Mathematics Awareness Week. Robert J. Lurtsema, who hosts a five-hour classical music show on weekend mornings, discussed music and symmetry with his guest Professor David Epstein.

Westfield Insurance Companies, Westfield Center, Ohio celebrated Mathematics Awareness Week. Its actuarial staff published a newsletter and held a reception for employees.

Back to Math Awareness Week 1995

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