team came in first place with Elias Eid, Sam Holen, and Jennifer Williams, each earning $100 in prize money. Two teams tied for second place: “The Winners” Kim An Truong, Yik Ping Khoo, and Myungjun Yeo and “Winners 17” Pratik Dahl, Rostand Fezeu, and Paige Meyer, each earning $50 in prize money.

Congratulations to all that participated in this year’s event.

]]>Tammy Fitting, Director of the Math Learning Center presented a session titled “Learning How to Learn.” Tim Harms, Professor of Mathematics Education, presented a session titled “Development of Students’ Fraction Understanding.” Math Education majors Abigail Carlson and Ashley Borchardt presented a session titled “Making It All Add Up for English Language Learners.”

Tammie Schmiess, Mathematics Department, also attended the conference along with the following Math Education majors working with technical support: Alexis Hanson, Erin Giosta, Katherine Hansen and Jennifer Williams.

]]>Featuring MSUM Mathematics majors Stefan Nelson and Pratik Dahal | Niven Numbers and Algorithmic Problem Solving; Group Theory and Rubik’s Cube

Stefan Nelson will be speaking on “Niven Numbers and Algorithmic Problem Solving”

A Niven number is a number that can be divided evenly by the sum of its digits. While finding these numbers by hand can be a tedious process, one can use algorithms to automate the search process. In this talk, we will discuss methods for finding two types of numbers, namely Niven numbers and strong right truncatable Niven primes, using algorithms implemented using the Python programming language.

Pratik Dahal will be speaking on “Group Theory and Rubik’s Cube”

The Rubik’s Cube is a well-known puzzle that remarkable connections to group theory (the mathematical study of a class of algebraic structures known as groups). We will discuss concepts from Group Theory related to solving a Rubik’s Cube.

Featuring MSUM Mathematics majors Alicia Swenson, Kyle Benjamin, and Audrey Jensen | Latin Squares; The Riffle Shuffle; Transcendental Number Theory

Alicia Swenson will be speaking on “Latin Squares”

Latin squares are n x n matrices that are arranged in such a way that no row or column has the same element twice. As the size of the matrix increases, the possible number of Latin squares increases rapidly.

Kyle Benjamin will be speaking on “The Riffle Shuffle”

When you are playing any card game and it is your turn to deal, do you ever wonder about the mathematics that is happening when you shuffle a deck of cards? Through this seminar we will be discussing the riffle shuffle and the different amount of combinations that are possible from a deck of cards. From there we will discuss the two-different kinds of riffle shuffles from an in-shuffle and an out-shuffle. This will lead us to discuss the amount of perfect riffle shuffles it would take to get a deck back to its original ordering.

Audrey Jensen will be speaking on “Transcendental Number Theory”

We will discuss the history of transcendental number theory as well as a few theorems that help establish it. We will also discuss two open problems in transcendental number theory — the constant problem and Schanuel’s Conjecture.

Dr. Damiano Fulghesu will give a talk titled “Recurrence Sequences and Chaos.”

Abstract: In this talk we will investigate how simple recurrence sequences are used to define extremely complex sets, such as the famous and ubiquitous Mandelbrot set. This kind of sets are also known as fractals: a large family of geometrical shapes which present self-similar properties.

All interested students are welcome to come.

]]>The 2^{nd} Annual MSUM Math Contest will be on Saturday, April 22 in MA 269 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Breakfast items will be available starting at 8:30 a.m. Teams may have 2 or 3 participants.

PRIZES: First place team will receive a cash prize of $100 for each member, second place team will receive a cash prize of $50 for each member.

Please email lisa.johnson@mnstate.edu your team members. If you do not have a team, but are interested in being on a team, please let us know.

]]>*Featuring MSUM Mathematics majors Samantha Swenson and Zach Snell | Penrose Tilings; Methods and Fairness in Voting Theory *

Samantha Swenson will be speaking on “Penrose Tilings”

Penrose Tilings are an aperiodic way of tiling the plane (covering the plane with interlocking pieces that fit together with no overlaps and no gaps). We will discuss the tiles that are used to create these interesting tilings and the fact that there are infinitely many different tilings that can be produced using Penrose tiles.

Zach Snell will be speaking on “Methods and Fairness in Voting Theory”

We will define what is meant by a fair voting system. We will then look at a few specific voting methods and determine whether or not they meet the criteria for being fair. We will also discuss Arrow’s Theorem and some real life examples of voting.

]]>Featuring MSUM Mathematics majors Samuel Holen, Jennifer Williams, and Kelli Vosberg | The Collatz Conjecture; Parallel Lines in Hyperbolic Geometry; The Birthday Problem

**Samuel Holen will be speaking on “The Collatz Conjecture: An Analysis”**

The Collatz Conjecture, also known as the hailstone sequence, is a mathematical sequence a_n , where the starting value a 0 is a positive integer, defined in the following way:

a_{n+1} = 3a_n + 1 if a_n is odd; a_{n+1} = a_n/2 if a_n is even.

The conjecture, proposed over 80 years ago by Lothar Collatz, claims that starting from any positive integer a 0, repeated iteration will eventually yield the value 1. Simple to state and test, this conjecture starts off as a leisurely stroll in the park, but quickly becomes an Olympic marathon, leaving one drained of all enthusiasm. This talk discusses an analysis of the Collatz Conjecture. We will discuss the basics of the Conjecture along with a brief history and several examples. We will discuss number types that are shown to decrease overall as well as problematic numbers that have not been shown to decrease. We will also derive the ”worst case” numbers, numbers that increase the most consecutive times, and where they are headed. Finally, we will examine a few inductive proofs for two infinite sets of numbers that absolutely work.

**Jennifer Williams will be speaking on “Parallel Lines in Hyperbolic Geometry”**

In this presentation we will introduce a non-Euclidean geometry known as Hyperbolic geometry and one of its models, the Poincare Disk model. We will then explore how parallel lines behave in Hyperbolic geometry using some theorems and the Poincare Disk model.

**Kelli Vosberg will be speaking on “The Birthday Problem”**

What are the odds that two people share a birthday given a set number of people? We will use probability to determine the chances of this occurring for groups of people of various sizes.

]]>Internships pay $1,000 for approximately 100 hours of work.

Noyce Internship applications are open until April 3. See the website https://www.mnstate.edu/noyce/internships.aspx to learn more about the program and for an online application.

]]>Featuring Dr. Adam Goyt | Euclid’s Elements and their Impact on the Catholic Church

The most famous math book in history, Euclid’s Elements, was a collection of many of the geometric ideas and results of the time. While most of the proofs and ideas in book were not original to Euclid, Euclid laid out a beautiful and powerful argument for the eternal and unchanging truths of mathematics. Fast forward a millennium, when the Jesuits, a powerful Catholic order, used the Elements as an analogy of their faith and used mathematics in their battle against the protestants for the soul of the christian church. Unfortunately, for the Jesuits, a dangerous theory called infinitesimals was taking hold in the community of mathematics, which threatened to destroy the order that the Jesuits and The Elements imposed.

In this talk, we’ll discuss the Elements and the mathematics that so inspired the Jesuits. We’ll discuss how the Jesuits used mathematics to save the Catholic church and establish order in a chaotic world of differing Christian viewpoints. Finally, we’ll see how the theory of infinitesimals upended the Jesuit beliefs, and how the Jesuits went to any length to stop it.

]]>MSU Moorhead’s Robert Noyce Grant Project gives current students majoring in science or mathematics, or community members who’ve received a STEM degree, the opportunity to earn a teaching license free of cost. This semester, MSUM awarded four student scholarships to David Cord, Christian Larson, Brooke Mayer and Jennifer Williams.

David Cord received a degree in geology from Illinois State University. After working in exploration geology in Alaska, he moved to Morris with his fiancée and looked into teaching, which is how he found out about MSUM. Now in his first year at the university, he’s excited to continue his education through the Noyce program. He first found his passion for teaching through Boy Scouts, where he had the opportunity to teach skills and lead activities. Having always been into rock collecting and exploring geological features, he looks forward to sharing his knowledge in the classroom. He’s also eager to take advantage of the learning and training opportunities Noyce provides.

After coming to MSUM because of its excellent reputation in producing highly qualified teachers, sophomore Christian Larson chose to major in chemistry education and chemistry with an emphasis in biology. He chose chemistry because he hopes to change the negative experiences some people have in high school. Interested in teaching from a young age, he looks forward to achieving his long-term goal through the Noyce program. He’s excited about the opportunities the scholarship program provides, such as workshops, meetings and conferences.

Brooke Mayer found her way to MSUM after learning about the impressive biology program and the small class sizes. After earning her degree in biology with an emphasis in health and medical sciences, she returned to the university to earn a degree in life science education. She’s always loved learning and working with students, and hopes to do just that once she graduates with her second degree. Like the other scholars, she too looks forward to the learning opportunities the Noyce program provides, such as attending discussions and conferences.

Junior math education and mathematics student Jennifer Williams came to MSUM because of the prestigious reputation of the education department. She also appreciates the small class sizes, allowing her to feel more comfortable approaching her professors. Teaching was always in the back of her mind, but she was originally hesitant about entering the field. Once her son entered adolescence and she began interacting with his peers, she realized teaching would be fulfilling for her. She hopes to use her love of math to help students understand and succeed and is excited to grow through Noyce’s professional development opportunities.

Applications for the program are available until March 29. Apply today: www.mnstate.edu/noyce

]]>

Noyce Scholars receive full tuition and partial room/board (a bit more than $13,000 per year).

Noyce Scholarship applications are open until March 29. See the website to learn more about the program and for an online application.

Information sessions are being held this week:

- Monday, March 20 at 12:30 p.m. in the Science Library (HA 104)
- Tuesday, March 21 at 8:15 a.m. in the Science Library (HA 104)
- Wednesday, March 22 at 5:30 p.m. in the Library Porch

*Featuring MSUM Mathematics majors Kelli Vosberg and Abi Carlson | The Five Color Theorem; The Cauchy-Frobenius-Burnside Theorem *

Kelli Vosberg will be speaking on “The Five Color Theorem.”

We will discuss coloring a map so that no two adjacent regions are assigned the same color. Graph theory will be used to prove that every map is 5 colorable.

Abi Carlson will be speaking on “The Cauchy-Frobenius-Burnside Theorem: A Crossroads of Group Theory and Counting.”

Given a necklace with four beads, and two different color options for each bead, in how many distinct ways can we color the beads of the necklace? What if we increase the number of beads from four to ten? In this talk we will take a mathematical approach to determining the answers to these questions, and we will use group theory and enumeration processes to do so. The Cauchy-Frobenius-Burnside Theorem will be discussed and applied.

]]>In Mongolia, the first celebration of the year is the lunar new year, Tsagaan Sar, meaning ”white moon.”

The date of the celebrations is determined according to lunar calendar. It comes on the first new moon after the winter solstice and is a symbol of the warmer days of spring just ahead. It is one of the most important events for all Mongols across the country. The holiday lasts fifteen days.

This year Lunar New Year’s Eve (Bituun) was February 26 and Lunar New Year (Tsagaan Sar) was February 27.

MSUM has a strong connection with Mongolia: Dr. Erdenebaatar Chadraa is on the faculty in the mathematics department and Dr. Ruth Lumb, Paseka School of Business, is the Senior Research Fellow at the Research Center for International Higher Education at The Mongolian University of Science & Technology. Each year Dr. Lumb visits with the MSUM alumni who are available in Mongolia at the time of her visit(s).

]]>*Featuring Featuring Dr. Azer Akhmedov, NDSU Mathematics Department | Two Theorems on Pizza*

This seminar will discuss two theorems on pizza. One is about cutting it, the other one is about eating it. Both theorems were proved by K. F. Gauss.

]]>Featuring T. J. Hansen | Mathematics: A Language for Discovery and Decision Making

This seminar focuses on how mathematics serves as a language for discovery in multi-disciplinary inquiries. Alternative mathematical models are introduced in the context of economic research questions in agriculture, taxation, business, and transportation. The expectations to align each model with its context and convey findings to audiences with varying levels of exposure to mathematics highlight the value of effective translators of mathematics to decision making in society.

]]>Featuring Justin James | Analyzing NIM Games

In the game NIM, two players take turns removing “stones” from one or more “piles.” In the standard version, the player who removes the last stone is declared the winner. In this talk we will discuss how a “backward reasoning strategy” and some straightforward divisibility conditions can be used to determine the optimal strategy and the correct move to play at each step in several different variants of NIM.

]]>The progress of the National Science Foundation (NSF) five-year grant MSUM received in December 2015 was presented. Recruitment and retention of future math and science teachers was the focus of the summit.

Read more on the NSF Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Grant.

]]>**Excellence in Service to Students**

**Alex Fogarty,**Assistant Professor, School of Media, Arts & Design

**Culture Champion**

**Faculty involved in the anti-bullying initiative/training**(Sherry Short, Dr. Laurie Blunsom, Dr. Annette Morrow, Ricky Greenwell, Dr. Andrew Chen, Alexandria Fogarty, Dr. Mary Dosch, Dr. Magdalene Chalikia)

**Excellence in Service to the Community**

**Elizabeth Evert-Karnes**, Managing Director, Center for the Arts

**Excellence in Teaching**

**Dr.****Ellen Fagerstrom,**Professor of Mathematics

**Excellence in Research and Creative Activity**

**Dr. Mary Stone,**Associate Professor, Paseka School of Business