President Anne is pictured with new hires Lori Schmidt – Nurse Practitioner (Hendrix Clinic & Counseling Center), Ashok Aryal – Assistant Professor of Mathematics (Mathematics), Lois Wagner – Accounting Technician (Alumni Foundation), Carol Hall – Print Coordinator (Marketing & Communications), and Melissa Dingmann – Director of Financial Aid & Scholarships (Office of Scholarship and Financial Aid).

Welcome to MSUM!

]]>Abstract of the talk: In a famous paper in 1980, Alt and Caffarelli showed existence and regularity for a Bernoulli type free boundary arising in a number of applications including flow problems. One notable property of the problem is that the zero set and the positivity set both have positive density at the free boundary, and so the free boundary cannot have cusps in either direction. Very recently, dos Prazeres and Teixeira studied the same problem but for arbitrary uniformly elliptic divergence form operators and they proved that the positivity set has positive density. Applying the generalized mean value theorem, proven by Blank and Hao for arbitrary uniformly elliptic divergence form operators, we have been able to prove that the zero set of this type of FBP has also positive density. In this talk I will introduce the Bernoulli type FBP and present my result.

]]>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.

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