Off on a Tangent 17.9

Next Week’s Colloquium will focus on Actuarial Science

  • Title: Actuarial Science—Overview, career pathways, and the Society of Actuaries’ Probability Exam
  • Speaker: Dr. Yew Meng Koh and students
  • When/Where: Thursday, February 21 at 11:00 am in VWF 104

Abstract: Actuarial Science is an interesting and practical field, with rewarding career outcomes. The American Society of Actuaries offers a sequence of exams, the passing of which allows certification in this field. One of these exams is the Probability Exam (P Exam), for which Hope has a MATH361/363 course sequence which helps interested students in their preparation. In this talk, a brief overview of Actuarial Science and its possible career pathways will be presented. We will then focus on the P Exam by discussing its requirements and solving three past year problems from this exam (which do not require prior knowledge of probability). We will end with comments and encouragement from some Math department seniors who passed the P Exam in its most recent Jan 2019 offering.

UPCOMING COLLOQUIA

The following colloquia are currently scheduled for this semester. More should be added as the semester goes on.

  • Feb 21 at 11:00 am, Yew Meng Koh and students, Hope College
  • April 4 at 4:00 pm, Yew Meng Koh, Tyler Gast and John McMorris

Math in the News: Bees know arithmetic

In the biggest news to hit the math world since we learned that dogs know calculus, researchers in Australia recently discovered that bees know how to add and subtract. They were trained in arithmetic by learning that blue figures meant to add and yellow figures meant to subtract. They were then tested on their arithmetic knowledge by having to make decisions as to which direction to go when walking through a maze based on these color-coded addition or subtraction problems. And the bees in the study could do it, at least better than if they just randomly guessed. You can read a short article about this in Popular Science or the full paper in Science Advances.

Problem Solvers of the Fortnight

Congratulations to Anna Carlson, Jonathan Chaffer, Adam Czeranko, Emily Dee, Holly Denouden, Christian Forester, Andrew Gilpin, Ruth Holloway, Elizabeth Inthisane, Yiwei Jiang, Fiona Johnson, Jackson Krebsbach, Abigail LaDuke, Grant Lancaster, Julia Loula, Rebekah Ludema, Cole Manilla, John McMorris, Matthew Nguyen, Eleni Persinger, Morgan Platz, Eleda Plouch, Andrew Ragains, Forest Rulison, Emma Schaefer, Bethany VanHouten, Fangtao Wang, Jonathan Washburn, Anna Wormmeester, and Samantha Yacullo — all of whom correctly solved the Problem of the Fortnight in the last issue of America’s premiere mathematics department fortnightly news blog.

Problem of the Fortnight

If you throw a dart at a dartboard in the shape of a regular hexagon of side length 2 feet, what is the probability that your dart lands within 1 foot of any of the six corners of the hexagon.
Write your solution — not just the answer — on a piece of paper in the shape of a regular hexagon, and drop it in the Problem of the Fortnight slot outside Professor Mark Pearson’s office, room 212 in The Werf, by 3:00 p.m. on Friday, February 22.  As always, be sure to include your name and the name(s) of your math professor(s) — e.g. Chuck N. Darts, Professor Corky Board — on your solution.  Good luck and have fun!

Off on a Tangent 17.8

Help needed in pre-colloquium build

We need a few students to help build the object shown below. This object (which I’m sure we will learn the name of during the colloquium) will be used in the colloquium on symmetry (details below). We will start the build at 2:00 PM on Tuesday, February 5 in the lobby outside the lecture halls on the first floor of VanderWerf. The build will probably last until around 4:00 PM. If you can’t come at the beginning, you are still welcomed to help when you can. As a bonus you can earn a colloquium credit for helping build!

Math Colloquium on Symmetry next week

  • Title: Symmetry: A mathematical approach using group theory and linear algebra
  • Speaker: Dr. David Reimann, Albion College
  • When/Where: 4 pm on Tue, Feb 5 in VanderWerf 102
Abstract: Symmetric patterns are used in many situations to decorate an object with a repeating motif that is translated, rotated, or reflected without changing size. We will see examples of several symmetry types and look at these from the vantage point of group theory. In particular, we will study rosette patterns, frieze patterns, wallpaper patterns, and patterns on the sphere. We will then see how we can create all these pattern types with a unified framework based on the vectors and matrices of linear algebra.

Upcoming Colloquia

The following colloquia are currently scheduled for this semester. More should be added as the semester goes on.

  • Feb 5 at 4:00 pm, David Reimann, Albion College
  • Feb 21 at 11:00 am, Yew Ming Koh and students, Hope College
  • April 4 at 4:00 pm, Yew Ming Koh and Tyler Gast

Students pass Actuarial Exam

All four senior mathematics majors from the Fall 2018 Probability for Actuaries class (Calvin Gentry, Jincheng Yang, Evan Bright, and Yizhe Zhang) who took the Society of Actuaries Probability Exam (Exam P) passed it during its most recent offering in January 2019. There will be a colloquium on Thursday Feb 21 at 11am which will serve as an overview of the Exam P and provide a summary of career pathways in Actuarial Science. Prof. Koh will also solve three past exam questions (which will not need prerequisite knowledge of Probability) and some of the students who passed Exam P will be there to share their experience taking the exam and offer advice and encouragement to interested students.

Statistics Showcase

The 17th annual Statistics Showcase, held Friday, January 18, recognized seven outstanding student statistics projects of the Fall 2018 semester. Congratulations go out to all of these students for their hard work and outstanding results. The following projects were presented.
  • “The Effects of Music on Memory Tasks” by Johanna Emmanuel, Sophia Kleinheksel, and Ian McNamara
  • “Accurate Portions: Shapes and Gender? by Jamie Breyfogle, Montserrat Dorantes, and Haley Russell
  • “How Do People React to Political Bias (Discrimination) Based on Party Affiliation” by Saydee Johns, Drew Schmitz, Curtis Turner, Samuel Vree, and Caleigh White
  • “Hope College and Recycling” by Franciska Loewen, Andrew Pavey, Jamie Westrate, and Andi Yost
  • “How Much Do You Remember: The Effects of Both Physical Activity and Gender on Working Memory?” by Jessica Danielle Bernal, Isaiah Hough, and William Woodhams
  • “Gender Stereotypes in the Workplace: The Next Generation?” by Rachel Hofman, Madison Kerber, Meghan Peel, and Jada Shelby
  • “Are We Dreaming of a White Christmas? A Study on Christmas Music and Feelings about Snow” by Hannah Bugg, Briar Hanlon, and Joseph Hernandez

Numberphile: How to pick the best porta-potty or soul mate

Problem Solvers of the Fortnight

Congratulations to Cal Barrett, Bradley Baysore, Meredith Bomers, Marina Budinsky, Jonathan Chaffer, Regan Corum, Adam Czeranko, Caroline Dargay, Idgie DeLoach, Holly Denouden, Christian Forester, Brandon Fuller, Graham Gould, Sydney Hines, Ruth Holloway, Elizabeth Inthisane, Yiwei Jiang, Fiona Johnson, Michael Kiley, Carson Koning, Jackson Krebsbach, Grant Lancaster, Mitchell Leonard, Dane Linsky, Julia Loula, Rebekah Ludema, James Manderville, Cole Manilla, Michelle Mathenge, Christopher McAuley, Cory McGregor, David McHugh, Marie McLaughlin, Rahja Flowers – Mitchell, Matthew Nguyen, Sarah Olen, Emma Oonk, Josh Paquin, Gina Polito, Mark Powers, Lauren Quenneville, Jack Radzville, Andrew Ragains, Keon Rick, Carmen Rodriguez, Rebecca Ruimveld, Forest Rulison, Nathan Schloff, Meghan Smith, Lydia Sprik, Riley St. Amour, Nelly Tankovo, Sean Traynor, Mary Urdaneta, Bethany VanHouten, Mike Walsh, Fangtao Wang, Jonathan Washburn, Neil Weeda, Lydia Won, Anna Wormmeester, Samantha Yacullo, Sarah Yonker– all of whom correctly solved the Problem of the Fortnight and figured out which dog received the 3.5 kg of food from the butcher.

Problem of the Fortnight

A 3 × 3 magic square is a grid of distinct numbers whose rows, columns, and diagonals all add to the same integer sum.  Sunnie creates a magic square whose sum is N, but her keyboard is broken so that when she types a number, one of the digits (0−9) always appears as a different digit (e.g. if the digit 8 always appears as 5, the number 18 will appear as 15).

The altered square is shown below. Find N.

Write up your solution (not just the answer) and drop in the Problem of the Fortnight slot outside Professor Mark Pearson’s office (room 212 in The Werf) by 3:00 p.m. on Friday, February 8.  As always, be sure to include your name and the name(s) of your math professor(s) — e.g. David Copperfield, Professors Penn and Teller– on your solution.  Good luck and have fun!