Difference between revisions of "Madison Math Circle"

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For the site in Spanish, visit [[Math Circle de Madison]]
 
For the site in Spanish, visit [[Math Circle de Madison]]
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=COVID-19 Update=
 +
We will moving back to in-person talks for the remainder of the semester.
 +
 +
As is the university's policy, all participants must wear masks. We will make every effort to maintain social distancing where possible.
 +
 
=What is a Math Circle?=
 
=What is a Math Circle?=
 
The Madison Math Circle is a weekly series of mathematically based activities aimed at interested middle school and high school students. It is an outreach program organized by the UW Math Department.  Our goal is to provide a taste of exciting ideas in math and science. In the past we've had talks about plasma and weather in outer space, video game graphics, and encryption.  In the sessions, students (and parents) are often asked to explore problems on their own, with the presenter facilitating a discussion.  The talks are independent of one another, so new students are welcome at any point.
 
The Madison Math Circle is a weekly series of mathematically based activities aimed at interested middle school and high school students. It is an outreach program organized by the UW Math Department.  Our goal is to provide a taste of exciting ideas in math and science. In the past we've had talks about plasma and weather in outer space, video game graphics, and encryption.  In the sessions, students (and parents) are often asked to explore problems on their own, with the presenter facilitating a discussion.  The talks are independent of one another, so new students are welcome at any point.
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[[Image: MathCircle_2.jpg|500px]] [[Image: MathCircle_4.jpg|500px]]  
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[[Image: MathCircle_2.jpg|550px]] [[Image: MathCircle_4.jpg|550px]]  
  
  
 
After each talk we'll have pizza provided by the Mathematics Department, and students will have an opportunity to mingle and chat with the speaker and with other participants, to ask questions about some of the topics that have been discussed, and also about college, careers in science, etc.
 
After each talk we'll have pizza provided by the Mathematics Department, and students will have an opportunity to mingle and chat with the speaker and with other participants, to ask questions about some of the topics that have been discussed, and also about college, careers in science, etc.
  
'''The Madison Math circle was featured in Wisconsin State Journal:''' [http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/education/local_schools/school-spotlight-madison-math-circle-gives-young-students-a-taste/article_77f5c042-0b3d-11e1-ba5f-001cc4c03286.html check it out]!
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'''The Madison Math Circle was featured in Wisconsin State Journal:''' [http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/education/local_schools/school-spotlight-madison-math-circle-gives-young-students-a-taste/article_77f5c042-0b3d-11e1-ba5f-001cc4c03286.html check it out]!
  
 
=All right, I want to come!=
 
=All right, I want to come!=
  
We have a weekly meeting, <b>Monday at 6pm in 3255 Helen C White Library</b>, during the school year. <b>New students are welcome at any point! </b> There is no fee and the talks are independent of one another, so you can just show up any week, but we ask all participants to take a moment to register by following the link below:
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Our in person talks will be at, <b>Monday at 6pm in 3255 Helen C White Library</b>, during the school year, and the link for our virtual talks will be available through our mailing list and on the schedule below. New students are welcome at any point! There is no fee and the talks are independent of one another, so you can just show up any week, but we ask all participants to take a moment to register by following the link below:
  
  [https://uwmadison.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_2hmb6vtDUfRonNb '''Math Circle Registration Form''']
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  [https://forms.gle/5QRTkHngWf43nmCC9 '''Math Circle Registration Form''']
  
All of you information is kept private, and is only used by the Madison Math Circle organizer to help run the Circle.  
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All of your information is kept private, and is only used by the Madison Math Circle organizer to help run the Circle.  
  
 
If you are a student, we hope you will tell other interested students about these talks, and speak with your parents or with your teacher about organizing a car pool to the UW campus. If you are a parent or a teacher, we hope you'll tell your students about these talks and organize a car pool to the UW (all talks take place in 3255 Helen C White Library, on the UW-Madison campus, right next to the Memorial Union).
 
If you are a student, we hope you will tell other interested students about these talks, and speak with your parents or with your teacher about organizing a car pool to the UW campus. If you are a parent or a teacher, we hope you'll tell your students about these talks and organize a car pool to the UW (all talks take place in 3255 Helen C White Library, on the UW-Madison campus, right next to the Memorial Union).
  
 +
==Spring Enhancement Workshop==
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 +
Our aim is to offer an opportunity for students to not only explore various fields of math through our weekly talks, but also give them the opportunity to hone the various skills involved in higher mathematics. To this end, starting this spring, we are beginning a first in a semesterly series of workshops aimed at developing these skills for middle school students. The workshop, titled the Math Circle Spring Enhancement Workshop (SEP) will be held in May, on every Monday from 6:00pm - 7:00pm from May 2nd to May 30th at the UW-Madison campus. Please see our schedule below for details. 
 +
 +
The topics for this workshop will cover an introduction to constructing mathematical arguments and proofs, understanding how to generalise simple mathematical ideas, and learn how to discover math for one's self. We will build these skills through collaborative problem solving sessions while learning about graph theory, game theory, and other cool areas of mathematics.
 +
 +
The 2022 SEP is being organised by the Math Circle team in collaboration with Dr. Peter Juhasz, an instructor at the Budapest Semester in Math Education, a world renowned program in training talented students in math education from across the globe. Peter will be the main speaker and facilitator for the spring and has extensive experience teaching mathematics to secondary students and is the chief organizer of various mathematics camps in Hungary. He also directs the Joy of Thinking Foundation, whose aim is to promote mathematics education of gifted students in Hungary.
  
==Directions and parking==
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We want to invite any middle school students curious about math to join! If you are interested, please register using the form below. As always, this workshop is free and only requires your curiosity and participation!
Our meetings are held on the 3rd floor of Helen C. White Hall in room 3255.
 
  
<div class="center" style="width:auto; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto;">
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  [https://forms.gle/ZwcTcMrAAc6UfjnP9 '''Math Circle SEP Registration Form''']
[[File: Helencwhitemap.png|400px]]</div>
 
  
'''Parking.''' Parking on campus is rather limited. Here is as list of some options:
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All your information is kept private, and is only used by the Madison Math Circle organiser to help run the Circle.
  
*There is a parking garage in the basement of Helen C. White, with an hourly rate.  Enter from Park Street.
 
*A 0.5 mile walk to Helen C. White Hall via [http://goo.gl/cxTzJY these directions], many spots ('''free starting 4:30pm''') [http://goo.gl/maps/Gkx1C in Lot 26 along Observatory Drive].
 
*A 0.3 mile walk to Helen C. White Hall via [http://goo.gl/yMJIRd these directions], many spots ('''free starting 4:30pm''') [http://goo.gl/maps/vs17X in Lot 34]. 
 
*A 0.3 mile walk to Helen C. White Hall via [http://goo.gl/yMJIRd these directions], 2 metered spots (25 minute max) [http://goo.gl/maps/ukTcu in front of Lathrop Hall].
 
*A 0.2 mile walk to Helen C. White Hall via [http://goo.gl/b8pdk2 these directions] 6 metered spots (25 minute max) around [http://goo.gl/maps/6EAnc the loop in front of Chadbourne Hall] .
 
*For more information, see the [http://transportation.wisc.edu/parking/parking.aspx UW-Madison Parking Info website].
 
  
==Email list==
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We hope to see you there!
The best way to keep up to date with the what is going is by signing up for our email list.  Send an empty email to join-mathcircle@lists.wisc.edu
 
  
==Contact the organizers==
 
The Madison Math Circle is organized by a group of three professors and three graduate students from the [http://www.math.wisc.edu Department of Mathematics] at the UW-Madison. If you have any questions, suggestions for topics, or so on, just email the '''organizers''' [mailto:mathcircleorganizers@lists.wisc.edu here]. We are always interested in feedback!
 
 
<center>
 
<center>
<gallery widths=480px heights=240px mode="packed">
 
File:de.jpg|[https://www.math.wisc.edu/~derman/ Prof. Daniel Erman]
 
File:pmwood.jpg|[http://www.math.wisc.edu/~pmwood/ Prof. Phillip Matchett Wood]
 
File:Craciun.jpg|[http://www.math.wisc.edu/~craciun/ Prof. Gheorghe Craciun]
 
</gallery>
 
  
<gallery widths=500px heights=250px mode="packed">
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{| style="color:black; font-size:120%" border="1" cellpadding="14" cellspacing="0"
File:djbruce.jpg|[http://www.math.wisc.edu/~djbruce/ DJ Bruce]
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|-
File:Ee.jpg|[http://www.math.wisc.edu/~evaelduque/ Eva Elduque]
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! colspan="4" style="background: #e8b2b2;" align="center" | SEP Schedule
File:mrjulian.jpg|[http://www.math.wisc.edu/~mrjulian/ Ryan Jullian]
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|-
File:soumyasankar.jpg|[http://www.math.wisc.edu/~soumyasankar Soumya Sankar]
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! Date !! Location and Room
</gallery>
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|-
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| May 2nd || 3255 Helen C White Library
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|-
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| May 9th || 3255 Helen C White Library
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|-
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| May 16th || B107 Van Vleck Hall
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|-
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| May 23rd || B115 Van Vleck Hall
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|-
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| May 30th || B115 Van Vleck Hall
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 +
|}
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</center>
 
</center>
  
==Donations==
 
Please consider donating to the Madison Math Circle. As noted in our [https://www.math.wisc.edu/wiki/images/Math_Circle_Newsletter.pdf annual report], our main costs consist of pizza and occasional supplies for the speakers.  So far our costs have been covered by donations from the UW Mathematics Department as well as a generous gifts from a private donor. But our costs are rising, primarily because this year we expect to hold more meetings than in any previous year. In fact, this year, we expect to spend at least $2500 on pizza and supplies alone.
 
  
So please consider donating to support your math circle!  The easiest way to donate is to go to the link:
 
  
[http://www.math.wisc.edu/donate Online Donation Link]
 
  
There are instructions on that page for donating to the Math Department.  <b> Be sure and add a Gift Note saying that the donation is intended for the "Madison Math Circle"!</b>  The money goes into the Mathematics Department Annual Fund and is routed through the University of Wisconsin Foundation, which is convenient for record-keeping, etc.
 
  
Alternately, you can bring a check to one of the Math Circle Meetings.  If you write a check, be sure to make it payable to the "WFAA" and add the note "Math Circle Donation" on the check. 
 
  
Or you can just pay in cash, and we'll give you a receipt.
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==Meetings for Spring 2022==
  
==Help us grow!==
 
If you like Math Circle, please help us continue to grow!  Students, parents, and teachers can help by:
 
*Posting our [https://www.math.wisc.edu/wiki/images/MMC_Flyer_2016.pdf '''flyer'''] at schools or anywhere that might have interested students
 
*Discussing the Math Circle with students, parents, teachers, administrators, and others
 
*Making an announcement about Math Circle at PTO meetings
 
*Donating to Math Circle
 
Contact the organizers if you have questions or your own ideas about how to help out.
 
 
=Meetings for Fall 2016 and Spring 2017=
 
  
 
<center>
 
<center>
 
Unless specified talks start at '''6pm in room 3255 of Helen C. White Library''', unless otherwise noted.
 
  
 
{| style="color:black; font-size:120%" border="1" cellpadding="14" cellspacing="0"
 
{| style="color:black; font-size:120%" border="1" cellpadding="14" cellspacing="0"
 
|-
 
|-
! colspan="3" style="background: #e8b2b2;" align="center" | Fall 2016
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! colspan="4" style="background: #e8b2b2;" align="center" | Spring 2022
 
|-
 
|-
 
! Date !! Speaker !! Topic
 
! Date !! Speaker !! Topic
 
|-
 
|-
| <span style="color:red">August 6, 2016 <br> (Click Title for Time & Location.)</span> || [https://discovery.wisc.edu/programs/saturday-science Science Saturday] || [https://www.math.wisc.edu/wiki/index.php/Madison_Math_Circle_Abstracts#August_6_2016 Game Busters]
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| February 7th || Aleksandra Cecylia Sobieska || <strong>Mathematical Auction</strong>
 +
We will play a game called “Mathematical Auction,” where teams have the opportunity to solve and steal problems for points by presenting solutions that build on one another.
 +
 
 
|-
 
|-
| September 12, 2016 || [http://www.math.wisc.edu/~jeanluc/ Jean-Luc Thiffeault] || [https://www.math.wisc.edu/wiki/index.php/Madison_Math_Circle_Abstracts#September_12_2016 Why do my earbuds keep getting entangled?]
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| February 14th || Jake Fiedler || <strong>Fractals in Math and Nature</strong>
 +
 
 +
If you've ever had to clean up branches after a storm, you may notice that the branches look surprisingly like the whole tree they fell from, just at a smaller scale. Similarly, lightning bolts during that storm probably had numerous "arms", each appearing similar to the entire bolt. In this talk, we'll investigate this behavior more closely through objects called fractals. We'll see how fractals are made, where they appear in the real world, and then you'll get a chance to build your own.  
 
|-
 
|-
| September 19, 2016 || [http://www.math.wisc.edu/~djbruce/ DJ Bruce] || [https://www.math.wisc.edu/wiki/index.php/Madison_Math_Circle_Abstracts#September_19_2016  Is Any Knot Not the Unkont? ]
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| February 21st || Mikhail Ivanov || <strong>Elevator with just 2 buttons.</strong>
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There are two buttons inside an elevator in a building with twenty floors. The elevator goes 7 floors up when the first button is pressed, and 9 floors down when the second one is pressed (a button will not function if there are not enough floors to go up or down).
 +
 
 +
Can we use such elevator? We'll play with this elevator found math behind it.
 
|-
 
|-
| September 26, 2016 || [http://mmaguire.weebly.com/ Megan Maguire] || [https://www.math.wisc.edu/wiki/index.php/Madison_Math_Circle_Abstracts#September_26_2016  Coloring Maps]
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| February 28th || Michael Jesurum || <strong>Bubbling Cauldrons</strong>
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Place our numbers into the cauldrons in ascending order – you can choose which cauldron each one goes in. However, if two numbers in one cauldron add up to a third number in that same cauldron, they bubble up and cause an explosion! This means that all the numbers leave the cauldrons, and you must start all over again. Our goal is to find the largest number we can place in our cauldrons without them exploding… do you think you’re up for this daunting task?
 
|-
 
|-
| October 3, 2016 || [http://www.math.wisc.edu/~zcharles/ Zach Charles] || [https://www.math.wisc.edu/wiki/index.php/Madison_Math_Circle_Abstracts#October_3_2016 1 + 1 = 10, or How does my smartphone do anything?]
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| March 7th || Erika Pirnes || <strong>Reconstructing Graphs</strong>
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A graph is a "picture" with dots (called vertices) and lines (called edges). From a graph, we can extract information called the deck. In this talk, we will explore the connection between a graph and its deck, and how we can move from one to the other. We will do a lot of examples! There is a famous conjecture (unproven result) that stays that a graph can always be reconstructed (recovered) from its deck. This is called the reconstruction conjecture. (There are some small restrictions on what the graph can be)
 
|-
 
|-
| October 10, 2016 || [http://www.math.wisc.edu/~jkrush/ Keith Rush] || [https://www.math.wisc.edu/wiki/index.php/Madison_Math_Circle_Abstracts#October_10_2016 Randomness, determinism and approximation: a historical question]
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| March 14th || SPRING BREAK || <strong>NA</strong>
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NA
 
|-
 
|-
| October 17, 2016 || [http://www.math.wisc.edu/~pmwood/ Phillip Matchett-Wood] || [https://www.math.wisc.edu/wiki/index.php/Madison_Math_Circle_Abstracts#October_17_2016 The game of Criss-Cross]
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| March 21st || Ian Seong || <strong>Center of a triangle? But which center?</strong>
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It is easy to locate the center of a circle, or regular polygons. How do we define the center for an arbitrary triangle?
 +
 
 +
In fact, for each triangle, there are many points that can be entitled the "center". We will investigate a few of them (classic examples are circumcenter and incenter) and learn how they are constructed.
 
|-
 
|-
| October 24, 2016 || Ethan Biehl || [https://www.math.wisc.edu/wiki/index.php/Madison_Math_Circle_Abstracts#October_24_2016 A Chocolate Bar for Every Real Number]
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| March 28th || Caitlin Davis || <strong>Math and voting: Can math help us make decisions more fairly?</strong>
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We are often faced with decisions we must make as a group.  For example, a city might need to decide on a new mayor, or you and your friends might need to decide on a movie to watch or a type of pizza to share. We often use voting to try to make a fair choice. The voting method which you’re probably used to is called “plurality,” but it turns out there are many other possible voting methods. Could one of them be more fair than plurality?  We’ll talk about how math can be used to study questions like this.
 
|-
 
|-
| October 31, 2016 || No Meeting || [https://www.math.wisc.edu/wiki/index.php/Madison_Math_Circle_Abstracts#October_31_2016 Enjoy Halloween!]
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| April 4th || BREAK || <strong>NA</strong>
 
|-
 
|-
| November 7, 2016 || [https://www.math.wisc.edu/~pollyyu/ Polly Yu] || [https://www.math.wisc.edu/wiki/index.php/Madison_Math_Circle_Abstracts#November_7_2016 Are we there yet?]
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| April 11th || Aleksander Skenderi || <strong>Happy Numbers</strong>
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In many areas of mathematics, we look for patterns to describe or model a particular problem. However, sometimes these patterns occur in some late stage of some process, and sometimes not at all! For instance, if a particle of gas is moving around in a container, it may be that, after some time, the gas particle follows an easily described trajectory. It may also be, depending on the initial trajectory, that the gas particle moves totally randomly. In this talk, we'll describe a class of numbers called "happy numbers," and explore some of their properties and patterns.
 
|-
 
|-
| November 14, 2016 || [http://www.math.wisc.edu/~micky/ Micky Soule Steinberg] || [https://www.math.wisc.edu/wiki/index.php/Madison_Math_Circle_Abstracts#November_14_2016 Circles and Triangles]
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| April 18th || John Cobb || <strong>Chip-Firing Games on Graphs</strong>
|-
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We will play a game called the dollar game, where we will try to clear out debt among a group of people in a funny way. Then, we’ll investigate ways to see when this is possible and how to do it, leading to some unexpected conclusions and a look into a very active area of math called tropical geometry.
| November 21, 2016 || [https://www.math.wisc.edu/~valko/ Benedek Valko] || [https://www.math.wisc.edu/wiki/index.php/Madison_Math_Circle_Abstracts#November_21_2016  Fun with hats]
 
|-
 
! colspan="3" style="background: #e8b2b2;" align="center" | Spring 2017
 
|-
 
! Date !! Speaker !! Topic
 
|-
 
|January 30, 2017 || Daniel Erman || [https://www.math.wisc.edu/wiki/index.php/Madison_Math_Circle_Abstracts#January_30_2017 TBD]
 
|-
 
| February 6, 2017  || Cullen McDonald || [https://www.math.wisc.edu/wiki/index.php/Madison_Math_Circle_Abstracts#February_6_2017  TBD]
 
|-
 
| February 13, 2017 || Dima Arinkin || [https://www.math.wisc.edu/wiki/index.php/Madison_Math_Circle_Abstracts#February_13_2017  TBD]
 
|-
 
| February 20, 2017 || Reese Johnston || [https://www.math.wisc.edu/wiki/index.php/Madison_Math_Circle_Abstracts#February_20_2017 TBD]
 
|-
 
| February 27, 2017 || TBD || [https://www.math.wisc.edu/wiki/index.php/Madison_Math_Circle_Abstracts#February_27_2017 TBD]
 
|-
 
| March 6, 2017 || Becky Eastham || [https://www.math.wisc.edu/wiki/index.php/Madison_Math_Circle_Abstracts#March_6_2017 TBD]
 
|-
 
| March 13, 2017 ||  [https://www.math.wisc.edu/~jessica/ Jessica Lin] || [https://www.math.wisc.edu/wiki/index.php/Madison_Math_Circle_Abstracts#March_13_2017 TBD]
 
|-
 
| March 20, 2017 ||  No Meeting - (UW Spring Break) ||
 
|-
 
| March 27, 2017 || TBD || [https://www.math.wisc.edu/wiki/index.php/Madison_Math_Circle_Abstracts#March_27_2017 TBD]
 
|-
 
| April 3, 2017 || TBD || [https://www.math.wisc.edu/wiki/index.php/Madison_Math_Circle_Abstracts#April_3_2017 TBD]
 
 
|-
 
|-
 +
| April 25th || Chengxi Wu || <strong>Non integer bases and Paths on colored graphs</strong>
 +
We can count in base 10 (decimals) or base 2 (binary), but how about counting in base 5/3, or the golden ratio? We will investigate that via the question of finding possible paths on a graph with colored vertices, and also look at some of the interesting self similar patterns we can get from it!
 +
 
|}
 
|}
  
 
</center>
 
</center>
  
=High School Meetings=
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==Meetings for Fall 2021==
  
We are experimenting with holding some Math Circle meetings directly at local high schools.  Our schedule for the fall is below.  If you are interesting in having us come to your high school, please contact us!
 
  
 
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{| style="color:black; font-size:120%" border="1" cellpadding="14" cellspacing="0"
 
{| style="color:black; font-size:120%" border="1" cellpadding="14" cellspacing="0"
 
|-
 
|-
! colspan="5" style="background: #e8b2b2;" align="center" | Fall 2016
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! colspan="3" style="background: #e8b2b2;" align="center" | Fall 2021
 
|-
 
|-
 +
! Date !! Speaker !! Topic
 
|-
 
|-
! Date !! Location !! Speaker !! Topic !! Link for more info
+
| September 20th || Daniel Erman || <strong>Number Games</strong>
|-
+
 
| October 17, 2016 || 2:45pm JMM || Daniel Erman || [https://www.math.wisc.edu/wiki/index.php/Madison_Math_Circle_Abstracts#October_17_2016_.28JMM.29 What does math research look like?] ||
+
We’ll play some math-based games and then try to understand some of the patterns we observe.
|-
 
| October 24, 2016 || 2:45pm West High || DJ Bruce || [https://www.math.wisc.edu/wiki/index.php/Madison_Math_Circle_Abstracts#October_24_2016_.28West.29 Shhh, This Message Is Secret] ||
 
|-
 
| October 31, 2016 || 2:45pm East High || DJ Bruce || [https://www.math.wisc.edu/wiki/index.php/Madison_Math_Circle_Abstracts#October_31_2016.28East.29 Shhh, This Message Is Secret] ||
 
|-
 
| December 5, 2016 || 2:45pm East High || Uri Andrews || [https://www.math.wisc.edu/wiki/index.php/Madison_Math_Circle_Abstracts#December_5_2016_.28East.29 How to split an apartment]  ||
 
 
|-
 
|-
| December 5, 2016 || 2:45pm JMM || Phillip Matchett Wood || [https://www.math.wisc.edu/wiki/index.php/Madison_Math_Circle_Abstracts#December_5_2016_.28JMM.29 The game of Criss-Cross] ||
+
| September 27th || Evan Sorensen || <strong> The fastest way to travel between two points </strong>
 +
Given two points, we know the shortest distance between the points is a straight line. But is that always true? We will talk about how to build the best track for a toy car to travel between two points. We’ll start by trying a few different options together and having a race. We’ll then talk about how two brothers thought about how to solve this problem using interesting examples from physics.
 
|-
 
|-
| December 12, 2016 || 2:45pm West High || TBD || [https://www.math.wisc.edu/wiki/index.php/Madison_Math_Circle_Abstracts#December_12_2016 TBD] ||
+
| October 4th || Yandi Wu || <strong> Do you wanna build a donut?  </strong>
 +
Topology is a field of math that deals with studying spaces. This math circle talk is an introduction to a concept in topology called “cut-and-paste” topology, which is named that way because we will build spaces out of cutting and gluing pieces of paper.
 
|-
 
|-
! colspan="5" style="background: #e8b2b2;" align="center" | Spring 2017
+
| October 11th || Ivan Aidun || <strong> Words, Words, Words </strong>
 +
We'll play a game where you have to guess a secret word that I choose.  We'll figure out how to use logic to improve our guesses.  Then, we'll explore some questions like: is there a best way to guess? or, what happens when I change the rules slightly?
 
|-
 
|-
 +
| October 18th || Allison Byars || <strong> Sheep and Wolves </strong>
 +
In this math circle talk, we'll look at placing sheep and wolves on a grid so that none of the sheep get eaten.  We'll find different arrangements and try to figure out the maximum number which can be placed on a board of given size and generalize it for an arbitrary board.  We will also discuss how this relates to a field of mathematics called combinatorics.
 
|-
 
|-
! Date !! Location !! Speaker !! Topic !! Link for more info
+
| October 25th || Jacob C Denson || <strong>Proofs in Three Bits or Less</strong>
 +
How many questions does it take to beat someone at Guess Who? How long should it take for you to figure out how to get to this math talk from your house? How many questions do you have to ask your classmate before you know they're telling the truth to you? Let's eat some pizza, and talk about how mathematicians might reason about these problems.
 
|-
 
|-
| February 20, 2017 || 2:45pm JMM || TBD || [https://www.math.wisc.edu/wiki/index.php/Madison_Math_Circle_Abstracts TBD]  ||
+
| November 1st || Qin Li || <strong> How do we describe the world? </strong>
 +
The physical world consists of everything from small systems of a few atoms to large systems of billions of billions of molecules. Mathematicians use different languages and equations to describe large and small systems. Question is: How does mother nature use different languages for different systems and scales? Let us see what these languages look like, talk about their connections and differences, and see how they are reflected in our day-to-day life.
 
|-
 
|-
| April 3rd, 2017 || 2:45pm JMM || TBD || [https://www.math.wisc.edu/wiki/index.php/Madison_Math_Circle_Abstracts TBD]  ||
+
| November 8th || John Yin ||  <strong> River Crossings </strong>
 +
Here's a classic puzzle: A farmer needs to move a wolf, a sheep, and a box of cabbages across a river. He has a boat that can fit only one object other than himself. However, when left alone, the wolf will eat the sheep, and the sheep will eat the cabbages. How can the farmer move the wolf, the sheep, and the box of cabbages across the river without anything being eaten? I will discuss this problem by connecting it to graph theory, then give a generalization.
 
|-
 
|-
| TBD || TBD || TBD || [https://www.math.wisc.edu/wiki/index.php/Madison_Math_Circle_Abstracts TBD] ||
+
| November 15th || Erik Bates || <strong> How big is a cartographer’s crayon box? </strong>
|-
+
Have a look at a world map. If you are looking at one with borders and colors, notice that no border has the same color on both sides. That is, no neighboring countries are colored the sameSo how many different colors are needed to make this possible?  Does the answer change for a map of the U.S., when we try to color its fifty states?  What about a map of Wisconsin with its 72 counties? We will explore these questions---and uncover some very deep mathematics---by doing the simplest and most soothing activity: coloring.
| TBD || TBD || TBD || [https://www.math.wisc.edu/wiki/index.php/Madison_Math_Circle_Abstracts TBD] ||
 
|-
 
| TBD || TBD || TBD || [https://www.math.wisc.edu/wiki/index.php/Madison_Math_Circle_Abstracts TBD]  ||
 
|-
 
| TBD || TBD || TBD || [https://www.math.wisc.edu/wiki/index.php/Madison_Math_Circle_Abstracts TBD]  ||
 
 
|-
 
|-
 +
| November 22nd || Robert Walker || <strong>Lagrange's Four Square Sum Theorem</strong>
 +
How many perfect squares are needed to represent each nonnegative integer n as a sum of perfect squares? This talk will answer that precise question -- students will get to the bottom of this.
 
|}
 
|}
 +
 
</center>
 
</center>
 +
 +
==Directions and parking==
 +
 +
Our meetings are held on the 3rd floor of Helen C. White Hall in room 3255.
 +
 +
<div class="center" style="width:auto; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto;">
 +
[[File: Helencwhitemap.png|400px]]</div>
 +
 +
'''Parking.''' Parking on campus is rather limited.  Here is as list of some options:
 +
 +
*There is a parking garage in the basement of Helen C. White, with an hourly rate.  Enter from Park Street.
 +
*A 0.5 mile walk to Helen C. White Hall via [http://goo.gl/cxTzJY these directions], many spots ('''free starting 4:30pm''') [http://goo.gl/maps/Gkx1C in Lot 26 along Observatory Drive].
 +
*A 0.3 mile walk to Helen C. White Hall via [http://goo.gl/yMJIRd these directions], many spots ('''free starting 4:30pm''') [http://goo.gl/maps/vs17X in Lot 34]. 
 +
*A 0.3 mile walk to Helen C. White Hall via [http://goo.gl/yMJIRd these directions], 2 metered spots (25 minute max) [http://goo.gl/maps/ukTcu in front of Lathrop Hall].
 +
*A 0.2 mile walk to Helen C. White Hall via [http://goo.gl/b8pdk2 these directions] 6 metered spots (25 minute max) around [http://goo.gl/maps/6EAnc the loop in front of Chadbourne Hall] .
 +
*For more information, see the [http://transportation.wisc.edu/parking/parking.aspx UW-Madison Parking Info website].
 +
 +
==Email list==
 +
The best way to keep up to date with the what is going is by signing up for our email list. Please add your email in the form:
 +
[https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe_cKMfdjMQlmJc9uZg5bZ-sjKZ2q5SV9wLb1gSddrvB1Tk1A/viewform '''Join Email List''']
 +
 +
==Contact the organizers==
 +
The Madison Math Circle is organized by a group of professors and graduate students from the [http://www.math.wisc.edu Department of Mathematics] at the UW-Madison. If you have any questions, suggestions for topics, or so on, just email the '''organizers''' [mailto:mathcircleorganizers@g-groups.wisc.edu here]. We are always interested in feedback!
 +
<center>
 +
<gallery widths=500px heights=300px mode="packed">
 +
<!--File:de.jpg|[https://www.math.wisc.edu/~derman/ Prof. Daniel Erman]-->
 +
<!--File:Betsy.jpg|[http://www.math.wisc.edu/~stovall/ Prof. Betsy Stovall]-->
 +
File:Uri.jpg|[https://www.math.wisc.edu/~andrews/ Prof. Uri Andrews]
 +
File: Omer.jpg|[https://www.math.wisc.edu/~omer/ Dr. Omer Mermelstein]
 +
</gallery>
 +
 +
 +
 +
<gallery widths=500px heights=250px mode="packed">
 +
File: Karan.jpeg|[https://karansrivastava.com/ Karan Srivastava]
 +
File: Colin.jpg|[https://sites.google.com/view/colincrowley/home Colin Crowley]
 +
File: Allison.jpg|[https://sites.google.com/wisc.edu/allisonbyars/ Allison Byars]
 +
</gallery>
 +
</center>
 +
 +
and [https://math.wisc.edu/graduate-students/ Caitlin Davis] and  [https://math.wisc.edu/graduate-students/ Ivan Aidun].
 +
 +
==Donations==
 +
Please consider donating to the Madison Math Circle. Our main costs consist of pizza and occasional supplies for the speakers.  So far our costs have been covered by donations from the UW Mathematics Department as well as a generous gifts from private donors. The easiest way to donate is to go to the link:
 +
 +
[http://www.math.wisc.edu/donate Online Donation Link]
 +
 +
There are instructions on that page for donating to the Math Department.  <b> Be sure and add a Gift Note saying that the donation is intended for the "Madison Math Circle"!</b>  The money goes into the Mathematics Department Annual Fund and is routed through the University of Wisconsin Foundation, which is convenient for record-keeping, etc.
 +
 +
Alternately, you can bring a check to one of the Math Circle Meetings.  If you write a check, be sure to make it payable to the "WFAA" and add the note "Math Circle Donation" on the check. 
 +
 +
Or you can make donations in cash, and we'll give you a receipt.
 +
 +
==Help us grow!==
 +
If you like Math Circle, please help us continue to grow!  Students, parents, and teachers can help by:
 +
* Like our [https://facebook.com/madisonmathcircle '''Facebook Page'''] and share our events with others!
 +
* Posting our [https://www.math.wisc.edu/wiki/images/Math_Circle_Flyer_2021.pdf '''flyer'''] at schools or anywhere that might have interested students.
 +
* Discussing the Math Circle with students, parents, teachers, administrators, and others.
 +
* Making an announcement about Math Circle at PTO meetings.
 +
* Donating to Math Circle.
 +
Contact the organizers if you have questions or your own ideas about how to help out.
  
 
=Useful Resources=
 
=Useful Resources=
==Annual Reports==
+
<!--==Annual Reports==
[https://www.math.wisc.edu/wiki/images/Math_Circle_Newsletter.pdf  2013-2014 Annual Report]
+
[https://www.math.wisc.edu/wiki/images/Math_Circle_Newsletter.pdf  2013-2014 Annual Report]-->
  
 
== Archived Abstracts ==
 
== Archived Abstracts ==
 +
 +
[https://www.math.wisc.edu/wiki/index.php/Madison_Math_Circle_Abstracts_2020-2021 2020 - 2021 Abstracts]
 +
 +
[https://www.math.wisc.edu/wiki/index.php/Madison_Math_Circle_Abstracts_2019-2020 2019 - 2020 Abstracts]
 +
 +
[https://www.math.wisc.edu/wiki/index.php/Madison_Math_Circle_2016-2017 2016 - 2017 Math Circle Page]
 +
 +
[https://www.math.wisc.edu/wiki/index.php/Madison_Math_Circle_Abstracts_2016-2017 2016 - 2017 Abstracts]
 +
 
[https://www.math.wisc.edu/wiki/index.php/Madison_Math_Circle_2015-2016 2015 - 2016 Math Circle Page]
 
[https://www.math.wisc.edu/wiki/index.php/Madison_Math_Circle_2015-2016 2015 - 2016 Math Circle Page]
  
Line 202: Line 256:
 
[https://www.math.wisc.edu/wiki/index.php/Madison_Math_Circle_Abstracts_2015-2016 2015 - 2015 Abstracts]
 
[https://www.math.wisc.edu/wiki/index.php/Madison_Math_Circle_Abstracts_2015-2016 2015 - 2015 Abstracts]
  
[[Archived Math Circle Material]]
+
[https://www.math.wisc.edu/wiki/index.php/Archived_Math_Circle_Material The way-back archives]
  
 
==Link for presenters (in progress)==
 
==Link for presenters (in progress)==
 
[https://www.math.wisc.edu/wiki/index.php/Math_Circle_Presentations  Advice For Math Circle Presenters]
 
[https://www.math.wisc.edu/wiki/index.php/Math_Circle_Presentations  Advice For Math Circle Presenters]
  
[http://www.mathcircles.org/content/lesson-plans Sample Lesson Plans]
+
[http://www.geometer.org/mathcircles/ Sample Talk Ideas/Problems from Tom Davis]
 +
 
 +
[https://www.mathcircles.org/activities Sample Talks from the National Association of Math Circles]
  
[http://www.mathcircles.org/content/circle-box "Circle in a Box"]
+
[https://epdf.pub/circle-in-a-box715623b97664e247f2118ddf7bec4bfa35437.html "Circle in a Box"]

Latest revision as of 13:52, 5 July 2022

Logo.png

For the site in Spanish, visit Math Circle de Madison

COVID-19 Update

We will moving back to in-person talks for the remainder of the semester.

As is the university's policy, all participants must wear masks. We will make every effort to maintain social distancing where possible.

What is a Math Circle?

The Madison Math Circle is a weekly series of mathematically based activities aimed at interested middle school and high school students. It is an outreach program organized by the UW Math Department. Our goal is to provide a taste of exciting ideas in math and science. In the past we've had talks about plasma and weather in outer space, video game graphics, and encryption. In the sessions, students (and parents) are often asked to explore problems on their own, with the presenter facilitating a discussion. The talks are independent of one another, so new students are welcome at any point.

The level of the audience varies quite widely, including a mix of middle school and high school students, and the speakers generally address this by considering subjects that will be interesting for a wide range of students.


MathCircle 2.jpg MathCircle 4.jpg


After each talk we'll have pizza provided by the Mathematics Department, and students will have an opportunity to mingle and chat with the speaker and with other participants, to ask questions about some of the topics that have been discussed, and also about college, careers in science, etc.

The Madison Math Circle was featured in Wisconsin State Journal: check it out!

All right, I want to come!

Our in person talks will be at, Monday at 6pm in 3255 Helen C White Library, during the school year, and the link for our virtual talks will be available through our mailing list and on the schedule below. New students are welcome at any point! There is no fee and the talks are independent of one another, so you can just show up any week, but we ask all participants to take a moment to register by following the link below:

Math Circle Registration Form

All of your information is kept private, and is only used by the Madison Math Circle organizer to help run the Circle.

If you are a student, we hope you will tell other interested students about these talks, and speak with your parents or with your teacher about organizing a car pool to the UW campus. If you are a parent or a teacher, we hope you'll tell your students about these talks and organize a car pool to the UW (all talks take place in 3255 Helen C White Library, on the UW-Madison campus, right next to the Memorial Union).

Spring Enhancement Workshop

Our aim is to offer an opportunity for students to not only explore various fields of math through our weekly talks, but also give them the opportunity to hone the various skills involved in higher mathematics. To this end, starting this spring, we are beginning a first in a semesterly series of workshops aimed at developing these skills for middle school students. The workshop, titled the Math Circle Spring Enhancement Workshop (SEP) will be held in May, on every Monday from 6:00pm - 7:00pm from May 2nd to May 30th at the UW-Madison campus. Please see our schedule below for details.

The topics for this workshop will cover an introduction to constructing mathematical arguments and proofs, understanding how to generalise simple mathematical ideas, and learn how to discover math for one's self. We will build these skills through collaborative problem solving sessions while learning about graph theory, game theory, and other cool areas of mathematics.

The 2022 SEP is being organised by the Math Circle team in collaboration with Dr. Peter Juhasz, an instructor at the Budapest Semester in Math Education, a world renowned program in training talented students in math education from across the globe. Peter will be the main speaker and facilitator for the spring and has extensive experience teaching mathematics to secondary students and is the chief organizer of various mathematics camps in Hungary. He also directs the Joy of Thinking Foundation, whose aim is to promote mathematics education of gifted students in Hungary.

We want to invite any middle school students curious about math to join! If you are interested, please register using the form below. As always, this workshop is free and only requires your curiosity and participation!

  Math Circle SEP Registration Form

All your information is kept private, and is only used by the Madison Math Circle organiser to help run the Circle.


We hope to see you there!

SEP Schedule
Date Location and Room
May 2nd 3255 Helen C White Library
May 9th 3255 Helen C White Library
May 16th B107 Van Vleck Hall
May 23rd B115 Van Vleck Hall
May 30th B115 Van Vleck Hall




Meetings for Spring 2022

Spring 2022
Date Speaker Topic
February 7th Aleksandra Cecylia Sobieska Mathematical Auction

We will play a game called “Mathematical Auction,” where teams have the opportunity to solve and steal problems for points by presenting solutions that build on one another.

February 14th Jake Fiedler Fractals in Math and Nature

If you've ever had to clean up branches after a storm, you may notice that the branches look surprisingly like the whole tree they fell from, just at a smaller scale. Similarly, lightning bolts during that storm probably had numerous "arms", each appearing similar to the entire bolt. In this talk, we'll investigate this behavior more closely through objects called fractals. We'll see how fractals are made, where they appear in the real world, and then you'll get a chance to build your own.

February 21st Mikhail Ivanov Elevator with just 2 buttons.

There are two buttons inside an elevator in a building with twenty floors. The elevator goes 7 floors up when the first button is pressed, and 9 floors down when the second one is pressed (a button will not function if there are not enough floors to go up or down).

Can we use such elevator? We'll play with this elevator found math behind it.

February 28th Michael Jesurum Bubbling Cauldrons

Place our numbers into the cauldrons in ascending order – you can choose which cauldron each one goes in. However, if two numbers in one cauldron add up to a third number in that same cauldron, they bubble up and cause an explosion! This means that all the numbers leave the cauldrons, and you must start all over again. Our goal is to find the largest number we can place in our cauldrons without them exploding… do you think you’re up for this daunting task?

March 7th Erika Pirnes Reconstructing Graphs

A graph is a "picture" with dots (called vertices) and lines (called edges). From a graph, we can extract information called the deck. In this talk, we will explore the connection between a graph and its deck, and how we can move from one to the other. We will do a lot of examples! There is a famous conjecture (unproven result) that stays that a graph can always be reconstructed (recovered) from its deck. This is called the reconstruction conjecture. (There are some small restrictions on what the graph can be)

March 14th SPRING BREAK NA

NA

March 21st Ian Seong Center of a triangle? But which center?

It is easy to locate the center of a circle, or regular polygons. How do we define the center for an arbitrary triangle?

In fact, for each triangle, there are many points that can be entitled the "center". We will investigate a few of them (classic examples are circumcenter and incenter) and learn how they are constructed.

March 28th Caitlin Davis Math and voting: Can math help us make decisions more fairly?

We are often faced with decisions we must make as a group. For example, a city might need to decide on a new mayor, or you and your friends might need to decide on a movie to watch or a type of pizza to share. We often use voting to try to make a fair choice. The voting method which you’re probably used to is called “plurality,” but it turns out there are many other possible voting methods. Could one of them be more fair than plurality? We’ll talk about how math can be used to study questions like this.

April 4th BREAK NA
April 11th Aleksander Skenderi Happy Numbers

In many areas of mathematics, we look for patterns to describe or model a particular problem. However, sometimes these patterns occur in some late stage of some process, and sometimes not at all! For instance, if a particle of gas is moving around in a container, it may be that, after some time, the gas particle follows an easily described trajectory. It may also be, depending on the initial trajectory, that the gas particle moves totally randomly. In this talk, we'll describe a class of numbers called "happy numbers," and explore some of their properties and patterns.

April 18th John Cobb Chip-Firing Games on Graphs

We will play a game called the dollar game, where we will try to clear out debt among a group of people in a funny way. Then, we’ll investigate ways to see when this is possible and how to do it, leading to some unexpected conclusions and a look into a very active area of math called tropical geometry.

April 25th Chengxi Wu Non integer bases and Paths on colored graphs

We can count in base 10 (decimals) or base 2 (binary), but how about counting in base 5/3, or the golden ratio? We will investigate that via the question of finding possible paths on a graph with colored vertices, and also look at some of the interesting self similar patterns we can get from it!

Meetings for Fall 2021

Fall 2021
Date Speaker Topic
September 20th Daniel Erman Number Games

We’ll play some math-based games and then try to understand some of the patterns we observe.

September 27th Evan Sorensen The fastest way to travel between two points

Given two points, we know the shortest distance between the points is a straight line. But is that always true? We will talk about how to build the best track for a toy car to travel between two points. We’ll start by trying a few different options together and having a race. We’ll then talk about how two brothers thought about how to solve this problem using interesting examples from physics.

October 4th Yandi Wu Do you wanna build a donut?

Topology is a field of math that deals with studying spaces. This math circle talk is an introduction to a concept in topology called “cut-and-paste” topology, which is named that way because we will build spaces out of cutting and gluing pieces of paper.

October 11th Ivan Aidun Words, Words, Words

We'll play a game where you have to guess a secret word that I choose. We'll figure out how to use logic to improve our guesses. Then, we'll explore some questions like: is there a best way to guess? or, what happens when I change the rules slightly?

October 18th Allison Byars Sheep and Wolves

In this math circle talk, we'll look at placing sheep and wolves on a grid so that none of the sheep get eaten. We'll find different arrangements and try to figure out the maximum number which can be placed on a board of given size and generalize it for an arbitrary board. We will also discuss how this relates to a field of mathematics called combinatorics.

October 25th Jacob C Denson Proofs in Three Bits or Less

How many questions does it take to beat someone at Guess Who? How long should it take for you to figure out how to get to this math talk from your house? How many questions do you have to ask your classmate before you know they're telling the truth to you? Let's eat some pizza, and talk about how mathematicians might reason about these problems.

November 1st Qin Li How do we describe the world?

The physical world consists of everything from small systems of a few atoms to large systems of billions of billions of molecules. Mathematicians use different languages and equations to describe large and small systems. Question is: How does mother nature use different languages for different systems and scales? Let us see what these languages look like, talk about their connections and differences, and see how they are reflected in our day-to-day life.

November 8th John Yin River Crossings

Here's a classic puzzle: A farmer needs to move a wolf, a sheep, and a box of cabbages across a river. He has a boat that can fit only one object other than himself. However, when left alone, the wolf will eat the sheep, and the sheep will eat the cabbages. How can the farmer move the wolf, the sheep, and the box of cabbages across the river without anything being eaten? I will discuss this problem by connecting it to graph theory, then give a generalization.

November 15th Erik Bates How big is a cartographer’s crayon box?

Have a look at a world map. If you are looking at one with borders and colors, notice that no border has the same color on both sides. That is, no neighboring countries are colored the same. So how many different colors are needed to make this possible? Does the answer change for a map of the U.S., when we try to color its fifty states? What about a map of Wisconsin with its 72 counties? We will explore these questions---and uncover some very deep mathematics---by doing the simplest and most soothing activity: coloring.

November 22nd Robert Walker Lagrange's Four Square Sum Theorem

How many perfect squares are needed to represent each nonnegative integer n as a sum of perfect squares? This talk will answer that precise question -- students will get to the bottom of this.

Directions and parking

Our meetings are held on the 3rd floor of Helen C. White Hall in room 3255.

Helencwhitemap.png

Parking. Parking on campus is rather limited. Here is as list of some options:

Email list

The best way to keep up to date with the what is going is by signing up for our email list. Please add your email in the form: Join Email List

Contact the organizers

The Madison Math Circle is organized by a group of professors and graduate students from the Department of Mathematics at the UW-Madison. If you have any questions, suggestions for topics, or so on, just email the organizers here. We are always interested in feedback!


and Caitlin Davis and Ivan Aidun.

Donations

Please consider donating to the Madison Math Circle. Our main costs consist of pizza and occasional supplies for the speakers. So far our costs have been covered by donations from the UW Mathematics Department as well as a generous gifts from private donors. The easiest way to donate is to go to the link:

Online Donation Link

There are instructions on that page for donating to the Math Department. Be sure and add a Gift Note saying that the donation is intended for the "Madison Math Circle"! The money goes into the Mathematics Department Annual Fund and is routed through the University of Wisconsin Foundation, which is convenient for record-keeping, etc.

Alternately, you can bring a check to one of the Math Circle Meetings. If you write a check, be sure to make it payable to the "WFAA" and add the note "Math Circle Donation" on the check.

Or you can make donations in cash, and we'll give you a receipt.

Help us grow!

If you like Math Circle, please help us continue to grow! Students, parents, and teachers can help by:

  • Like our Facebook Page and share our events with others!
  • Posting our flyer at schools or anywhere that might have interested students.
  • Discussing the Math Circle with students, parents, teachers, administrators, and others.
  • Making an announcement about Math Circle at PTO meetings.
  • Donating to Math Circle.

Contact the organizers if you have questions or your own ideas about how to help out.

Useful Resources

Archived Abstracts

2020 - 2021 Abstracts

2019 - 2020 Abstracts

2016 - 2017 Math Circle Page

2016 - 2017 Abstracts

2015 - 2016 Math Circle Page

2015 - 2016 Math Circle Page (Spanish)

2015 - 2015 Abstracts

The way-back archives

Link for presenters (in progress)

Advice For Math Circle Presenters

Sample Talk Ideas/Problems from Tom Davis

Sample Talks from the National Association of Math Circles

"Circle in a Box"