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Archive for March, 2010


I was fortunate to attend the state MATHCOUNTS competition in Austin this weekend.  After a speech by Governor Rick Perry, they began the countdown round to select the 4 members of the Texas team that would compete at MATHCOUNT nationals.  This is particularly significant since Texas has won 4 of the last 5 national competitions and from what I saw has a good chance of winning again!

Our own Victor Zhou amazed the audience by winning 5 of the countdown rounds in a row!  This was quite a feat requiring him to frequently answer complex questions well before the announcer or anyone in the audience could read them.  Victor is a frequent Metroplex Math Circle attendee and student of Dr. Andreescu’s.

Robert Tung, also representing Rice Middle School, and another Metroplex Math Circle student made the national team through a combination of his performance on the written test and the countdown round.  He will join the team coached by the famous Jeff Boyd as they go Orlando to represent us all at nationals.

Please feel free to use the comments section below if you would like to add your contratulations to Victor and Robert!

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A professor in the University of Texas system has received a significant and lucrative honor:

American wins $1 million math prize

Texas professor receives Norway’s Abel Prize for work in number theory

OSLO, Norway – An American professor at the University of Texas at Austin has won the 6 million kroner ($1 million) Abel Prize for mathematics. 

The prize jury praised John Tate as “a prime architect” of number theory, a branch of mathematics that has played a key role in the development of modern computers. 

The award citation issued Wednesday says Tate “has truly left a conspicuous imprint on modern mathematics” by advancing “one of (its) most elaborate and sophisticated branches.” 

Tate’s scientific accomplishments span six decades. A wealth of essential mathematical ideas and constructions were initiated by Tate and later named after him, such as the Tate module, Tate curve, Tate cycle, Hodge-Tate decompositions, Tate cohomology, Serre-Tate parameter, Lubin-Tate group, Tate trace, Shafarevich-Tate group and Néron-Tate height. 

In 2002-2003, Tate was a recipient of the Wolf Prize in Mathematics. The mathematician turned 85 this month and recently retired from his position as professor, becoming professor emeritus. 

The annual Abel Prize was created by the Norwegian government in 2003 and is awarded to candidates who have contributed to the mathematical sciences. The winner is selected by an international committee of five mathematicians. 

The prize will be given to Tate at a May 25 ceremony in Oslo. 

This report includes information from The Associated Press and msnbc.com. 
© 2010 msnbc.com

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“Attacking Plane Geometry with Bare Hands or with Mathematical Armor?”

In the classic book of “Alice in Wonderland” many strange things happen that are left unexplained by the mathematician author Lewis Carroll. Similarly, in this math circle session at UT Dallas, reflections will “mystically” become rotations and rotations will turn into translations! Is this possible and mathematically sound?  Come to this talk to find out what happened just a month ago at the Bay Area Math Olympiad and how three different brilliant solutions to the same geometry problem were created by student participants. If you want more preparation on the topic, visit the UT Arlington math circle session “Medians Surrender at the Olympics” on March 25, Thursday, 7-9pm, for another geometry session given by the same speaker.

Dr. Zvezdelina Stankova is a Visiting Associate Professor of Mathematics at the University of California at Berkeley.  She is also the director of the reknowned Berkeley Math Circle.

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Congratulations to Eudaimonia Academy which picked up the wild card position in the Texas State MATHCOUNTS competition.  Many of the team members, like the others going to state, are regular attendees of the Metroplex Math Circle.

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Dr. Sunic will provide several examples of space filling curves (such as Peano, Hilbert, and Moore curve), along with a general strategy that lies behind these constructions and applications to computer science.

Dr. Sunic teaches at Texas A&M University, is a former coach of the US IMO Team (team) and a current member of the USAMO Committee.

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