January 17, 2009 – Dr. Vincent Ng – “Statistical Natural Language Processing and the North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad”
People have long believed that technology will eventually produce a machine that can speak to us. Natural language processing (NLP), one of most fascinating subfields of artificial intelligence, is devoted to enabling computers to use human languages both as input and as output. However, more than fifty years have passed since the inception of artificial intelligence, and we still have not been able to construct such a “talking machine.” In the first part of this talk, we will examine why NLP is so difficult, and take a look at how statistics have revolutionized the way computers understand human languages.
In the second part of the talk, we will give an overview of the North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad (NACLO), an international contest that aims to stimulate high-school students’ interest in natural language processing by having them solve linguistic puzzles. A local contest will be held at the University of Texas at Dallas on February 4, 2009. Interested high-school students can now register through the NACLO website (www.naclo.cs.cmu.edu).
January 24, 2009 – Liubomir Chiriac – “Geometry and Thebault’s Theorem”
January 31, 2009 – Dr. Alexey Root – “Chess Applications of Graph Theory”
Dr. Alexey Root will present on chess applications of graph theory to secondary math education. Specifically, she will highlight the concepts of domination and independence and show how they can be illustrated through chess problems. “The concept of domination is one of the central ideas in graph theory, and is especially important in the application of graph theory to the real world” (Watkins, 2004, Across the board: The mathematics of chessboard problems, p. 95). Not only are domination problems important for graph theory and real-world math applications, but they are critical for chess understanding. In Alexey Root’s presentation, participants will try two domination activities from her books: Mobility (from pages 79-80 of Children and chess: A guide for educators) and Covering the Board: Kings (from pages 42-45 of Science, math, checkmate: 32 chess activities for inquiry and problem solving). Participants will also solve the eight-queens problem, from pages 45-46 of Science, math, checkmate: 32 chess activities for inquiry and problem solving. The eight-queens problem highlights the concept of independence.
February 7, 2009 – Dr. Zuming Feng – “Diophantine Equations”
In mathematics, a Diophantine equation is an indeterminate polynomial equation that allows the variables to be integers only. Diophantine problems have fewer equations than unknown variables and involve finding integers that work correctly for all equations. In more technical language, they define an algebraic curve, algebraic surface or more general object, and ask about the lattice points on it.
February 14, 2009 – Dr. Dorin Andrica
February 21, 2009 – Alan Davis – “Combinatorics”
Mr. Davis will talk about combinatorics including a subset of the following topics: binomial coefficients, Pascal’s triangle, Vandermonde’s identity, counting partitions of sets (Stirling & Bell numbers), counting the number of ways to tile a grid with shapes (dominoes, trominoes, tetrominoes, etc.), counting repeated items, the inclusion-exclusion principle, and the Pigeonhole principle.
February 28, 2009 – Dr. Jonathan Kane – “Vectors”
March 7, 2009 – Alan Davis – “Combinatorics Continued”
Mr. Davis will continue his previous talk on Combinatorics with more challenging problems and concepts. Those who missed his first talk are encouraged to attend promptly for a quick review at 2:00.
March 14, 2009 – Dr. Titu Andreescu – “AIME Tips”
Dr. Andreescu will be giving a special lecture for those preparing for the American Invitational Mathematics Examination (AIME). This will be a very challenging session befitting the caliber of the AIME. However, students who did not qualify this year but are working on AMC 10 and 12 preparation should benefit from the unique insights and strategies that Dr. Andreescu will provide.
March 21, 2009 – No Math Circle – UTD Spring Break
March 28, 2009 – Dr. Razvan Gelca – “Invariants”
The invariance principle is an important mathematical tool in both mathematical Olympiads and fundamental mathematical research. In this talk we will cover examples from combinatorics, number theory, geometry, and algebra. Then we will explain how invariants are being used in recent mathematical research on knot theory and mathematical physics.
April 4, 2009 – LaTeX and Proof Writing Workshop
The math skills learned in our math circles have been helpful to students hoping to improve their scores on the AMC tests or the AIME. But to be successful in olympiads or to answer the questions from USAMTS or AOPS requires that students can also articulate their problem solving in the form of proofs.
A preferred tool for writing proofs and indeed for writing many scientific papers is the typesetting system called LaTeX. Whether you are a student who has never tried LaTeX and proof writing or you just want to improve your skills, this Saturday’s workshop is for you. Even younger students will enjoy how easy it is to create very advanced mathematical expressions by mastering LaTeX.
April 11, 2009 – No Math Circle – Easter Weekend
April 18, 2009 – To Be Announced
September 20, 2008 – Richard Rusczyk – “Math and Finance”
AoPS Incorporated was founded by Richard Rusczyk in 2003 to create interactive educational opportunities for avid math students. Richard Rusczyk is one of the co-authors of the Art of Problem Solving textbooks, author of Art of Problem Solving’s Introduction to Algebra and Introduction to Geometry textbooks, one of the co-creators of the Mandelbrot Competition, and the Director of the USA Mathematical Talent Search. He was a participant in National MATHCOUNTS, a three-time participant in the Math Olympiad Summer Program, and a USA Mathematical Olympiad winner (1989). He graduated from Princeton University in 1993, helped inaugurate ESPN’s SportsFigures program, and worked as a bond trader for D.E. Shaw & Company for four years. AoPS marks Richard’s return to his vocation – educating motivated students.
September 27, 2008 – Bennette Harris – “Computer Data Encryption – Decrypted”
Bennette Harris is currently an Associate Professor and former department chair of Mathematical and Computer Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, where he has been on staff since 1982. His research interests include topics in both mathematics and computer science. He is the 1984 recipient of UW-Whitewater’s Roseman Teaching Award, the university’s highest honor. In addition to teaching at UW-Whitewater, Bennette has taught computer technology courses for IBM and AT&T, and has served as a mathematics and computer consultant for a number of industries. This fall he is on sabbatical conducting research in automated Internet server management strategies. Bennette has a BS in mathematics from Virginia Tech, MA from UW-Madison, and EdD from Oklahoma State.
October 4, 2008 – Alicia Prieto Langarica – “Cryptography”
October 11, 2008 – Alicia Prieto Langarica – “Minimal Surfaces and Regular Polyhedra”
We will begin with an introduction to polyhedrons and their properties. We will see why there is only a certain number of regular polyhedrons and we will talk about non regular polyherons as well. We will build our own polyhedrons, regular and non regular. Then we will introduce the concept of minimal surfaces and discuss its importance in various fields. The last activity is going to be a fun surprise that will illustrate minimal surface on different shapes.
Ms. Langarica is a mathematics Phd student at The University of Texas at Arlington. She has a BS in Applied Mathematics from the Univestity of Texas at Dallas and was a contestant in the Mexican Mathematics Olympiads for 5 years where she received one national silver medal and two gold medals. Since then, she has been involved continuously in mathematics Olympiads as a trainer and problem writer.
October 18, 2008 – Dr. Titu Andreescu – “AMC Test Preparation”
The AMC tests have become a critical measure of math and problem solving capabilities. Elite universities that routinely reject students with 800 SAT scores require and respect AMC test scores. These tests often draw on discreet math topics that students may not encounter in a standard US curriculum. The AMC 8 test is available for students through 8th grade and is excellent practice for the harder AMC 10 and 12.
Dr. Andreescu, the Director of MMC, is the former Director of AMC and coach of the US IMO team. He will give students a distinct advantage with strategies to prepare for these tests which may determine their college admission. For more information on these tests please see The Road to the IMO.
October 25, 2008 – Dr. Paul Stanford – “Hairy Circles, and Numbers from Nowhere!”
November 1, 2008 – Chengde Feng – “Angles and Areas”
November 8, 2008 – Simion Filip – “Geometry and Physics: from Euclid to Einstein”
Abstract: Mr. Filip will present the way our understanding of the physical world shaped the geometric problems that we considered throughout history. Examples will be drawn mostly from elementary Euclidian geometry and the talk should be accessible to anyone who is familiar with angles and triangles.
November 15, 2008 – No Math Circle
Metroplex Math Circle will not meet so that our students can participate in the MEANT Math Olympiad. MEANT in partnership with Microsoft Corporation, announces a competition in mathematics, open to all 6th to 10th grade students in the Dallas Metroplex.
WHEN : November 15th, 2008, Saturday
TIME : 1:00 PM
VENUE : University of Texas at Dallas (UTD).
School of Management (Room 2.801, 2nd Floor)
800 West Campbell Road, Richardson, TX 75080
Map : (http://www.utdallas.edu/maps/)
Last date to Register : November 11th, 2008.
Registration fee : $10.00 (Non refundable after Nov 11th, 2008).
November 18, 2008 – AMC 8 Test
Please make sure that your student’s school offers this important test which will prepare them to take the AMC 10 and 12.
November 19, 2008 – Dr. Arthur Benjamin – MMC Special Event!
Dr. Arthur Benjamin is both a professor of mathematics and a magician. He has combined his two loves to create a dynamic presentation called “Mathemagics,” suitable for all audiences, where he demonstrates and explains his secrets for performing rapid mental calculations faster than a calculator. Dr. Arthur Benjamin’s lecture will be held on November 19th at 7:00 PM in the TI Auditorium ECSS 2.102, UTD, Dallas.
November 22, 2008 – No Math Circle
December 6, 2008 – Dr. Tanya Khovanova – “Binary Numbers” and “Integers and Sequences”
1. Binary Numbers
I will teach binary numbers, show a magic trick and we will play with binary dollars.
2. Integers and Sequences
Have you ever heard of untouchable numbers? How about aspiring numbers? I will tell you what they are. I will talk about perfect numbers and how they are connected to Mersenne primes. I will talk about the biggest known prime number. Have you ever wondered what is the most famous number sequence? What is the most versatile sequence? We will discuss that. What is the largest amount of coin money you can have without being able to make change for a dollar? You can bring your answer to this seminar. What is so special about 1089? You will learn that too. Is 42
(The Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything) more famous than 47 (the secret Star Trek TNG number)? You will get the answer to that. I will also show you the Internet resources about numbers. You will be able to find out many things about your favorite numbers.