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Program for Sonia Kovalevsky Math Day

Please come to Kemeny Hall 008

9:00 - 10:00

Continental Breakfast and Ice breaker game

10:00 - 10:15

A "Welcome" by the organizers, followed by a short biographical sketch of Sonia Kovalevsky

10:15 - 11:00

Workshop: The Map Coloring Problem

Abstract: A map on a surface decomposes the surface into non-overlapping regions of various shapes. How many colors do we need to color the regions of any map on earth so that no two adjacent regions have the same color? If we now consider any map on a donut-shaped planet, would the answer to the previous question be the same? In this workshop, we will explore the answers to these questions and visualize the actual coloring schemes.

Session Leaders:

Yanbing Gu, Brian Mintz, Jack Petok

11:00 - 11:45

Plenary Lecture: The Shape of Space

Patricia Cahn, Phyllis Cohen Rappaport ’68 New Century Term Assistant Professor of Mathematics & Statistics, Smith College

Abstract: What would it be like to travel through outer space in a straight line, only to return to the same place you started? Might this be possible in our own universe? And how can we study the shapes of three-dimensional worlds different from our own? We'll think about these questions from the perspective of topology, a field of math where geometric objects are allowed to stretch and bend.

11:45 - 12:30

Workshop: The Four Cubes Problem

Abstract: If we have four cubes whose faces are each painted one of four colors, can we stack them up so that every side of the stack shows all four colors? There will be over 82 thousand different ways to stack the cubes we give you, so it would take too long to try every possibility. Instead, we'll talk about a systematic way to look for a solution using a kind of math called graph theory.

Session Leaders:

Melanie Ferreri, Kathy Lin, Eran Assaf

12:30 - 1:30

Buffet Lunch

1:30 - 2:15

Workshop: Multiplication Without Memorization

Abstract: Multiplication by hand using times tables is both exhausting and inefficient. In this workshop, we'll learn to multiply by every integer from 1 to 12, with the solution coming as quickly as you can write it down. We will do so without recourse to the 12 by 12 times table that you may have learned in elementary school. Time permitting, we'll discuss how to extend these methods to multiply and divide by larger numbers.

Session Leaders:

Grant Molnar, Matt Ellison, Tongtong Li

2:15 - 3:00

Panel Discussion: Why study Math?

Undergraduate: Archita Harathi '22, Lizzie Hernandez '22

Graduate: Juanita Duque Rosero, Jiayi Chen

Professor: Patricia Cahn, Rosa Orellana, Ina Petkova, Nadia Lafreniere, Tongtong Li

3:00 - 3:15

Closing and Evaluations