Category: Math

Amherst College Science Center

The Beauty Behind Mathematics and Communities: An Interview with Professor Moore

Katherine Moore is a visiting assistant professor of mathematics who came to Amherst this year. She received a Ph.D. in mathematics at Dartmouth College and was a postdoc at Wake Forest University. This fall, she is teaching courses in Calculus and Linear Algebra. What did you do before you started teaching here at Amherst, and…

The Math and the History Behind the Archimedean Solids

In his colloquium “Polyhedra: Plato, Archimedes, Euler,” Professor Robert Benedetto explains the mathematical history of the Archimedean solids – which include geometric forms like the truncated icosahedron, very reminiscent of a soccer ball but with flat faces instead of imposed on a spherical surface – and the proof that defines this set of 13 polyhedra….

The Life of a Putnam Student

The ,William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition is the preeminent mathematics competition for undergraduate college students, consisting of two 3-hour sessions, with 6 problems each. The exam is so difficult that the median score is usually only 0 or 1 out of 120. Ethan Spingarn, a sophomore at Amherst College, participated in the 2019 Putnam Competition…

Mathematics is like Minecraft, filled with dark caves and unexplored worlds

Ivan Contreras

In his talk “Stranger Things (In Math)”, Professor Ivan Contreras sets out to explore the ‘Nether’ of mathematics: Non-commutative Algebra. In our daily lives, many of our basic operations are commutative, which means the order of the components does not affect the result. For example, 2 + 3 is the same as 3 + 2,…