Tell us a bit about yourself; what life experiences influenced you to write a senior thesis? I’ve always liked math. I think my parents did a good job of encouraging that when I was young, and I got lucky and had a number of good math teachers who were very encouraging. I had a kind…

## 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…

## Demystifying Mathematics Outside the Classroom: An Intro to Math Club

The belief that math is difficult or even boring is commonplace, but Audrey Rosevear, the Math Club president, doesn’t think it has to be. Math Club was created as a haven where students can explore what math looks like in research and beyond in a stakes-free environment, as well as a forum to discuss mathematical…

## Revisiting Gradients of Functions in a New, Discretized World

Being in the class of 2021E, I started my mathematics thesis in Spring 2020, and actually concluded it in Fall 2020, officially handing it in on the 11th of November. It was under the supervision of two advisors: Professor Ivan Contreras, a close mentor whose work with a prior summer I hoped to continue in…

## More Than Just a Headache: A Lecture About Migraines in the U.S

You are working on a 15-page essay at 2 in the morning, and just as you start your concluding paragraph, a burst of pain shoots to your head. The pain lingers for another 4 hours before you call it quits and decide to write the rest of your essay after a good night’s (or morning’s?)…

## 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

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,…

## Leo Xu ‘23, Zahra Shah ‘22, Katie Lingen ‘22, Malaika Kironde, SURF Contreras Group; Networks: Heat, Zombies, and Epidemics

Leo Xu ‘23, Zahra Shah ‘22, Katie Lingen ‘22, Malaika Kironde, SURF Contreras Group; Networks: Heat, Zombies, and Epidemics…