EPaDel Fall 2023 Section Meeting

Our Fall 2023 meeting was held November 11, 2023 at Villanova University.

The meeting is jointly sponsored with the New Jersey section.


View this meeting's schedule

Invited Speakers

Image of Speaker Judith Covington
Northwestern State University
Math Teachers' Circles - What, Why, When, and How?

I believe that K-12 teachers are the key to our future. I also believe that in general society does not do enough to support and encourage these teachers. I have spent my career teaching mathematics to future teachers. However, as we all know, learning does not stop at graduation. In 2009 I learned about Math Teachers’ Circles and immediately knew this was something that I needed to provide for my local teachers. In 2010 I created the North Louisiana Math Teachers’ Circle. I will talk about what Math Teachers Circles are and why I so desperately wanted to create one. I will talk about the struggles and the successes of this endeavor and will share tips on how to start your own Math Teachers Circle. And of course, there will be some math problems to solve as well!

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Image of Speaker Kristen Hendricks
Rutgers University
A First Look at Knots and Symmetries

A mathematical knot is a simple object -- take a piece of string, tie it up however you like, and glue the ends together so you can't untie it. But these deceptively easy objects to describe and fiddle with are key to understanding deep geometric questions, many not nearly so accessible. We'll introduce knots and consider some possible measures of how complicated a knot is, before turning our attention to one of my favorite topics, possible symmetries of knots. In the end, we'll see how different types of symmetry have wildly different relationships with how "complicated" the knots involved are.

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Image of Speaker Jason Rosenhouse
US Air Force Academy
James Madison University
Dirichlet's Theorem and the Rise of Analytic Number Theory

In 1837, Peter G. L. Dirichlet proved the following theorem: If a and d are relatively prime integers, then the arithmetic progression a, a+d, a+2d, ... contains infinitely many prime numbers. His proof ushered in a revolution in number theory because it relied in a critical way on complex analysis. The use of analytic methods to solve problems in number theory was a tremendous innovation at the time. We shall consider some of the details of Dirichlet's proof, focusing on understanding why there is a deep connection between these seemingly unrelated branches of mathematics.

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Student Activity

Faculty Workshop

Led by Judith Covington and hosted by Section NExT.

This workshop will be run as a modified Math Teachers’ Circle session. Participants will be divided into groups of three to four to participate in an activity that has been used in a Math Teachers’ Circle session. Additional topics may be shared as time allows. Questions are encouraged and the session may be changed to fit the requests of those attending.

Lunch Table Discussions

Lunch tables will feature optional discussion topics for attendees. Click here (PDF) for a list of topics.

Local Organizers

The local organizers for this meeting are Alexander Diaz-Lopez, Katie Haymaker, and Bob Styer of Villanova. Please contact a local organizer with site-specific questions, or contact an Executive Committee member with more general questions.