Dr. Deanna Haunsperger (Bio)
Carleton College and President of the MAA
"A Glimpse at the Horizon"
What do a square-wheeled bicycle, a 17th-century French painting, and the Indiana legislature all have in common? They appear among the many bright stars on the mathematical horizon; that is, in Math Horizons. Math Horizons, the undergraduate magazine started by the MAA in 1994 publishes articles to introduce students to the world of mathematics outside the classroom. Some of mathematics’ best expositors have written for MH over the years; here is an idiosyncratic tour of the first ten years of Horizons.
Dr. Alissa Crans (Bio)
Loyola Marymount University
"Cracking the Cubic: Cardano, Controversy, and Creasing"
We're all familiar with the solution to a general quadratic equation--some of us even learn songs or mnemonics in school to help us remember the famous formula. But have you heard about analogous formulas for the cubic, quartic, or quintic equations? It turns out that the solution of the cubic didn’t reveal itself to mathematicians quite so easily. There’s a real story here, filled with challenges, drama, and controversy! Surprisingly, we can trade in our formulas for folding. Our exploration will take a turn toward the concrete as we follow the footsteps of Margherita Beloch and solve the cubic using only origami.
Dr. Manda Riehl (Bio)
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
"Discrete Mathematics Applied to Biology"
Discrete mathematics is a useful field for computer scientists and electrical engineers, covering essential topics including logic, Boolean algebra, theory of computation, recursion, and many others. But recently the tools of discrete mathematics have brought about advances in the biological sciences, particularly in modeling biological systems and processes. We'll explore some applications of discrete mathematics to topics such as gene regulatory networks, food webs, and RNA secondary structures.