Meetings

The schedule for Spring 2021 has been decided. We will meet on 1/30, 2/6, 2/13, 2/20, 3/6, 3/13, 3/27, 4/17, 4/24, 5/8, 5/15. Below is an archive of our meetings from Fall 2020.

February 13, 2021

Discovery Learning: Beginner Group (12.00 - 1.30 PM)

Speaker: Matthew Atanas (TAMU)

Title: Hex (the Board Game)

Abstract: Hex is a game where two competing players try to connect their two sides together while preventing their opponent from doing the same.  In this session, we will examine this game in more depth.  Does one side always necessarily win, or is it possible to draw?  If one side does always win, does it depend on the board size?  What is the winning strategy?


Discovery Learning: Intermediate Group (1.45 - 3.15 PM)

Speaker: Dr. Phil Yasskin (TAMU)

Title: King Arthur's Round Table

Abstract: King Arthur is selecting a Knight from around his round table to marry his daughter.

There is a process of elimination and the winner is the one who can find a formula for the process.


Discovery Learning: Advanced Group (3.30 - 5.00 PM)

Speaker: Logan Knudsen (TAMU)

Title: Pool Testing Technique

Abstract: The Lab you work at testing for a virus employs the Pool Testing Technique, and they have placed you in charge of organizing their tests to be more efficient and better fit time constraints while still finding the infected individuals. We will develop some mathematical techniques to help solve this problem.


Problem-Solving: Beginner Group (1.45 - 3.15 PM)

Instructor: Drs. Irina Bobkova and Guangbo Xu (Texas A&M University)


Problem-Solving: Intermediate Group (3.30 - 5.00 PM)

Instructor: Xiaoyu Su & Drs. Li Gao, Hao Guo (Texas A&M University)


Problem-Solving: Advanced Group (12.00 - 1.30 PM)

Instructors: Drs. Zhizhang Xie, Rodrigo Matos, Andrew Yu (Texas A&M University)


February 6, 2021

Discovery Learning: Beginner Group (12.00 - 1.30 PM)

Speaker: Dr. Phil Yasskin (TAMU)

Title: King Arthur's Round Table

Abstract: King Arthur is selecting a Knight from around his round table to marry his daughter.

There is a process of elimination and the winner is the one who can find a formula for the process.


Discovery Learning: Intermediate Group (1.45 - 3.15 PM)

Speaker: Logan Knudsen (TAMU)

Title: Pool Testing Technique

Abstract: The Lab you work at testing for a virus employs the Pool Testing Technique, and they have placed you in charge of organizing their tests to be more efficient and better fit time constraints while still finding the infected individuals. We will develop some mathematical techniques to help solve this problem.


Discovery Learning: Advanced Group (3.30 - 5.00 PM)

Speaker: Matthew Atanas (TAMU)

Title: Hex (the Board Game)

Abstract: Hex is a game where two competing players try to connect their two sides together while preventing their opponent from doing the same.  In this session, we will examine this game in more depth.  Does one side always necessarily win, or is it possible to draw?  If one side does always win, does it depend on the board size?  What is the winning strategy?


Problem-Solving: Beginner Group (1.45 - 3.15 PM)

Instructor: Drs. Irina Bobkova and Guangbo Xu (Texas A&M University)


Problem-Solving: Intermediate Group (3.30 - 5.00 PM)

Instructor: Xiaoyu Su & Drs. Li Gao, Hao Guo (Texas A&M University)


Problem-Solving: Advanced Group (12.00 - 1.30 PM)

Instructors: Drs. Zhizhang Xie, Rodrigo Matos, Andrew Yu (Texas A&M University)


January 30, 2021

Discovery Learning: Beginner Group (12.00 - 1.30 PM)

Speaker: Logan Knudsen (TAMU)

Title: Pool Testing Technique

Abstract: The Lab you work at testing for a virus employs the Pool Testing Technique, and they have placed you in charge of organizing their tests to be more efficient and better fit time constraints while still finding the infected individuals. We will develop some mathematical techniques to help solve this problem.


Discovery Learning: Intermediate Group (1.45 - 3.15 PM)

Speaker: William Frendreiss (TAMU)

Title: Gerrymandering: How to Win Elections the Sneaky Way

Abstract: Every ten years, local and state officials are allowed to change the boundaries of voting districts to account for changes in population. But a widespread technique called "gerrymandering" involves strategically drawing these boundaries so that members of the ruling party can be re-elected, even if most of the voters in their region vote against them. We'll explore how gerrymandering works, draw our own voting district maps, and investigate mathematical techniques for choosing drawing districts that are fair for everyone.


Discovery Learning: Advanced Group (3.30 - 5.00 PM)

Speaker: Dr. Phil Yasskin (TAMU)

Title: King Arthur's Round Table

Abstract: King Arthur is selecting a Knight from around his round table to marry his daughter.

There is a process of elimination and the winner is the one who can find a formula for the process.


Problem-Solving: Beginner Group (1.45 - 3.15 PM)

Instructor: Drs. Irina Bobkova and Guangbo Xu (Texas A&M University)


Problem-Solving: Intermediate Group (3.30 - 5.00 PM)

Instructor: Xiaoyu Su & Drs. Li Gao, Hao Guo (Texas A&M University)


Problem-Solving: Advanced Group (12.00 - 1.30 PM)

Instructors: Drs. Zhizhang Xie, Rodrigo Matos, Andrew Yu (Texas A&M University)


December 12, 2020

Discovery Learning: Beginner Group (12.00 - 1.30 PM)

Speaker: Dr. Maya Johnson (TAMU)

Title: Lady Bugs

Abstract: How many lady bugs can you save? This activity involves helping lady buys safely land on leaves. There are two leaves and lady bugs with an integer number of dots on their backs. You must place the lady bugs on each leaf in consecutive order starting from number one. If you place a lady bug on a leaf where the sum of the dots on the backs of any two existing lady bugs equals the number of dots on that lady bug’s back, then all the lady bugs will fly off the leaf. If you reach a point where any move you make would cause the lady bugs on both leaves to fly off, then the game is over and you have to start again. The question is: how many lady bugs can you get onto the leaves without them all flying away? We will explore what’s the best strategy for placing the lady bugs to get the most lady bugs to safety as possible with consecutive numbers first and then see what happens if we switch to even numbers, odd numbers, primes, and other different cases. Come join us for some buggy fun with numbers!

Discovery Learning: Intermediate Group (1.45 - 3.15 PM)

Speaker: Matthew Atanas (TAMU)

Title: "What's for Dinner?" - An Examination of Different Voting Systems

Abstract: In this activity we will explore several different voting systems and evaluate the benefits and detriments of each. We will conclude with a surprising result on the possibility of "fair" voting systems.

Discovery Learning: Advanced Group (3.30 - 5.00 PM)

Speaker: Alexander Riedel (TAMU)

Title: Power of a Point and Radical Axis: Proving a theorem relating the chords in circles with high school geometry

Abstract: We will first examine the intersection of chords in circles and prove a theorem using high school geometry techniques. Then we will define the Power of a point and the Radical Axis of two circles. We will proceed to find what the radical axis is for two circles and prove some useful facts about it.


Problem-Solving: Beginner Group (1.45 - 3.15 PM)

Instructor: Drs. Irina Bobkova and Guangbo Xu (Texas A&M University)


Problem-Solving: Intermediate Group (3.30 - 5.00 PM)

Instructor: Xiaoyu Su & Drs. Li Gao, Hao Guo (Texas A&M University)


Problem-Solving: Advanced Group (12.00 - 1.30 PM)

Instructors: Drs. Zhizhang Xie, Rodrigo Matos, Andrew Yu (Texas A&M University)


December 5, 2020

Discovery Learning: Beginner Group (12.00 - 1.30 PM)

Speaker: Dr. Ed Keppelmann (University of Nevada-Reno)

Title: Dice Games of Elimination

Abstract: The classic game of Shut The Box involves rolling two die repeatedly in an attempt to obtain and thereby eliminate (thus never to be used again) each number from 1 to 12. Usually this is a one person solitare type game and so after playing and discovering some basic strategy we will introduce a multiplayer competitive version and see how things change. We will then repeat this exercise for a geometric version of shut the box which can be played on a grid in the plane. What happens here and what variations do you suggest for even more suspense, strategic planning and fun?

Playing grids and random dice will all be available on line but ordinary dice and graph paper are great for playing some more offline after the circle.

Discovery Learning: Intermediate Group (1.45 - 3.15 PM)

Speaker: Dr. Ed Keppelmann (University of Nevada-Reno)

Title: Dice Games of Elimination

Abstract: The classic game of Shut The Box involves rolling two die repeatedly in an attempt to obtain and thereby eliminate (thus never to be used again) each number from 1 to 12. Usually this is a one person solitare type game and so after playing and discovering some basic strategy we will introduce a multiplayer competitive version and see how things change. We will then repeat this exercise for a geometric version of shut the box which can be played on a grid in the plane. What happens here and what variations do you suggest for even more suspense, strategic planning and fun?

Playing grids and random dice will all be available on line but ordinary dice and graph paper are great for playing some more offline after the circle.

Discovery Learning: Advanced Group (3.30 - 5.00 PM)

Speaker: Dr. Ed Keppelmann (University of Nevada-Reno)

Title: Dice Games of Elimination

Abstract: The classic game of Shut The Box involves rolling two die repeatedly in an attempt to obtain and thereby eliminate (thus never to be used again) each number from 1 to 12. Usually this is a one person solitare type game and so after playing and discovering some basic strategy we will introduce a multiplayer competitive version and see how things change. We will then repeat this exercise for a geometric version of shut the box which can be played on a grid in the plane. What happens here and what variations do you suggest for even more suspense, strategic planning and fun?

Playing grids and random dice will all be available on line but ordinary dice and graph paper are great for playing some more offline after the circle.


Problem-Solving: Beginner Group (1.45 - 3.15 PM)

Instructor: Drs. Irina Bobkova and Guangbo Xu (Texas A&M University)


Problem-Solving: Intermediate Group (3.30 - 5.00 PM)

Instructor: Xiaoyu Su & Drs. Li Gao, Hao Guo (Texas A&M University)


Problem-Solving: Advanced Group (12.00 - 1.30 PM)

Instructors: Drs. Zhizhang Xie, Rodrigo Matos, Andrew Yu (Texas A&M University)


November 21, 2020

Discovery Learning: Beginner Group (12.00 - 1.30 PM)

Speaker: Logan Knudsen (TAMU)

Title: Wolves and Sheep: Solving and Generalizing

Abstract: We will explore puzzle problems relating to the Wolves and Sheep Puzzle, consisting of arranging wolves and sheep in patterns that protect the sheep. We will also explore ways to maximize or minimize the area covered by the wolves.

Discovery Learning: Intermediate Group (1.45 - 3.15 PM)

Speaker: Dr. Phil Yasskin (TAMU)

Title: Counting Diagonals

Abstract: We will count the number of diagonals in an n x n grid that do not touch each other. 

Discovery Learning: Advanced Group (3.30 - 5.00 PM)

Speaker: William Frendreiss (TAMU)

Title: Deriving Pi using Limits and Geometry

Abstract: We will be using two methods to approximate pi from both above and below, by increasing the number of sides on arbitrary inscribed and circumscribed polygons. We will be using Excel to visually see how the area of these polygons approaches pi, the circle constant, from above and below. Advanced topics such as limits will be touched on, but not rigorously discussed.


November 14, 2020

Discovery Learning: Beginner Group (12.00 - 1.30 PM)

Speaker: William Frendreiss (TAMU)

Title: Counting Chameleons

Abstract: We will be going over several problems related to the color-changing properties of virtual chameleons. We begin with a set of chameleons that can change colors with another chameleon. Our goal in each problem is to make it so that all the chameleons end up being the same color. In our simulation, we will explore how odd and even numbers in the initial conditions affect our answer, and cases where there may not be an answer.

Discovery Learning: Intermediate Group (1.45 - 3.15 PM)

Speaker: Dr. Erika Ordog (TAMU)

Title: Generalizations of Bridges of Koenigsberg

Abstract: The city of Koenigsberg is made up of islands connected to each other by bridges. Is it possible to walk across all of the bridges once and only once, ending up where you started? We will see if this is possible in Koenigsberg and solve other related and more general problems.

Discovery Learning: Advanced Group (3.30 - 5.00 PM)

Speaker: Dr. Phil Yasskin (TAMU)

Title: The a+b+ab Problem

Abstract: Write down the numbers from 1 to 100. Randomly select 2 numbers from the list, say a and b, and cross them off, but add to the list the number a+b+ab. You now have 99 numbers. Repeat this process until you have only 1 number left. What are all possible final numbers?


Problem-Solving: Beginner Group (1.45 - 3.15 PM)

Instructor: Drs. Irina Bobkova and Guangbo Xu (Texas A&M University)


Problem-Solving: Intermediate Group (3.30 - 5.00 PM)

Instructor: Xiaoyu Su & Drs. Li Gao, Hao Guo (Texas A&M University)


Problem-Solving: Advanced Group (12.00 - 1.30 PM)

Instructors: Drs. Zhizhang Xie, Rodrigo Matos, Andrew Yu (Texas A&M University)


November 7, 2020

Discovery Learning: Beginner Group (12.00 - 1.30 PM)

Speaker: Erika Ordog (TAMU)

Title: Bridges of Koenigsberg

Abstract: The city of Koenigsberg is made up of islands connected to each other by bridges. Is it possible to walk across all of the bridges once and only once, ending up where you started? We will see if this is possible in Koenigsberg and in other cities and will solve other related problems.

Discovery Learning: Intermediate Group (1.45 - 3.15 PM)

Speaker: William Frendreiss (TAMU)

Title: Counting Chameleons

Abstract: We will be going over several problems related to the color-changing properties of virtual chameleons. We begin with a set of chameleons that can change colors with another chameleon. Our goal in each problem is to make it so that all the chameleons end up being the same color. In our simulation, we will explore how odd and even numbers in the initial conditions affect our answer, and cases where there may not be an answer.

Discovery Learning: Advanced Group (3.30 - 5.00 PM)

Speaker: Dr. Joung Dong "JD" Kim (TAMU)

Title: From Algebra to Computational Fluid Dynamics

Abstract: In this talk we will discuss the slope of a line (in algebra) and how we can use it for numerical PDE problems (Computational Fluid Dynamics). As an application, I will demonstrate coding for simple PDE problems and introduce the Front Tracking method for Parachute model.


October 31, 2020

Discovery Learning: ALL SECTIONS

Speaker: -

Title: -

Abstract: Discovery Learning is cancelled this week due to Buzz Contest, which will be hosted on Discord by Prof. Josh Dever (UT Austin). Problem Solving will run as normal. If you are interested in participating, please register here. The contest will start at 1.45 (Central Time).


Problem-Solving: Beginner Group (1.45 - 3.15 PM)

Instructor: Drs. Irina Bobkova and Guangbo Xu (Texas A&M University)


Problem-Solving: Intermediate Group (3.30 - 5.00 PM)

Instructor: Xiaoyu Su & Drs. Li Gao, Hao Guo (Texas A&M University)


Problem-Solving: Advanced Group (12.00 - 1.30 PM)

Instructors: Drs. Zhizhang Xie, Rodrigo Matos, Andrew Yu (Texas A&M University)


October 24, 2020

Beginner Group (in Pre-Algebra and below)

Speaker: Dr. Doug Hensley (TAMU)

Title: Buzz Contest Training

Abstract: Dr. Doug Hensley will explain what is a Buzz Contest and train our students for next week's (Oct. 31) Buzz Contest that will be held in association with the Math Circle at UT Austin.


Intermediate Group (in Algebra 1 or above)

Speaker: Dr. Doug Hensley (TAMU)

Title: Buzz Contest Training

Abstract: Dr. Doug Hensley will explain what is a Buzz Contest and train our students for next week's (Oct. 31) Buzz Contest that will be held in association with the Math Circle at UT Austin.


Advanced Group (in Algebra 2 or above)

Speaker: Dr. Doug Hensley (TAMU)

Title: Buzz Contest Training

Abstract: Dr. Doug Hensley will explain what is a Buzz Contest and train our students for next week's (Oct. 31) Buzz Contest that will be held in association with the Math Circle at UT Austin.


Problem-Solving: Beginner Group

Instructor: Drs. Irina Bobkova and Guangbo Xu (Texas A&M University)


Problem-Solving: Intermediate Group

Instructor: Xiaoyu Su & Drs. Li Gao, Hao Guo (Texas A&M University)


Problem-Solving: Advanced Group

Instructors: Drs. Zhizhang Xie, Rodrigo Matos, Andrew Yu (Texas A&M University)


October 17, 2020

Beginner Group (in Pre-Algebra and below)

Speaker: Pablo S. Ocal (Texas A&M)

Title: Hat Problems

Abstract: You and your friends are put into a room with hats in your heads. You cannot see your own hat, but you can see your friend's. Can you find a way of guessing our own hat? Can you find a way of everybody guessing their own hat? How about if you're not allowed to communicate? We will be discussing these and other hat problems.


Intermediate Group (in Algebra 1 or above)

Speaker: Pablo S. Ocal (Texas A&M)

Title: Hat Problems

Abstract: You and your friends are put into a room with hats in your heads. You cannot see your own hat, but you can see your friend's. Can you find a way of guessing our own hat? Can you find a way of everybody guessing their own hat? How about if you're not allowed to communicate? We will be discussing these and other hat problems.


Advanced Group (in Algebra 2 or above)

Speaker: Pablo S. Ocal (Texas A&M)

Title: Hat Problems

Abstract: You and your friends are put into a room with hats in your heads. You cannot see your own hat, but you can see your friend's. Can you find a way of guessing our own hat? Can you find a way of everybody guessing their own hat? How about if you're not allowed to communicate? We will be discussing these and other hat problems.


Problem-Solving: Beginner Group

Instructor: Drs. Irina Bobkova and Guangbo Xu (Texas A&M University)


Problem-Solving: Intermediate Group

Instructor: Xiaoyu Su & Drs. Li Gao, Hao Guo (Texas A&M University)


Problem-Solving: Advanced Group

Instructors: Drs. Guoliang Yu, Zhizhang Xie, Rodrigo Matos, Andrew Yu (Texas A&M University)


October 10, 2020

Beginner Group (in Pre-Algebra and below)

Speaker: Dr. Rodrigo Matos (Texas A&M)

Title: The Odd Subtraction Game

Abstract: We continue playing the Subtraction Game but change the goal to be the person who takes an odd number of chips.


Intermediate Group (in Algebra 1 or above)

Speaker: Dr. Phil Yasskin (Texas A&M)

Title: Polygon Differencing

Abstract: Put 4 non-negative integers on the corners of a square. Put their differences at the midpoint of each side. Connect the midpoints producing a new square. Repeat the process until you discover something. What do you conjecture? Prove it. Repeat for a triangle, a pentagon, an N-gon. What do you conjecture? Prove it.


Advanced Group (in Algebra 2 or above)

Speaker: Dr. Phil Yasskin (Texas A&M)

Title: Polygon Differencing

Abstract: Put 4 non-negative integers on the corners of a square. Put their differences at the midpoint of each side. Connect the midpoints producing a new square. Repeat the process until you discover something. What do you conjecture? Prove it. Repeat for a triangle, a pentagon, an N-gon. What do you conjecture? Prove it.


Problem-Solving: Beginner Group

Instructor: Drs. Irina Bobkova and Guangbo Xu (Texas A&M University)


Problem-Solving: Intermediate Group

Instructor: Xiaoyu Su & Drs. Li Gao, Hao Guo (Texas A&M University)


Problem-Solving: Advanced Group

Instructors: Drs. Guoliang Yu, Zhizhang Xie, Rodrigo Matos, Andrew Yu (Texas A&M University)


October 3, 2020

Beginner Group (in Pre-Algebra and below)

Speaker: Dr. Phil Yasskin (TAMU)

Title: The Substraction Game & NIM

Abstract: Participants will play one another (virtually) in a subtraction game and explore the mathematical underpinnings of this game. If time permits we will also discuss the games NIM and Tip the Die.


Intermediate Group (in Algebra 1 or above)

Speaker: Dr. Phil Yasskin (TAMU)

Title: The Substraction Game & NIM

Abstract: Participants will play one another (virtually) in a subtraction game and explore the mathematical underpinnings of this game. If time permits we will also discuss the games NIM and Tip the Die.


Advanced Group (in Algebra 2 or above)

Speaker: Dr. Phil Yasskin (TAMU)

Title: The Substraction Game & NIM

Abstract: Participants will play one another (virtually) in a subtraction game and explore the mathematical underpinnings of this game. If time permits we will also discuss the games NIM and Tip the Die.


Problem-Solving: Beginner Group

Instructor: Drs. Irina Bobkova and Guangbo Xu (Texas A&M University)


Problem-Solving: Intermediate Group

Instructor: Xiaoyu Su & Drs. Li Gao, Hao Guo (Texas A&M University)


Problem-Solving: Advanced Group

Instructors: Drs. Guoliang Yu, Zhizhang Xie, Rodrigo Matos, Andrew Yu (Texas A&M University)