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Community Connections: News and Notes from the Director of Residence Life.

Sonia Kovalevsky Day at Hood

On March 10th, 2014, the Math department at Hood College was excited to welcome students from across all of Frederick County to our fifth annual Sonia Kovalevsky Day. More than fifty sophomore women, representing all ten of the high schools in the county, joined us for a day of mathematical exploration and discussion. SK Day commemorates the life of the first female mathematician to earn a doctorate, and is designed to encourage young women to consider careers in mathematics and related fields, as well as to foster curiosity and a sense of community in the sciences.

The students participated in a range of exciting workshops, including “Audio Processing with MATLAB,” run by Dr. Ann Stewart, and “Math in Science: What is a Mole?” run by Dr. Dana Lawrence. The other two workshops were on “Coding and Cryptography” (Dr. Jessica OShaughnessy) and “The Mathematics of South America” (Megan Rodriguez and Natalie Guerra). Students altered their own digital music files, counted the size of a mole using areas, sent and received their own secret codes, and made their own Incan “ledgers” with quipu – learning how mathematics plays a key role in each activity!

During SK Day, students also had the opportunity to ask questions from a diverse array of professionals who use mathematics in their careers. Panelists included Aba Blankson ‘99 (Director of Communications for the Common App), Deborah Bonanni, ’78 (Vice President of Intelligent Decisions, Inc.), Dorothy Kirlew ’13 (Software Engineer at Intelligrated), and Lisa Lewis ’08 (Patent Examiner at the US Patent Office). These Hood alumnae spoke on how they became interested in mathematics, on what they enjoy about their careers, and on how our high school visitors could prepare for a job in the mathematical sciences. We look forward to having such an engaging discussion every year!

Celebrate Math Awareness Month!

The Maryland-DC-Virginia Section of the Mathematical Association of America will hold its spring meeting on Friday and Saturday, April 25-26, at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. This meeting is a great opportunity for students to hear interesting talks about math, meet students from other nearby institutions, attend a workshop, play games, solve puzzles, give a talk, present a poster, and generally have fun. In addition to hearing hour-long lectures on Mathematical Mystery Tour, Three Things that Don’t Really Go Together, and The Lamp Lighting Problem by well-known mathematicians, and shorter talks on many different aspects of mathematics, students may participate in

  • A Friday afternoon workshop on 3-D printing
  • A Math Jeopardy competition for teams of students
  • Radical Dash, a sort of mathematical Amazing Race that involves solving math problems
  • Short talks by students about research or a class project
  • Saturday afternoon poster session for student work.

The conference will end by 5:00 p.m. on Saturday. This conference will count as one of your required or extra-credit activities in a Hood math course.

The student registration fee of $5 includes Saturday lunch. The Friday workshop is $10, and the Friday night banquet is $9. The registration deadline is Wednesday, April 16. For more information, or to register, go to sections.maa.org/mddcva/Spring2014Meeting.php Be sure to talk to a math faculty member if you are interested in attending; we can help organize transportation and housing. There may be travel support available.

April is Mathematics Awareness Month! This year the theme is “Mathematics, Magic, and Mystery,” in honor of Martin Gardner (1914-2010), whose writings inspired countless people of all ages to play with mathematics. Visit mathaware.org for an exciting calendar full of surprise facts and activities. Each day of April a new topic will be revealed on the calendar. We also plan to celebrate Mathematics Awareness Month by trying out some of these activities at our remaining Math Teas this semester. Math Tea takes place every Thursday at 3:45 near 252 Hodson.

Upcoming Dates

  • Thursdays 3:45 p.m. in Hodson 250
    Math Tea every Thursday
  • Every other Friday 4 p.m. in Hodson 235
    Least Squares Math Club meetings
  • April 16 3:15 p.m. 2nd floor atrium in Hodson
    Euler’s birthday party and senior poster session
  • April 18 2:30 p.m. in Rosenstock Hall
    Tischer Honors Presentation
  • April 18 4 p.m. in Hodson 235
    Hodson Olympics
  • April 22 1 p.m. in the Coffman Chapel
    Honors Convocation
  • April 25-26 at James Madison University
    MAA Spring Section Meeting (see Dr. Mayfield for info)
  • April 26-27 in Washington, DC
    USA Science and Engineering Festival
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Hood College Department of Mathematics
401 Rosemont Ave.
Frederick, Maryland 21701
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