Having been away from math jamming for the summer it was great to meet again at the Round Table to imbibe the fellowship and the mathematics [okay, so I am forcing the use of the word, “imbibe” but it seems to fit]. We started the evening by solving some problems and talking about our summer reading; “The Housekeeper and the Professor” was a popular choice.
We were missing a couple of our faithful tech-savvy members so we were not wired to twitter during the evening. Nonetheless, prior to the evening, we checked in on twitter to see that the UK Mathsjam folks were working on the idea of folding paper many times and making one straight-line cut to produce a straight line shape (swan, fish, star). See Erik Demaine’s webpage at http://erikdemaine.org/foldcut/ We weren’t too successful – the best shape of the night was a fish with an unusual polygon-shaped growth attached to it. We might try this again in the future.
We also worked on this problem presented at the London MathJam. The image has a quarter circle and two interlocking semicircles. The problem is to prove that shaded area a equals shaded area b. One of our members wrote up this tidy solution in the margin.
Kathy shared some artwork with a math theme that she created over the summer. If you look at the detail of the pieces you may be able to figure out the connection to mathematicians or to mathematics topics. Kathy also treated those of us who were sitting around the table with smaller, bookmark-sized replicas of the art pieces (now proudly displayed on my desk!). For those who missed or may need a hint about the math connection, I think Kathy plans on showing the artwork again at next month’s Mathjam.
We carefully studied a puzzle/novelty item called Jacob’s Ladder. It has some unusual characteristics that made us think of connections to topology. I wish I had a picture…
I hope you’ll plan to be at next month’s Mathjam in Winnipeg.
Posted by Ian