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Friday, April 28, 2017

The WCoM Peano Drop

WCoM to Begin Tradition of Dropping the Peano Axioms off Roof.

Look at those natural numbers go!
Cambridge has a rich history of dropping things off of structures, from Houdini being tossed off the Mass ave Bridge to MIT's tradition of hurling a piano off of their technology building. The Worldwide Center of Math joins the tradition with their take on MIT's famous piano drop, and has decided to drop a Peano off the roof (the Peano axioms of course). 

When asked about how members of the community felt about the drop of the axioms for natural numbers, there was a resounding air of excitement. Many people don't see something like this, such an important cornerstone in mathematics hurtling towards the ground with only impact to stop it. This event seems to represent the coming of summer,  a new day, and each day after that. 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Advanced Knowledge Problem of the Week: 4-27-17

Check out this week's problem, and let us know how you did in the comments below or on social media!


Solution below the break.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Welcome to the Center: New Introduction videos on Facebook and YouTube

If you are familiar with the center of math, you probably know us by one or two avenues: you read our blog, which produces problems of the week and talks about math related news; or you have used one of our textbooks, and watched the videos that came along with it. Behind our mission, to bring accessible math materials into the world, is a community of mathematicians of all sorts. We would like to invite you to explore the Center of Math, and take some time to make that community grow. With new Facebook and YouTube introduction videos, finding your way around our little corner of the worldwide web has never been easier. The videos outline some features of the Worldwide Center of Mathematics' Facebook and Youtube pages, that you may want to know about. 

Our Facebook page primarily serves as a place for our community to gather, and a hub to navigate around the Center of Math with ease. Visit the Facebook page and join the collective! Once on the page, you can click the learn more button to go to our main site, or use the menu on the left to explore more. Don't forget to like us on FB to stay in the loop.

The YouTube video helps serve as a starting point to our overwhelming library of math videos. Check it out yourself, and don't hesitate to dive right into our content! If you need some more direction, our 'playlists' tab is a great place to start, or just use the spotlight search to find a specific topic. Drop a subscribe if you like what you see, to never miss another math video.

These features are explained in greater detail in the welcome videos, so give them a watch, and we'll see you soon!

-Worldwide Center of Math.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Problem of the Week: 4-25-17

Check out this week's problem, and let us know how you did in the comments below or on social media!

Solution below the break.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Math Madness 2k17 Champion!

The Math Madness 2k17 Champion is Here!

The events leading up to this moment have been exciting. We've seen upsets, landslide victories, and to-the-teeth battles, but as each mathematician falls, the taste of the coming victory becomes stronger. On this day, the dream to be deemed champion is going to become a reality for either Cauchy or Ramanujan.

See who won after the break.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Problem of the Week: 4-18-17

Check out this week's problem, and let us know how you did in the comments below or on social media!

Solution below the break.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Problem of the Week: 4-11-17

Check out this week's problem, and let us know how you did in the comments below or on social media!

Solution below the break.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Advanced Knowledge Problem of the Week: 4-6-1

Check out this week's ADVANCED problem, and let us know how you did in the comments below or on social media!

Solution below the break.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

WCoM Donates Statistics Textbooks

The Worldwide Center of Mathematics recently had some winter weather make its way into a stock room and slightly damage a number of Introduction to Statistics: Think & Do (Stevens).

The damaged books will not be sold and instead will be donated.

The recipient(s) include: Siem Reap at Life and Hope Association and Phnom Penh at People Improvement Organization. Both organizations are in Cambodia.

Water-damaged books prepared for donation.

Problem of the Week: 4-4-17

Check out this week's problem, and let us know how you did in the comments below or on social media!

Solution below the break.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Friday, March 24, 2017

Dr. Esole at The Center 3-31-17!

Mark your calendars for Friday, March 31st! Mboyo Esole is coming to the Worldwide Center of Mathematics to present his research on a new pushforward measure, and its applications. Find more information on the poster below.

For more of the WCoM research series, visit our website.
Contact us at if you are interested in presenting your research.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Advanced Knowledge Problem of the Week: 3-23-17

Check out this week's ADVANCED KNOWLEDGE Problem of the Week! Let us know how you did!

Solution below the break.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Monday, March 20, 2017

Math Madness Week Two

Math madness week one has drawn to a close, and so now where sixteen brilliant minds once stood, only eight remain. A few matches stood out with some nail-biting action, while most others were won in landslide fashion. Namely, the come-from-behind victory pulled off by Ada Lovelace to defeat Hausdorff really rocked the boat. I gotta say, the action in those few close matches may not have been enough to make for the most thrilling week of sports, but I'm looking at this week's bracket ant it is looking to be a thriller.

Our first match features Turing and Cauchy, two mathematicians who blew away their opponents last week. Fans are going to have to make a tough choice here, so I have a feeling it will come down to the bone on this limb of the bracket.

Coming up after that, it's the battle of physicists: Poincare and Maxwell. Will Poincare's work on chaotic systems beat out Maxwell's ordering and unification of electro-magnetic waves? I think Maxwell may be in for an upset defeat, as last week he struggled to edge out a win against Emile Borel, but only time can answer this question, who will move on to the final four?

This next match is a face-off between Lovelace and Ramanujan, and perhaps the most high profile game this week. These two mathematicians are world renowned, making this duel as close to a celebrity match this year's tournament will see.

And finally, Lebesgue and Abel will vie for a spot in the final four. While both competitors pulled off
a comfortable victory last week, neither one flat out blew away the competition, so I feel slightly lukewarm about this matchup. Either way, the victor will have to go up against Ramanujan or Lovelace, and that will be the real test.

Signing off from the Worldwide Center of Mathematics, this has been your introduction to week two of #MATHmadness2k17. Vote Here

Friday, March 17, 2017

Mathematical Things to do This St. Patty's Day Weekend

As spring slowly thaws the ice from the ground, we celebrate the life of the foremost patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick. The holiday is celebrated all over the world, with shamrocks and green clothing galore! Here is a list of a few (slightly) mathematical things you can do this weekend to celebrate.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Monday, March 13, 2017

Problem of the Week: 3-14-17

Check out this week's Problem of the Week! Let us know how you did in the comments or on social media!

Solution below the break.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Advanced Knowledge Problem of the Week: 3-9-17

Check out this week's Advanced Knowledge Problem of the Week on bilinear and quadratic forms! let us know what you thought and/or how you did in the comments below or on social media.

Solution below the break.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Problem of the Week: 3-7-17

Check out this week's PotW! Let us know how you did in the comments below, or on social media!

Solution below the break.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Problem of the Week: 2-28-17

Check out this week's PotW, and let us know how you did in the comments or on social media!

Solution below the break.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Advanced Knowledge Problem of the Week: 2-24-17

Check out this week's AKPotW, and try to prove if a sequence converges! Let us know how you did in the comments!

Solution below the break.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

African American Mathematicians: Katherine Johnson

            With the 2017 Oscars just around the corner, it seems fitting to dedicate this week’s African American History Month post to Katherine Johnson, one of the central characters in Hidden Figures. The Hollywood hit focuses on Katherine’s career at NASA, and her struggle to be recognized for her brilliant work in the field and not for her race, but as a child and thorough her life she always had the problem of racism over her head.
The 2017 story of Katherine's work on the Apollo Missions

Growing up in White Sulfur Springs, WV, Katherine was influenced by her mother, who was a teacher, and took to mathematics at a young age. She breezed through elementary and middle school, but didn’t have a local high school option in her county due to her race. Understanding her gift, Katherine’s parents enrolled her in a high school across the state and split time between Institute and White Sulfur Springs. Katherine would end up graduating high school at the age of fourteen, and would go on to West Virginia State College to continue her study of math.
            While in college, Katherine took every single math class that was offered, and grew close to several faculty members, who pushed to add more classes in order to fulfill Katherine’s desire to learn. At the age of eighteen, Katherine graduated at the top of her class and was accepted as one of the first African American students at West Virginia Universities’ graduate program.
Katherine Johnson when she was at NASA

At this point it seems fitting to talk about Katherine’s fantastic career at NASA and the NACA, but I will leave that story to be told by the movie Hidden Figures. Regardless, Katherine’s achievements are inspiring to many people across the world, and she continues to inspire aspiring mathematicians to this day.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

African American Mathematicians: Elbert Frank Cox

Elbert Frank Cox, born in 1895, Broke down one of the most important barriers for African Americans living in America before the Civil Rights Movement when he became the first African American person to earn a PhD. Elbert overcame great challenges due to racism, and strived to reduce the education gap between minorities and white men that was curated by a brutal system of inequality. Second to his passion for mathematics was his desire to learn about the world around him, and to teach others about that beautiful world. 
Elbert Cox in his graduation gown.
As a young boy, Elbert was no stranger to segregation. He grew up going to an all black school that was located in a racially mixed neighborhood, a combination that bread more turmoil than peace, but his father, a principal at a local school, was keen on teaching the growing kid the importance of education. In high school, Elbert showed a keen understanding of math and physics, and was directed to further his math career at the University of Indiana.
While in college, Elbert was a great student, and showed interest in physics, chemistry, biology, Philosophy, Latin, German, and English. With this intense course load, he kept himself bust until he graduated with a degree in mathematics along with three other African American students.  In 1917, Elbert put his career on hold when he was shipped to France to fight in World War 1.  When he returned, Elbert taught math at a high school in Kentucky until 1921, when he decided to apply for the graduate program at Cornell.
While studying difference equations for his thesis, Elbert met William Lloyd Garrison, who would become his thesis advisor.  As a graduate student, Elbert began teaching classes at Shaw University, and showed an immense capacity to teach well. Elbert grew closer to William, who also was a journalist with a drive to bring equality to the United States. As Elbert was finishing up his dissertation, William urged him to publish his PhD thesis in another country so that his claim as the first black person in the world to gain a PhD would be recognized. 
Elbert then went on to continue teaching, and served as a professor at West Virginia State University for four years, then moved to Howard University where his legacy began to take shape. At Howard, Elbert was the head chairman of the board of mathematics, and did what he could to put a PhD program into place.

Elbert Frank Cox died in 1969, and was unable to see the inauguration of Howard University’s PhD program, but was honored with the beginning of the Elbert F Cox Scholarship Fund that would help many under-privileged people get a college education.


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Problem of the Week: 2-14-17

Check out this week's problem, and of course, let us know how you did in the comments below or on social media!

Solution below the break.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Career Mathematician, Vol. 1 — Dr. Walter Sun

So you love mathematics. What next? The Career Mathematician highlights interesting and relevant work and insights offered by professional mathematicians, statisticians, logicians and more.

The Career Mathematician, Vol. 1 -- Dr. Walter Sun

Ever wonder how predictive technology works? Click here to learn how the Principal Applied Science Manager and Bing Predicts Team Lead, Dr. Walter Sun, leverages technology and some careful calculations to improve Microsoft's "Bing Predicts" feature.

Not sure this is the career for you? Click the image below for some inspiration.

African American in Mathematics: Gloria Ford Gilmer

               Last week’s article covered Benjamin Banneker, an African American mathematician who lived in the 18th century and worked with Thomas Jefferson on scientific and social issues. Much has happened in America since then, but African Americans are still greatly under represented in the field of mathematics. Gloria Ford Gilmer’s passion for math surpasses the disadvantages of being a woman of color in the field, and has contributed a whole lot to mathematics as a student and as a teacher.
Gloria Ford Gilmer in 1999.
           Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Gloria attended Morgan State University in the 1950’s, where she studied under Clarence Stephens, a prolific African American Mathematician. Her love for math was deeper than simply attaining a PhD, and she published two papers alongside Clarence as an undergraduate on the subject of Eigen function series. Her achievement drove her to become the first African American woman without a PhD to publish a math paper. Gloria went on to earn a BS from Morgan University and an MA from the University of Pennsylvania; she would go on to earn a PhD in curriculum and instruction, but first took a break from her studies to teach and care for her family.
            Before she gained a PhD, Gloria taught at six different historically black universities and became an inspiration to many minorities and women through teaching, all while her personal life bloomed with a marriage and children.  For two years in the beginning of the 1980’s Gloria represented African American Women on the board of the Mathematical Association of America, and was the first woman of color to do so.
            In 1985, Gloria co-founded and became the president of the International Study Group of Ethnomathematics, and was leading the field of ethno mathematics, the study of mathematical structures in certain cultures. Gloria has worked in the field to bring the rich complexity of mathematics and African American culture together, and provided a platform that reaches a wide variety of people due to its interesting mathematical nature.

Photo from Gilmer's 1998 paper, Mathematical Patterns in African American Hairstyles.
            Gloria died in 1999,  but continues to be an inspiration to many people thanks to her drive and love for mathematics, not to mention her great accomplishments in and for the world of under represented groups in mathematics.