Join us for Faculty Lunch #2 featuring Professor Beth Malmskog
October 9, 2018
Gaylord Hall in the Worner Center

“What (Quilting) Circles Can Be Squared?”

Research in number theory often involves very abstract objects and few relatable scenarios. Occasionally, however, a problem appears that brings number theory to earth in a surprising way. Imagine that you and four friends would like to make quilts together. You’d like to each start your own quilt, then pass all the quilts around until every person has worked on every quilt. Oh, and you’d like to make sure that nobody ever passes to the same person twice. Can you do this? While this may sound like an easy exercise or the set-up for a silly puzzle, it was in fact the central question of an email I received a few years ago from Judy Gilmore, a friend’s mom and avid quilter. Her quilting circle faced this situation and couldn’t figure out how to arrange the quilt passing. Judy’s question launched a line of inquiry and research that connects quilting, Sudoku, taste testing, music, algebra, graphs, and number theory, and even involves Colorado College professors Carlton Gamer, David Roeder, and John Watkins. This talk will answer the burning quilting question from above, and include open mathematical questions arising from this study.

Doors open – 11:45am
Talk begins – 12:15pm
Event concludes – 1:15pm

Click here to register:

Posted by for the September 27, 2018 digest.

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