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MAA Math Alert - October 2011

News and Views

Ezra Brown's Whirlwind Tour of the Unity of Discrete Math
Read Katharine Merow's recap of Ezra Brown's MAA Distinguished Lecture "The Many Names of (7,3,1) and the Unity of Discrete Mathematics." Full audio of the lecture and an interview with Brown is also available. Article.

The Mathematics Behind Quasicrystals
Dan Shechtman was awarded this year's Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his discovery of quasicrystals. Read a bit about the math behind this discovery, which has, says theRoyal Swedish Academy of Sciences, "forced scientists to reconsider their conception of the very nature of matter." Article.



Project NExT Openings
The MAA is seeking nominations and applications for two Associate Directors and an additional member of the Project NExT Leadership Team. Announcement.

Tensor SUMMA Program Director Search
MAA is seeking a program director for the MAA Tensor SUMMA (Strengthening Underrepresented Minority Mathematics Achievement) program to succeed Carole Lacampagne, who will complete her term as Director in 2012. Article.

Selden Award Nominations
Nominations for the Annie and John Selden Prize for Research in Undergraduate Mathematics Education are due October 31, 2011. Announcement.

Julia Robinson and Hilbert's Tenth Problem
George Csicsery's latest film is now showing on public television stations across the country. Check for airdates and more information. Article.

JMM 2012 Student Poster Sessions
Abstracts for the undergraduate student poster sessions at the 2012 Joint Mathematics Meetings must be submitted by Friday, October 28, 2011. Announcement.

Pumpkin Carving
It's that time of year again. Start carving your mathematical pumpkins! Think you can do better than Kerry Sullivan's 2010 masterpiece? Snap a photo and send it to Check out last year's gallery here.

Featured Articles

Launchings by David Bressoud
David Bressoud's October Launchings column discusses "Quantitative Literacy versus Mathematics." Blog.

Devlin's Angle
Read Keith Devlin's October column "Mathematics: A Recyclable Tool for the Modern Era." Blog.

MAA Tribute to Martin Gardner
Read more about Martin Gardner, his award-winning articles, tributes in his honor, and a special MAA/ThinkFun celebration of his work. Article.

The Mathematics of Macaroni

Architect George L. Legendre recently wrote Pasta by Design, a book that catalogs variations of the Italian favorite with elaborate mathematical formulas and technical illustrations. Article

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Publishing Date: 
October, 2011