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California Mathematics Council Community Colleges

Spring 2013 Conference at Lake Tahoe, April 25-26

The 17th Annual Spring Conference was held in South Lake Tahoe on April 25-26, 12-13 at the MontBleu Hotel and Spa.

Friday Keynote Speaker: Robert J. Lang, Alamo, California
From Flapping Birds to Space Telescopes: The Modern Science of Origami

The last decade of this past century has been witness to a revolution in the development and application of mathematical techniques to origami, the centuries-old Japanese art of paper-folding. The techniques used in mathematical origami design range from the abstruse to the highly approachable. In this talk, I will describe how geometric concepts led to the solution of a broad class of origami folding problems – specifically, the problem of efficiently folding a shape with an arbitrary number and arrangement of flaps, and along the way, enabled origami designs of mind-blowing complexity and realism, some of which you’ll see, too. As often happens in mathematics, theory originally developed for its own sake has led to some surprising practical applications. The algorithms and theorems of origami design have shed light on long-standing mathematical questions and have solved practical engineering problems. I will discuss examples of how origami has enabled safer airbags, Brobdingnagian space telescopes, and more.

Saturday Keynote Speaker: Bernt Wahl, UC Berkeley
How to Win at Roulette and Other Way Out Mathematical Ideas

Bernt Rainer Wahl will talk about his 1980’s experiences at UC Santa Cruz, where a group of researchers observed elements of mathematics and physics in new ways. This world revolved around strange attractors in a fractal dimension, instead of relaying on standard Newtonian Mechanics. Their ideas would examine why there were gaps in the rings of Saturn, how bifurcation of water drop patterns would lead to a realm of predictable patterns and ways to beat statically systems (ex. Roulette) within a physical world – with a little help from a computer in your shoe. He will talk about how an unknown science transformed to become the decades "new field" of discovery. He will also share some of his work in fractals and chaos and how the field has proliferated to aid in understanding in different academic areas.

Saturday Student Speaker: Gabriel McHugh, Santa Rosa Junior College
φ-Fi-Fo-Fum

According to Mathematician Albert Beiler, "Number theory is the queen of mathematics." In this lecture, we will examine a fascinating result from the queen: Euler’s φ function. Also know as the totient function, this operation gives all the numbers less than and prime to a given number. With vast applications in fields from number theory to computer security, the φ function will definitely be worth our time.

Schedule of the Saturday Concurrent Sessions

Presentations provided can be found below.

  Session 1
9:00 am - 10:00 am
Session 2
10:30 am - 11:30 am
Session 3
2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Session 4
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Metro A The World Must be Proportional
Tityik Wong
Problem Solving with Mathematical Amusements
Stan Barrick
Beyond the 13th Bak’Tun: Math from the World of Maya
Daniel Munton
The Value of Lying
Joel Siegel
Metro B Infographics
E.A. Giuliani
Japanese Temple Geometry
Sam Brannen
A Commuter’s Dilemma: A Mathematical Look at Traffic
Debbie McCullough
No Session
Metro C Mathematical Art Exploration
Richard Werner
Are We There Yet? Calculating Geographical Distances
Eric Hutchinson
5000+ Years of Technology in Computation
Denny Burzynski
Problems Don’t Amount to a Hill of Beans
Steve Blasberg

Future CMC3 Conferences

Information about future conferences is available. For conference information, contact the Conference Chair. For registration information contact the Membership Chair