ARTICLES THIS ISSUE

An Award! 

Student Presentations 

Sampson Lecture 

Math Council Activities 

Math Camp Fun 

Math Seminars This Semester 
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Winter 2003 

Fall 2002 
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Welcome to the third edition of the Bates College Mathematics Department Newsletter!
An Award!
contributed by Meredith Greer
At MathFest, the annual summer meeting of the
Mathematical Association of America (MAA), Warren Johnson of
Bates College was awarded the Lester R. Ford award for expository writing in The American Mathematical
Monthly, for his article The Curious History of
Faa di Bruno's Formula. For more details on Warren and the reasons he was chosen for this prize, see
the MAA's page on writing prizes.
Student Presentations
contributed by Eric Towne and Bonnie Shulman
The week before Thanksgiving break is filled with math student activity! Students make the following
presentations as part of their work toward yearlong senior theses.
November 17: 
Aimee Grimmelmann speaks on "Modeling the Influenza Outbreak of 1918" 
November 18: 
Jeff Kazin speaks on "Rational Points on Elliptic Curves" 
November 19: 
Tory Peterson speaks on "A New Twist: Different Models for
the Tacoma Narrows Bridge Failure" 
November 20: 
Seamus Collins speaks on "Modeling Molecular Evolution" 
Additionally, Tory presented her work at the Sigma Xi Undergraduate Research
Conference in Los Angeles, November 1415. She won a Gold Ribbon for her poster, which was categorized
as Excellent.
Mike Lopez and Jer Brown, who are working toward a onesemester thesis, will present their work during a
poster session on Wednesday, December 3, at 4:00p.m. Mike is studying statistical analysis of baseball
performance; Jer is studying Bessel functions.
Sampson Lecture
contributed by Meredith Greer

David Haines, De Witt Sumners, and Meredith Greer 
De Witt Sumners of Florida State University was our guest speaker this fall for the Bates College Mathematics
Department's annual Sampson Lecture. Dr. Sumners visited Bates on October 8. He spoke in the afternoon on
DNA topology. His public lecture, delivered in the evening, was titled "Calculating the Secrets of Life:
Mathematics in Biology and Medicine."
Math Council Activities
contributed by Bonnie Shulman and Grace Fei Liu

On Monday, October 27, we shared a dinner catered by Bates Dining and watched
Fermat's Last Tango  a musical!

On November 8, a group of students dined out and watched the play Proof, by David
Auburn, at the Portland Stage Company. The following
review is by Grace Fei Liu.
The play Proof shows us an elegant and humorous story of family
relationships and the vulnerability of trust. It has a complex
plot. It starts out with the protagonist, Catherine, talking
to her dad (a great and famous mathematician) on the early morning of her
birthday. But then we learn that her father is dead
and the funeral is tomorrow! It immediately draws our attention.
The major surprise comes at the end of the first act, when
Catherine reveals that in fact it was
she (and not her father) who wrote the Proof, which is the subject of
the play. She must convince her lover (and student of her
father's) that she worked out the proof. Unfortunately, Hal does
not give her enough trust, which is heartbreaking for her.
The play is full of reversals and recognitions. Proof is a
20th century melodrama, a moving story with a complex plot, based
on mathematics and its culture. 
Math Camp Fun
photos contributed by Lucia Tiererova
Math Camp 2003 involved lots of time and lots of proofs  but also heavy doses of juggling and other games
(SET, anyone?). Pictures come from the classroom, and from the class picnic. Click on any to see a larger
version.



Tanya 
Nate 
Luciska 



Jon 
SET cards 
Jimmy 



Laura 
Henry 
Joanna 
Math Seminars This Semester
contributed by the presenters
September 17: 
Don McCarthy talks about the Pigeonhole Principle. 
September 24: 
Bonnie Shulman of Bates College gives a talk titled "Wallis and Newton Share Their Recipes
for Pi". 
October 1: 
Bonnie Shulman follows up with the talk "Newton's Method: Getting to the
Root of Things". 
November 7: 
David Romano of Colby College gives this semester's CBB Mathematics Lecture at Bowdoin
College: "From numbers to curves and back: a quick introduction
to elliptic curves". 
This page was last updated November 17, 2003.
Email the current editor if you have comments, suggestions ... or
a submission for the next issue!
