Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Math 450 Senior Seminar Presents "Colorful Symmetries"

                1. How many ways can you paint your fingernails with three different colors?
                      2. How many ways are there to color a disk divided into three equal parts with one of two                                                       colors per section?
                      3. How many ways can you color an icosahedron with one of n colors per face?
      Asking simple questions that are difficult to answer is common in mathematics. The first question seems pretty straight forward. Yet the second requires a bit more understanding, one of basic geometry, group theory and combinatorics.
      Using Burnside’s Lemma, sometimes, called the orbit-counting theorem, we will explore this question and others like it, considering the much needed rotation of an object, looking at it from all sides.
      By solving a much simpler problem, we will build to the question of the icosahedron, showing with the proper ‘tools’, the problem-solving approach needed is not that hard after all.

Bargh, B. Chase, J. Wright, M. (2014). Colorful Symmetries. Math Horizons, April 2014, pp 14-17

Math 450 Senior Seminar Presents
"Colorful Symmetries"
by: Brenda Forbes
Tuesday, September 22, 1:40 p.m.
in Patterson 301

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