Friday, April 13, 2012

Mathematics in the Game of SET®

Here's a message from Bard Math Professor Lauren Rose. Lauren is the co-founder and faculty co-advisor of the Bard Math Circle. - Japheth
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Dear Colleagues and friends,

The Bard Math Dept/Bard Math Circle presents two talks about the card game SET®, next Wed evening and Thursday afternoon.  The first talk is for a general audience (appropriate for high school students) and the second is more geared toward math majors.

Below is a press release, followed by email announcements of the two talks.  Please forward widely to students, colleagues and community members, and print out and post the attached flyer.

Thanks,
Lauren
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BARD COLLEGE MATH DEPARTMENT HOSTS LECTURE ON MATHEMATICS IN THE GAME OF SET®

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—On Wednesday, April 18 at 7:30 pm in the Multipurpose Room of the Bertelsmann Campus Center, Bard College’s department of mathematics hosts a talk by guest speaker Elizabeth McMahon, professor of mathematics at Lafayette College. McMahon will deliver the lecture, “Game, SET®, Math! Mathematics in the Game of SET®.” This event, intended for a general audience, is free and open to the public.

The card game SET® is a popular award-winning game played with a special deck of 81 cards. Through combinatorics, probability, linear algebra, and geometry, a player can learn a lot about the game. In this talk, McMahon will explore some of the things we can learn about the game by looking at the mathematics behind it. Furthermore, by using the game to help with visualization, this lecture also explores how the game of SET® can deepen one’s understanding of mathematics. To learn more about the game or to practice playing before the talk, go to www.setgame.com for the rules and a Daily Puzzle.

Dr. Elizabeth McMahon is Professor of Mathematics at Lafayette College. She earned an A.B. from Mount Holyoke College, an M.S. in Mathematics at the University of Michigan, and a Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Originally trained in non-commutative ring theory, her current research interests are in combinatorics, finite geometry, and Cayley graphs. She has held visiting positions at numerous institutions, including the Isaac Newton Institute in Cambridge, U.K. and the Center for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science at Rutgers University. She has been recognized for her teaching through several awards, including the James P. Crawford EPADEL Teaching Award from the Mathematical Association of America in 2005.

 
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Game, SET, Math!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

7:30 p.m., Campus Center, Multipurpose Room
A lecture by
Elizabeth McMahon
Lafayette College

The card game SET is an award-winning, addictive game played with a special deck of 81 cards. We can learn a lot about the game through combinatorics, probability, linear algebra and geometry.  In this talk, we will explore some of the things we can learn about the game by looking at the mathematics behind it, and we'll also see that you can learn more about mathematics using the game to help with visualization.  If you would like some practice with the game before the talk, go to www.setgame.com for the rules and a Daily Puzzle.

Dr. Elizabeth McMahon is Professor of Mathematics at Lafayette College. She earned an A.B. from Mount Holyoke College, an M.S. in Mathematics at the University of Michigan, and a Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Originally trained in non-commutative ring theory, her current research interests are in combinatorics, finite geometry, and Cayley graphs. She has held visiting positions at numerous institutions, including the Isaac Newton Institute in Cambridge, UK and the Center for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science at Rutgers University. She has been recognized for her teaching through several awards, including the James P. Crawford EPADEL Teaching Award from the Mathematical Association of America in 2005. 
This event, intended for a general audience, is free and open to the public.

For more information: contact Lauren Roser rose@bard.edu.
Sponsor(s): Mathematics Program and Bard Math Circle.
 
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Using SET to Explore Affine Geometry

Thursday, April 19, 2012

3:30 p.m., Hegeman 308
A lecture by
Elizabeth McMahon
Lafayette College

The cards in the game of SET are an excellent model for the finite affine geometry AG(4,3).  We will explore how to use the game to visualize the structure of the geometry.  We will focus on complete caps, which correspond to largest possible collections of cards with no sets.  There is an interesting structure to these caps, and even more, the geometry can be partitioned into disjoint complete caps together with a single point closely related to the caps.

For more information: contact Lauren Rose rose@bard.edu.
Sponsor(s): Mathematics Program.