Dead Mathematicians’ Society Plans Series of Fun Lectures at MHCC

Posted: January 31, 2013

Have you ever wondered if there really is such a thing as randomness? Do numbers intrigue you? Here’s an opportunity to learn more about the world around you and how digits shape your life.

This winter, the Dead Mathematicians’ Society at Mt. Hood Community College (MHCC) is hosting three presentations that will broaden your understanding of mathematics, science, technology and engineering. These fun and entertaining lectures are free and open to the public.

Birthdays, Dice and New Cars--The Mathematics of Chance
Jon Spindor, math instructor
Feb. 5, 3:15 p.m., Room AC1575
Chance and randomness surround us. Whether we like it or not, we deal with random events on a daily basis. Will you make the green light at an intersection? How do they calculate the rates we pay for insurance? How can you change your strategy to increase your chances of winning a game? With a little knowledge of the branch of mathematics called probability, you can begin to answer each of these questions. This presentation will be an introduction to probability and use some famous examples that demonstrate its power. No previous knowledge of probability is necessary.

A Remarkable Sum of Leonhard Euler
Shu Masuda, math instructor
Feb. 12, 3:15 p.m., Room AC1575
This talk is an exploration of one of the remarkable results proved by Leonhard Euler, the evaluation of the sum:
1/12 + 1/22 + 1/32 + 1/42 + 1/52 + …
For the derivation of this elegant formula, we essentially need two tools. One tool is the so-called “sine function” from trigonometry and its representation as an “infinitely long polynomial”. The second tool is from algebra--the examination of ordinary, finite polynomials to make a bold extension to the infinite case. Finally, we are going to explore even “wilder” and more exotic sums using the technique used to derive our main result.

Cut It Out, You Guys! The Mathematics of Paper Folding and Cutting
Nick Chura, math instructor
March 5, 3:15 p.m., Room AC1575
This presentation will explore some mathematical problems in origami (folding paper) and kirigami (folding and cutting paper). We will begin by applying basic geometric facts to answer some common problems that arise in paper folding, and then we will introduce a famous problem in kirigami and see its surprising solution in action. Scissors and paper will be provided!

The campus is located at 26000 SE Stark Street in Gresham. Parking on all MHCC campuses is free, all days, all times, no permit required.

Individuals requiring accommodation due to a disability may contact the MHCC Disability Services Office at 503-491-6923 or 503-491-7670 (TDD). Please call at least two weeks prior to the event to ensure availability.

For more information, please contact the Office of College Advancement, 503-491-7204 or

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 Last Modified: 2/6/2013 10:41:18 AM