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Three students will discuss the summer EXCEL Scholars research they conducted with Lafayette professors, including a project involving the game “Instant Insanity,” noon Friday in Pardee Hall room 227.

Light refreshments will be provided for the talk, which is part of the Math Club’s What I did This Summer (WITS) series.

Mathematics major Rebecca Andersen ’06 (Acton, Mass.) and computer science major Jonathan Rowe ’06 (Reading, Pa.) will discuss their examination of reliability issues in network technology. They worked with Lorenzo Traldi, Metzgar Professor and head of mathematics.

Jacob Carson ’06 (New Richmond, Ohio) collaborated with Ethan Berkove, assistant professor of mathematics, on combinatorial problems related to the game Instant Insanity, which was all the rage in 1968.

“The idea is you have cubes where each cube is a different color and you stack them in a tower. You have a solution if on each side of the tower there is no one repeated color,” explains Carson, a math major and computer science minor.

Adds Berkove: “The project is to look at variations of the Instant Insanity problem using more dice, using more colors, putting them in different configurations to learn more about the solution. If you use more colors and more cubes, how does the nature of the solution change?”

Another WITS talk Monday will feature presentations by mathematics major Maureen Jackson ’06 (Japan), who served as a teaching assistant in the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth program, and Blerta Shtylla ’05 (Tirana, Albania), who participated in the Program for Women in Mathematics at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and then held a summer fellowship from the Mayo Clinic to study bioengineering.

In a WITS talk last Friday, Rob McEwen ’05 (Morgantown, Pa.) and Prince Chidyagwai ’05 (Marondera, Zimbabwe) discussed research sponsored by the Department of Defense and National Science Foundation, respectively.

Categorized in: Academic News