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Monthly Math Hour at the University of Washington

Each spring, Seattle-area middle- and junior high-school students are invited to participate in the Monthly Math Hour on the University of Washington's campus. The Monthly Math Hour at the UW is a series of talks that will take place from 1-2pm on Sunday afternoons to introduce students to the beautiful and exciting world of mathematics. The lectures are given completely free of charge. The talks will be held in Savery Hall, room 260.

Well-behaved parents and teachers are also welcome to attend with the permission of their children. Siblings are free to join in, too.

There will be time for questions and further discussion after the talks.

To receive information about future events, please check back or click here to join our mailing list.

If you have any further questions or comments, please contact:

2017 Math Hour flyer (click for PDF)

Events for 2017

March 12, 2017
Savery 260
Emily M. Bender, University of Washington, Linguistics
The mathematics of language
Video Recording (Warning! external site)
Mathematics can be used to model how language works and to measure the similarities and differences between different languages. From this, we can build computer software that will automatically process speech and text, for applications such as machine translation, voice activated computer interfaces, and autocorrect. In this talk, we will explore how mathematical objects called trees and feature structures, together with an operation called unification can be used to model English sentences (and also pizza preferences!). We will also learn about how computers are better at finding ambiguity in natural language than people are, but worse at resolving it.

April 9, 2017
Savery 260
Mohamed Omar, Harvey Mudd College, Mathematics
Areas of polygons and counting
Finding the area of a general polygon can be quite complicated, especially when it has many sides and strange angles at its vertices. However, for a special class of polygons, there is a beautiful formula for determining their areas that has amounts to counting dots on a page! This talk will guide us through the development of the special formula.

May 7, 2017
Savery 260
Paul Zeitz, University of San Francisco, Mathematics
The game is rigged!
Video Recording (Warning! external site)
We will look at a variety of wagers and games that guarantee a nearly perfect probability of success to the player who makes the best mathematical analysis. It's not all fun and games, though: our vignettes have important mathematical morals. See the Exercises link for an explanation of the puppies and kittens game strategy.

June 4, 2017
Math Hour Olympiad

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Thank you!

The Monthly Math Hour at the University of Washington is supported by the NSF awards DMS-095-3011 and DMS-16000048 and the UW Department of Mathematics.