Cornell University, Spring 2016
Course
Information
TA: Valente
Ramirez
Email:
vr256@cornell.edu
URL:
http://pi.math.cornell.edu/~web1600
Time & Location: TR 2:554:10, MLT 406
Course Description: Mathematics is a broad and fascinating field that extends far beyond calculus and the high school curriculum. This course will introduce exciting mathematical topics to stretch your imagination and give you a feel for the great variety of problems that mathematicians study. Every Tuesday a different lecturer will present a new topic and give some fun problems for homework/discussions on Thursday. Math 1600 does not count towards any distribution requirements.
Prerequisite: one
semester calculus (AP credit sufficient).
Grading:
Math 1600 is S/U only. Your grade will be determined based class
participation and homework completion, each of these having equal
weight. Note however that in order to pass this course you need to
attend to at least 10 of the 12 faculty lectures (i.e. Tuesdays
sessions) AND submit at least 10 of the 12 homework assignments.
Homework: Assignments will be posted at the website when available and collected at the end of discussions on Thursdays. It is important to try to work out as many problems as you can before coming to discussions. You are encouraged to work with other students. Homework will not be graded for accuracy, just completion. The purpose of homework is to get you thinking about the lecture material outside the class and to reinforce your understandings of the materials.
Exams: There is no such a thing in this course! =)
Schedule
Date 
Speaker 
Topic 
Homework 
Jan. 26 
 No meeting  


Feb. 2 
Robert Connelly 
Shaping Pythagorean triples 

Feb. 9 
Tim Riley 

Feb. 23 
Alexander Vladimirsky 
On shortest paths & optimal choices 

Mar. 1 
Tara Holm 
Dance of the Astonished Topologist ... or why I left hexes and squares for math [Slides] 

Mar. 8 
Raul Gomez 
A (very) short introduction to special relativity [Slides] 

Mar. 15 
Kelly Delp 
Taxicab geometry 

Mar. 22 
Ravi Ramakrishna 
Die ganzen Zahlen hat der liebe Gott gemacht, alles andere ist Menschenwerk 

Apr. 5 
John Pike 
A game show with goats, a girl named Florida, and other curious questions in conditional probability [Slides] 

Apr. 12 
Florian Frick 
On coloring points and cutting cakes 

Apr. 19 
Laurent SaloffCoste 
Shuffling cards 

Apr. 26 
Mike Stillman 
RSA encryption 

May 3 
Karola Meszaros 
Enumerative combinatorics 