## Statement on Women in Math

There is a poster from the “Women in Math” club circulating around the internet. The poster displayed the pictures of four faculty members in our department. It was done by a club member with good intentions. It was not meant to demean women or be satirical. We value women in mathematics and their contributions, and work to promote opportunities for women to succeed in mathematics.

## Alumni Spotlight: Robert Luke Jr.

Robert Luke Jr. works as a senior e-commerce support specialist at WESCO distribution and loves that he gets to use the problem-solving skills he learned as a math major at BYU to find resolutions to challenging issues at work on a daily basis.

“Sure, I am not doing epsilon-delta proofs every day, but that kind of thinking is what helps me resolve issues all the time,” Robert said.

Robert graduated from BYU in 2013 with a bachelors in Mathematics with an emphasis in cryptography and is now enrolled in the MBA program at Duquesne University. He was recently given the Byrne Award for responsible leadership. He has big plans for the future and once he finishes graduate school he hopes to continue working for WESCO at a higher level and get involved with the video game industry.

Robert’s hobbies include snowboarding, soccer, and playing video games. In fact, he loves games like Final Fantasy and Elder Scrolls so much he once took a part-time job at GameStop just for fun.

Robert currently resides in Pittsburg Pennsylvania with his growing family.

## Focus on Math: Dana Richards

The vast majority of mathematical puzzles ask for the existence of a solution. It is merely an exercise when the method is known and it is more of a puzzle when the method is not clear. An algorithmic puzzle takes this further by only asking for the method itself or a property of the method.  It is in this sense that much of computer science is puzzle solving. We discuss the theory behind this in the context of material taken from Martin Gardner’s Scientific American column. The answer to the following puzzle will be given:

There are five pirates dividing up 100 gold coins. Pirates are strictly ordered by seniority, are very logical and wish to live. The rule pirates use to divide gold is: (1) the most senior pirate suggests a division, (2) all pirates vote on it, (3) if at least half vote for it then it is done, otherwise the senior pirate is killed and the process starts over.  What happens?

Dana Richards is an associate professor of Computer Science at George Mason University. His research is on theoretical and algorithmic topics.  He has been a friend of Martin Gardner for nearly four decades and has edited Gardner’s book

The Colossal Book of Short Puzzles and Problems.

Join us at 4:00 on March 22nd to hear from Dana in 1170 TMCB.

## Focus on Math: Alissa S. Crans

Date:  April 12th, 2018 4:00 PM 1170 TMCB

Title:  Frosting Fairness, Finally!

Abstract:  Many of us are familiar with how to slice a cake ensuring equal sized slices for all.  But what about those of us who want an equal amount of frosting as well?!  This question is a classic with the problem solvers amongst us.  In 1975, Martin Gardner considered a square cake cut into 7 pieces in his Scientific American column.  More than a decade earlier, H.S.M. Coxeter posed the problem for a square cake sliced into 9 pieces as an exercise in his book, Introduction to Geometry.  Together, we will solve this problem for a square cake cut into 5 pieces, and investigate the other cake shapes for which the same procedure will produce slices with equal cake and frosting.

Bio:  Alissa S. Crans has been recognized nationally for her enthusiastic ability to share and communicate mathematics, having been honored by the MAA with the Hasse Prize and Alder Award. Her research lies in the field of higher-dimensional algebra and is currently supported by a Simons Foundation Collaboration Grant. Alissa is known for her active mentoring of women and underrepresented students, as well as of junior faculty as a member of the MAA Project NExT leadership team. When not enticing students with the beauty of mathematics at Loyola Marymount University or sharing her enthusiasm for math in settings ranging from “Nerd Night Los Angeles” to public school classrooms, you can find her rehearsing with the Santa Monica College Wind Ensemble or on her quest to find the spiciest salsa in LA.