April 20th Math Club – Directed Reading Program

This Wednesday, April 20th, come hear about the experiences of the first cohort of students in the Directed Reading Program. In this program undergraduate students team up with math graduate student mentors to read about some cool topic in math.

Plus, if that is not already enough, there will be pizza.  Hope to see you all there!

Here are the details:

When: Wednesday, April 20, at 5:30

Where: PHSC1105

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Career Opportunities This Wednesday

Depending on your interests, there are two great career opportunities this Wednesday, October 21st.  Two companies, BP and OMRF, are interesting in telling you about themselves.  Plus, at both events, there will be PIZZA!

First, Math Club will have a BP representative.  Here are the details:

When: Wednesday, October 21, at 5:30

Where: PHSC 1105

What: BP Representative & FREE Pizza

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Second, OMRF, nonprofit biomedical research institute, is also interested in Mathematics students. Here are the details:

When: Wednesday, October 21, at 5:30

Where:  Ellison Hall 132

What: OMRF Representative & FREE Pizza

RecruitmentForm10-2015[1] (1)

PCI Looking For Interns

PCI is a Norman based company that offers asset optimization solutions for power generation and trading companies. They are keen to hire people with a math background for internships. PCI is currently hiring for both regular and paid internship positions and will have Hiring Managers and different employees from different teams presenting and mingling with students after each session.

Date: Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Time:  10:30 am – 1 pm

Location: Frontier Room, 2nd Floor in Oklahoma Memorial Union Building

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Pentagonal Tilings and Undergraduate Research

The new academic year is now well underway and the OU Math Club blog is back.  Behind the curtains, the role of blogmaster for the next year has been taken over by me, Jeff Meyer.  I am excited to tell you about all sorts of fun and interesting math things.  If you know of something that everybody should hear about, email me at jmeyer at math.ou.edu and we’ll get it on the blog!

As soon as I agreed to run the blog this year, I knew exactly what I wanted my first post to be about: tiling the plane. The idea is simple, namely what are the ways one can cover the whole plane by repeating some sort of geometric pattern?

One type of tiling requires you use only a single convex polygon over and over again.  (Recall a polygon is convex if its interior angles are less than 180 degrees.)  I suspect you can find a convex quadrilateral that you can use to tile the plane.  If you stretch or shear your quadrilateral a little bit, would it still tile the plane?  I encourage you to think about this, and maybe try sketching it one a piece of paper.  Sketching tilings is a fantastic way to pass the time in a boring meeting.

So let me now ask you a question: Can you find a single convex pentagon that will tile the plane?

It turns out, this is a really hard problem.

German mathematician Karl Reinhardt in 1918 first came up with 5 ways, and since then a total of 14 had been found. That is until this past year.  Three researchers at the University of Washington, Bothell found a 15th!  They found it after a lengthy computer search.  The algorithm for the search was developed by Dr. Casey Mann and Dr. Jennifer McLoud-Mann and automated by undergraduate David Von Derau.

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All 15 known classes of pentagonal tilings, the bottom right being the one discovered by Mann, McLoud-Mann, and Von Derau. (EdPeggJr./Wikipedia)

It is amazing that there are so many open questions here:  Is this the complete list of convex pentagonal tilings? If not, are there finitely many?  Might there be infintiely many?

I think this is such a fantastic story for two reasons.  First, the problem is so easy to state and understand.  You could explain it to grade school students.  Second, this discovery was the result of a collaboration between faculty and an undergraduate.  For all you undergraduates out there, keep in mind there are lots of tangible research questions.  You just need to talk to some encouraging faculty who can help you find one.  If you do, then maybe next year there will be a post here about you!

Take a moment and check more details at the following links:

NPR:

NPR:

The Guardian:

University of Washington, Bothell:

Wikipedia:

Summer 2015 REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates)

The blog is back!

We start with an announcement for students to apply to an REU opportunity at San Diego State University. Students spend a summer conducting research and are paid a stipend of $5000 for the whole summer while working with enthusiastic, like minded fellow students from around the country.

Deadline: March 6th.

More information here:

http://www.sci.sdsu.edu/math-reu/index.html

Opportunities with BP

BP is recruiting freshmen and sophomores for their Discovery Day. This is for underclassmen to learn more about trading and supply and demand for an energy company. Students will gain valuable, real-world experiences in analytics, marketing, risk management, and supply and trading. Activities include simulations, case studies, and hands-on activities. Discover Day is on Friday, November 7 in Houston, Texas. All expenses (including travel, lodging, and meals) will be paid.
To qualify, students must be freshmen or sophomores, have a minimum GPA of 3.0, and legally authorized to work in the U.S..
The application deadline is October 3! To apply, see bp.com/istdiscoveryday
For current juniors, BP and Phillips 66 are accepting applications for their selective internship program for summer 2015. Students should apply through hiresooner.com
For more information please contact Adrienne Jablonski in the College of Arts & Sciences (you can find her email at their website: cas.ou.edu)

Power Costs Inc. (PCI) looking for interns

PCI is seeking outstanding students or recent graduates who wish to gain experience developing and implementing testing processes, performing software tests including functional, regression, etc.  Strong communication skills and proven ability to work in a team atmosphere are needed for this project.  Technical degrees and/or a strong interest in the technology field are especially helpful.

Interested students may apply at www.powercosts.com/pci-internships or may email Staci directly at swilkes@powercosts.com.

 

The PCI College Internship program is a structured, supervised, short-term opportunity for undergraduates, graduate students and recent graduates to perform tasks that benefit PCI as well as providing the intern with knowledge and experience. Students in the PCI Internship Program have the opportunity to build on classroom theories to make real decisions and solve relevant problems. The typical internship at PCI lasts one semester and internships are offered in the Fall, Spring and Summer. Participating students are paid and may also receive academic credit from their university. For more information please visit www.powercosts.com/pci-internships.