We open Volume 14, Number 3 with an interview with Meike Ackveld, Senior Scientist at ETH Zürich. Almost exactly 9 years ago, Girls’ Angle had the good fortune of an in-person visit from Dr. Akveld. Today, we’re excited to present this interview with her. Dr. Akveld is also the President of the Association Kangourou sans Frontières, which creates the international Math Kangaroo Competition. In this interview, Dr. Akveld discusses how she became interested in knot theory, what Math Kangaroo is all about, and more.
Next, we present Deanna Needell’s latest installment of Needell in the Haystack, which is all about big data. In this installment, Prof. Needell explains one way to solve a system of linear equations when the coefficient matrix is so enormous, that it cannot be held in computer memory at the same time. The method she discusses, the Kaczmarz method, also serves as the inspiration for this issue’s cover graphic.
Kimberly Hadaway and Pamela Harris’s concluding half of their Parking Functions expository paper comes next. Here, they prove the closed formula for the number of parking functions. We do hope that before you read this, you make a serious attempt to prove the formula yourself.
Emily and Jasmine embark on a new math adventure, this time seeking an equation that describes a Valentine’s heart. There starting point is this neat web app written by Aaron Montag which was recently featured in the New York Times. In typical Emily and Jasmine style, they opt to try to figure out an equation on their own, before studying the equation used by Mr. Montag. We hope that readers attempt to come up with their own equation for a Valentine’s heart. If you come up with something you like, please share it with us! There is not definitive Valentine’s heart shape, so there’s a lot of room for creativity and artistic license here.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with matrices, we give a very quick introduction to matrix notation as it pertains to systems of linear equations so that you can follow Prof. Needell’s article.
We conclude with Notes from the Club.
We hope you enjoy it!
Finally, a reminder: when you subscribe to the Girls’ Angle Bulletin, you’re not just getting a subscription to a magazine. You are also gaining access to the Girls’ Angle mentors. We urge all subscribers and members to write us with your math questions or anything else in the Bulletin or having to do with mathematics in general. We will respond. We want you to get active and do mathematics. Parts of the Bulletin are written to induce you to wonder and respond with more questions. Don’t let those questions fade away and become forgotten. Send them to us!
Also, the Girls’ Angle Bulletin is a venue for students who wish to showcase their mathematical achievements that go above and beyond the curriculum. If you’re a student and have discovered something nifty in math, considering submitting it to the Bulletin.
We continue to encourage people to subscribe to our print version, so we have removed some content from the electronic version. Subscriptions are a great way to support Girls’ Angle while getting something concrete back in return. We hope you subscribe!