We open Volume 14 with the concluding half of our two-part interview with Williams College Associate Professor of Mathematics Pamela E. Harris. Here, she discusses work/life balance and aspects of learning mathematics, as well as describing some of the math she discovered.
Further on in this issue, Prof. Harris coauthors a wonderfully written introduction to parking functions with her student Kimberly Hadaway in Honk! Honk!, Part 1. If you ever wanted to learn about parking functions, this article is a great place to start. Parking functions are a neat example of turning an everyday real life problem into interesting mathematics.
Also, included is the concluding half of Deanna Needell’s survey of the various ways in which she and her team has studied Lyme Disease using machine learning. Interspersed throughout are insights about how to handle the various tools.
In Toblerone Game, four students give a complete analysis of a combinatorial game involving the sharing of a Toblerone candy bar. The idea is you have any number of Toblerone bars before you, and they can even be of different lengths. You wish to share it with your friend, though you still want to eat as much of the candy as you can. But, being polite, you divvy up the bar using the following civilized rules: You take turns. On any given turn, If there happens to be an isolated triangular piece, then you are free to eat that piece. If not, then you must split a bar and let your friend go. What is the optimal strategy? If you have to split a bar, which bar should you split, and where? You can find all the answers in this paper.
Another all-student paper, or, I should say, saga, is The Saga of Fran & Fred. Ostensibly about high politics in the Kingdom of ABBABA, it is actually a probability paper in disguise.
We conclude with Notes from the Club.
We hope you enjoy it!
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