In this circle we investigated something called the “falling sand pile”. But sand is boring, so instead we studied falling chickens! The primary rule of falling chickens is

When 4 chickens land in someone’s backyard, they “break out” and go to the neighbors’ yards instead.

Linear transformations have many applications. We looked into questions about how linear transformations move points around in the plane. The activity has more information about the tasks, which include lots of “2 by 2” matrices.

March 14, 2015 was an auspicious date to have a ‘math circle’ meeting. We ate some great dessert, and worked on some really interesting questions like:

How exactly can you approximate $\pi$ using regular polygons using just the Pythagorean Theorem?

What does it mean to find a ‘best rational approximation’ of a number?

How do you calculate continued fractions?

What are some continued fractions of popular irrational numbers?

What might be some ways to prove an infinitude continued fraction equals a specific irrational number?

The Department of Mathematics at Boise State University is excited to announce we’ll be continuing the Boise Math Circle sessions during Spring 2015.

The program directors have extended invitations to Fall 2014 participants to continue, and are also recruiting new participants. If you or someone you know likes solving problems and wants to learn more about the creative side of math, please consider applying.

Please help us recruit participants by letting your students know about the program. If you’d like attendance reports for your students (e.g., for extra credit) , please send us an email. You’re of course welcome to join the sessions.

Map-making has some interesting connections to math. For example, it’s tough to draw a round earth on flat paper. Other problems can come up when one tries to highlight regions in a map using color. Our big question for this session is: