Math Sculptor Lends Fun to Building on Return Visit to Albion
Albion College's Mathematics and Computer Science Department welcomed back George Hart, geometric sculptor and creator of the Comet! art installation, to the Science Center Atrium Nov. 7-8 for a two-day colloquium, "Symmetry + Cardboard = Sculpture."
Dave Reimann, associate professor of mathematics, spoke with Hart at a summer conference and invited him back to campus for another project during the department’s colloquium series.
Engel, '13, Merges Interests for Research Project
Jacob Engel didn’t come to Albion College thinking his interests in mathematics and computer science would lead to an honors thesis about how he developed a variation of the game of Craps.
Engel’s only experience with gambling came from working on a high school production of Guys & Dolls. That changed when mathematics and computer science professor Mark Bollman presented his interest in probability during a 2010 fall semester honors course about the eight big ideas that shaped science.
A native of Warren, Engel stayed on campus last summer with funding from the College’s Foundation for Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity to write the computer code and compile the probability for Craps using eight-sided dice as opposed to the usual six-sided dice familiar in the gaming industry.
Mason Helps to Fill Niche in Materials Research
Darren Mason was appointed to the Albion faculty in 2001.When titanium fails—whether on an automobile or an aircraft—the result is usually catastrophic. Albion College mathematics professor Darren Mason, in collaboration with Philip Eisenlohr of the Max Planck Institute for Iron Research in Germany and Michigan State University engineering professors Tom Bieler and Martin Crimp, has been filling a niche by researching how the material fractures at the microscopic level.
Mason, Albion's Phi Beta Kappa Scholar of the Year, will have the honor of talking about his work in developing a mathematical model used to predict where cracks will occur in titanium when he delivers an address at the International Symposium on Plasticity in January.
FURSCA Student Rolls the Dice on Research
Jacob Engel, '13, is serious about play—as it relates to casino gaming, that is. Engel spent the summer studying odds and payouts as a participant in Albion's Foundation for Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity (FURSCA). A mathematics and computer science major, Engel is studying the statistics that underlie gaming through developing (and possibly marketing) unique casino games of his own.