15th Emmy Noether High School Mathematics Day
Texas Tech University, Department of Mathematics and Statistics

May 17th, 2017

Workshops for Students


Music is math. Sounds good?
Dr. Giorgio Bornia
Music is the place where sounds meet feelings. We play music because we feel. We listen to music because we feel. And guess what? Mathematics - apparently such a cold discipline - takes part in this emotional process. We will explore the world of music through mathematics. In this journey, a good old companion will lead us: the guitar.

Classifying wallpaper patterns
Dr. Lance Drager
We will present the idea of Euclidean motions in the plane and groups of motions. We will list the 17 classes of wallpaper patterns, and practice classifying some example of wallpaper patterns, including some Escher drawings.

The Science of Neuroscience: How the Brain Controls our Movements
Dr. Bijoy Ghosh
In this talk we introduce what goes on inside our brain when we are about to make a movement, say for example in our hands. In a portion of our brain, the movement commands are generated by a collection of neurons. The command signals move through a chain of neurons to ultimately cause a suitable muscle in our hand to contract. There are a large number of muscles responsible for a simple action such as, pointing our finger or making a gesture. We will talk about neural firing, muscle contraction and how our brain coordinates these activities to perform a multitude of complex tasks.

Mathematical Models of Predator-Prey and Competition
Dr. Sophia Jang
Mathematical models are important tools to study biological phenomena. In this workshop we shall explore the cyclic behavior of the predator-prey interactions and of the competition outcomes for two competing populations. We will see when the predator and prey populations can coexist and when the predator will drive the prey population to extinction in a predator-prey system. We will also examine which population can out compete the other population when two populations utilize the same limited resources.

Mathematical Toxicology: How can we predict the effects of pollutions?
Dr. Angela Peace
Everything in the environment is made of chemicals. Both naturally occurring and manmade substances are chemical in nature. People and other animals are constantly exposed to chemicals. We will learn how math is used to study of the effects of toxic chemicals on biological organisms. We will determine how much of a chemical can you be exposed to without seeing adverse effects.

Geometry and Fabric Fold Flowers
Mrs. Carol Williams and Dr. Brock Williams
We will discuss how to use geometry to make basic patterns for fabric folding projects. We will learn the basic geometric constructions using compass and straight edge. These will allow us to make the differently sized hexagons, octagons, and dodecagons used as the templates for various folded fabric flowers.

Workshops for Teachers


Using Zombies, Probability, and High Performance Computing to Motivate Students
Dr. Brock Williams
This session will be a hands-on introduction to LAZARUS, the Lab for the Analysis of Zombie Activity and Research into Undead Simulations. We'll discuss the math we use to model disease outbreaks - from the "zombie virus" to ebola. We'll visit the lab's new GPU cluster so you can see how a supercomputer is constructed. Finally, we'll describe the outreach mission of the lab and the web resources (at lazarus.ttu.edu) you can use to get your own students excited about math and computing.

Is there a perfect exam question?
Dr. Jerry Dwyer
This talk explores issues of assessment in mathematics. Is it possible to design an exam question that tests deep conceptual knowledge of a topic? Are exams the best way of testing students' content knowledge? Is there any merit in multiple choice tests? Should teachers be graded on their students' test scores?

Emmy Noether Day 2017   Emmy Noether Days Home