QR Codes: A Wealth of Information

February 6, 2012 by


This Wednesday, (Feb. 8.), Michael Schade, a SLU undergrad, will give a talk about QR codes like the one you see above. Bring your camera-enabled smart device if you have one–if you’d like to come prepared, you can find a reader for your device at

QR Card Us

As always, we’ll meet in the lobby of Ritter Hall from 4:00pm to 5:00pm to enjoy refreshments and math!


Polygonal Foldings and the Fold-and-Cut Theorem

February 1, 2012 by

I like turtles

This Wednesday, we will be joined by SLU’s own KYLE SYKES. Kyle is a grad student who will talk about Polygonal Foldings and the Fold-and-Cut Theorem!

Abstract. The field of Discrete and Computational Geometry has many awesome applications and many accessible problems that are just asking to be solved! We will look at several of the open problems related to polygonal folding (and polyhedral unfoldings!). What is polygonal folding you might ask? Come and find out! We’ll get our hands dirty with making polyhedra from scratch and demonstrate one of the most mindblowing theorems in the field, the Fold and Cut Theorem!

We will be meeting in the lobby of Ritter Hall from 4-5. You will be amazed at the refreshments we will provide especially for you!

Math & CS Social

January 24, 2012 by

Our first meeting of the semester will be on Wednesday from 4:00pm – 5:00pm in the Ritter Hall Lobby. Come see old friends, meet new friends, play Pentago, and enjoy some refreshments. The set of topics of conversation could include the Math & CS Club’s dastardly schemes for the semester or packing squares in squares

See you there!

Last Fall 2011 Meeting!

December 4, 2011 by

NGA Logo

The last meeting of the Fall 2011 semester of the SLU Mathematics and Computer Science Club will be this Wednesday, December 7th.

Rob Anderson from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency will speak about careers within the NGA. He will also talk about joint research projects the NGA has begun recently with SLU.

We will meet in Ritter Hall 142 from 4:00pm to 5:00pm. As always, light refreshments will be provided!

Orbifolds, Eigenvalues, and Google

November 28, 2011 by

Dr. Dan Edidin from the University of Missouri will visit SLU on Wednesday, November 30 from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm in the lobby of Ritter Hall.

He will give an endearing personal account of how he was able to solve a research problem using a variety of tools: abstract thinking, computer calculations, and even a Google search. The goal of the talk is to illustrate the different ways mathematicians do research in the internet age.

Dr. Edidin will also discuss the graduate program in mathematics at the University of Missouri.

Pythagorean Triples

November 21, 2011 by

Right Triangle

A Pythagorean triple is a triplet (a,b,c), where a, b, c are integers such that a^2+b^2=c^2.

It is called a Pythagorean triple because it can represent 3 sides of a right triangle. You probably already know two Pythagorean triples: (3,4,5) and (5,12,13). Are there other triples? How do we find them?

Let’s consider the equation
where a, b, c are integers. If a, b, c have a common factor d, say a=da_1, b=db_1, and c=dc_1. Then we have
which is true if and only if
So let’s assume that a, b, c have no common factors. Such triples will be called primitive. Since odd perfect squares are congruent to 1 mod 4 and even squares are congruent to 0 mod 4, then c must be odd and exactly one of a or b is even. Let’s suppose that b is even: b=2k for some integer k. Then
So both c + a and c - a must be even. Say c + a = 2r and c - a = 2s. Then rs=k^2 and we have c = r + s and a = r - s. Since a and c have no common factors, we must have that r and s have no common factors. Since rs is a square, then both r and s are squares. Say r=m^2 and s=n^2. So a=m^2-n^2, b=2mn, c=m^2+n^2 if (a,b,c) is a primitive triple.

Hence, any Pythagorean triple, with b even, is either of the form (m^2-n^2,2mn,m^2+n^2) or it is a multiple of that form. You can plug in different values for m and n to get different right triangles with integer sides. Fun!

Quantum Computing

November 15, 2011 by

The theory of quantum computing was first introduced by Richard Feynman. A quantum computer exploits the particle-wave duality of matter and energy to perform operations on data. Quantum properties are used to represent data and to manipulate that data. Quantum computers can solve certain problems much faster than traditional computers. The foundation of a quantum computer is the qubit, which has the encoded quantum properties of an atom. This is fundamentally different from a traditional computer, which uses bits to store data.

Professor David Wisbey of SLU’s Department of Physics will talk on Wednesday 11/16 at 4:00pm in the Ritter Hall Lobby about quantum computers and the physical challenges in building them.

Fibonacci Quilting

November 9, 2011 by

Dr. Heather Dye from McKendree University will join us tomorrow at 4:00pm in the Ritter Hall lobby to talk about the using Fibonacci Sequence in quilting! This is going to be a really excellent talk! She is coming from out-of-state, so please show your interest and support by coming to the meeting. Refreshments will be provided.

George Boole’s 196th birthday

November 2, 2011 by

George Boole

The SLU Math/CS club will meet again tomorrow at 4:00pm in the lobby of Ritter Hall to celebrate the birth and life of the great logician George Boole. Boole’s work in logic provided the basis for computer science. He developed Boolean algebra, an algebra of truth values 0 and 1. The operations in this algebra are conjunction ∧, disjunction ∨, and negation ¬. The truth values 0 and 1 are taken to mean false and true, respectively. Applications of the Boolean algebra include computer programming, set theory, and mathematical logic.

Please join us for refreshments and the pursuit of truth!

Kemper Art Museum

October 25, 2011 by

The club will take a trip to the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum on the campus of Washington University to view and discuss the current installation Tomás Saraceno: Cloud-Specific.

Tomás Saraceno (Argentina, b. 1973) is internationally recognized for his fantastic architectural proposals, pneumatic sculptures, and environmental installations. Cloud-Specific showcases a selection of the artist’s latest inflatable sculptures, prototypes, and video work, all linked to his investigations into new modules for living that respond to the challenges of climate change and other social and environmental concerns.

We will gather in the Ritter Hall lobby and then organize into cars for the short trip to the museum. We expect to return to the SLU campus by 5:00pm.