• Thursday, February 22, 2018
  • 3:40 PM–4:30 PM
  • Science Building 110

Carol Schumacher, Kenyon College

Toys have inspired a lot of interesting mathematics.  The SpirographTM helps children create lovely curves by rolling a small circle around the inside or the outside of a larger circle.  These curves are called hypotrochoids and epitrochoids and are special cases of mathematical curves called roulettes.  A roulette is created by following a point attached to one curve as that curve “rolls” along another curve.  Another children’s toy, the TangleTM, inspired some students and me to investigate roulettes that we get by rolling a circle around the inside of a “tangle curve,” which is made up of quarter circles.  The resulting roulettes we named “tangloids.”  In this talk, we will look at many pretty pictures and animations of these curves and discuss some of their interesting properties.  As a bonus, I will discuss the nature of generalization, which is very important in mathematics. 

Please note change from regular venue.

Refreshments precede the talk at 3:30 p.m. in NH 282.

February 2018
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