Established on May 10, 1972
by the late Dr. Murray Abramson
then chair of the Mathematics and Computer Science Department
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Π Μ Ε
Sunday, April 14, 2019, 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Dana Mohler-Faria Science and Mathematics Building Room 120
Dr. Shelley Stahl
Hannah Kennedy, '19
Sophia Maniscalco, '19
Dr. Thomas Banchoff
Professor Emeritus of Mathematics, Brown University
Möbius Bands and Cylinders--How Can We See the Difference?
German mathematician and astronomer August Ferdinand Möbius (1790--1868) is a mathematical ancestor of the speaker and was one of the mathematics teachers to recognize the significance of what happens when you take a strip of paper and paste its ends together. Sometimes it is easy to see whether or not the ends have been twisted in the process and in other cases it is more problematic. Why did Möbius care? The answer lies at the heart of some theorems in the calculus of surfaces and at the very beginning of topology. Fortunately there are visual clues that can tell us whether or not the strip has been twisted and how many times. Some visual tip offs are easy to spot, especially if we start with a strip of triangles pasted together. Some criteria were recognized right at the beginning and some are brand new, connected in mysterious ways to other phenomena about surfaces and the way they can self-intersect. The presentation will exhibit some favorite examples and models that illustrate these comments and bring us to the frontier of some very modern mathematics. Very simple phenomena exhibited by two kinds of strips lead to "characteristic classes," which are otherwise usually encountered only in advanced courses in geometry and topology.
Dr. Banchoff is an Emeritus Professor in the Mathematics Department at Brown University, a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society, and a past President of the Mathematical Association of America. He is an expert in differential geometry in three and four dimensions and a pioneer in the methods of computer graphics.
Dr. Banchoff received his PhD from UC Berkeley under the direction of Dr. Shiing-Shen Chern. Committed to education, now using online resources, Dr. Banchoff has been teaching mathematics for over 50 years at Brown and at many other universities around the country and the world.
Dr. Murray Abramson, a faculty member from 1966 to 1987. He had chaired the Mathematics and Computer Science Department for years when he passed away in 1987. He held a bachelor's degree from Brooklyn College, a master's from Syracuse University, and a doctorate from Columbia University.
"Quiet and gentle, he was beloved by his students and fellow faculty members. He served the college on the tenure and curriculum committees for many years and was especially interested in the foreign student exchange program. Possessed of an ever-curious mind, he read widely and enjoyed auditing college courses in the areas of art and music." -- from his Memorial and Diorama Presentation held at the Clement C. Maxwell Library on February 6, 1988.
A Development of the rational number System, a programmed text, by Murray Abramson. Boston: Holbrook Press, 1970
First and second level examination of the tenth annual Olympiad High School Prize Competition, by Murray Abramson and Hugo D'Alarat, 1974.
Instructor's manual for a development of the rational number system, 1970
Language of sets - teachers manual. Performance data & Interpretation: Donald A . Cook. Lesson plans: Murray Abramson, 1963
Programming instruction in a development of the rational number system, doctoral dissertation, 1968
(Source: University Archives)
A very realistic portrayal of the third and final day of the Battle of Gettysburg, this diorama was made by Dr. Paul Abramson in memory of his brother Dr. Murray Abramson. The 13,000 tiny figures representing Lee's army of 75,000 men and Meade's amy of 97,000 are meticulously painted by hand and the land features carefully and faithfully put in place.
The diorama is currently located near the balcony of the third floor of the Maxwell Library. Please visit the library's Archives/Special Collections for more information.