Number Systems

By Miranda Copenhaver, Nancy Hindman*, Efiotu Jagun, and Gloria Su.

*Nancy helped the group work through the problem set but was unfortunately unable to attend camp during the blog writing.

Number systems are how we represent numbers like 1, 32, and 75. We use the base ten (decimal) system for our numbers most of the time. It’s called base ten because it uses ten digits: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. But what if I told you that 1001101 and 4D both mean seventy-seven? Crazy, right? There are countless number systems, but today we will be focusing on two: hexadecimal (base sixteen) and binary (base two)!

As we’ve said before, the binary system is base two; it only uses 0 and 1. Since only 1 or 0 can be used, the placement of each digit is important. Computers use binary to store and transfer information. It is used in communication (Morse code, braille) and everything electronic like computers, lights, calculators, MP3s, MIDI, JPEG, etc. 

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Network Science

By Myla James, Shania Johnson, Maya Mukerjee, and Savitha Saminathan.


Graph Theory

Here’s some definitions to help you understand our assignment:

Nodes – vertex/point.
Edges – lines connecting vertices.
Adjacent – two nodes (vertices) are adjacent if they share an edge (line).
Degree – number of edges adjacent to a particular node.

We started this problem set with learning about the difference between connected and disconnected graphs.

Connected Graph – able to travel from one node to any other through its edges.
Disconnected graph – more complex; it has components.
Components – parts of the graphs that are connected.

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By Elizabeth Datskevych, Nina Hadley, Sabrina James, and Rachel Ruff

In our problem set for the classification of surfaces, we learned many things about dimensions, folding, and the shapes folding makes. First we learned about what a dimension is. The definition of a dimension in this math is the direction an object can go. For example a bird can go up/down, left/right, and back/forth. Next we learned about folding and twisting objects. Diagram A shows a square with arrows on its side, which are the directions to fold. When you fold you match the arrows according to if they look-alike. So when you fold Diagram A it makes a cylinder. Now Diagram B has one arrow pointing the opposite of the other so you would twist before connecting the sides. Diagram B makes a Mobius band. We could make other shapes using the arrows such as the Klein bottle, and the torus. This topic was very fun and cool and it is a subject everyone will enjoy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!#girlstalkmath #girlsrock #blog2017

Knot Theory

By Nethania Okyere, Rachel Rozansky, Ashleigh Taylor, and Sylvia Towey

Knot Theory

The knot theory are two mathematical branches of topology. Its simply a loop in 3 dimensional space( doesn’t intersect itself). Knots can be described in various ways. Given a method of description, however, there may be more than one description that represents the same knot. For example, a common method of describing a knot is using a knot diagram. Any given knot can be drawn in many different ways using a knot diagram.

1knots knot theory

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Quantum Mechanics

By Izzy Cox, Divya Iyer, Wgoud Mansour, Ashleigh Sico, and Elizabeth Whetzel.

Quantum Mechanics is the physics of molecular and microscopic particles. However, it has applications in everyday life as well. If someone asked you if a human was a particle or a wave, what would you think? What about a ball? What about light? Not so easy now, is it? It turns out that all of those things, and in fact, everything around us, can be expressed in physics as both a particle and a wave. This might seem a little unbelievable, but for now, let’s start with the basics.


Classical Physics

Although Classical Physics sounds like a complicated idea, it’s the most simple branch of physics. It’s what you think of when someone says “physics”. Classical Physics lays the basic foundation to Quantum Physics with a few basic laws.

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Intro to Relativity

By: Miranda Copenhaver, Chloe Nash, Wanda Wilkins, Lauren Behringer, and Jazmin Santillan C.


Throughout this week, we have worked through multiple problems dealing with both classical mechanics and special relativity. We found the main difference between classical mechanics and special relativity to be the assumptions made about time as a constant. This is what we mean:

  • In classical mechanics it is assumed that time is a constant that is observed the same for all viewers.
  • In special relativity time cannot be taken as a constant. Because the speed of light is the same for all observers, time-dilation occurs.

So, if you are getting a little lost it’s completely normal. We have a couple of examples of both classical mechanics and special relativity below:

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The Art of Cryptography

By: Nia Beverly, Makayla McDaniel, Yuanyuan Matherly, and Tyler Deegan


Cryptography is defined as the art of writing and solving codes. Upon first thought, many people picture codes as an antiquated war time communication technique. However, the field of cryptography is alive and well,  and it has become pervasive in our everyday lives. The world is becoming more and more connected through technology, and with this, there is a greater need to protect information. Encryption is probably the most widely used application of cryptography, and it is used to protect information by making it so only one person with a key can understand what is transmitted. In the following paragraphs we will walk through the steps to mathematically understanding one widely used type of encryption.

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Special Relativity

By Katie Clark, Tori Dunston, Kelly Fan, Abrianna Macklin, and McKenna Vernon

Picture a hummingbird. At any moment, it can go in any of the three dimensions it is a part of. So, it could go up and down, forwards and backwards, or left and right. But, one thing that is not taken into account is time. As it moves through space, it is also occupying time. However, we’re not used to thinking about our world in a four dimensional sense. But, as the movement of the pigeon progresses, so does time. This is known as the relationship between space and time, and it is the primary foundation that special relativity is built on. So, at any given moment, it actually can move in four dimensions at once. This can be simply modeled using a spacetime diagram.


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Mathematical Epidemiology

By Camilla Fratta, Ananya Jain, Sydney Mason, Gabby Matejowsky, and Nevaeh Pinkney*.

*Nevaeh helped the group work through the problem set but was unfortunately unable to attend camp during the blog writing.

Mathematical Epidemiology explores the realm of mathematics applied to public health. It relies on modeling to use known information about certain scenarios regarding the spread of diseases and then uses it to predict future outcomes. By the end of the problem set, our group learned about the challenging process that comes with trying to predict population sizes in order to control the spreading of diseases. The equations that are faced in this branch of mathematics are at the heart of mathematical modeling.

Mathematical Models and Modeling

A mathematical model is an equation used to predict or model the most likely results to occur in a real-world situation.  We used these types of equations to model the spread of a disease in a population, tracking the flow of populations from susceptible to infected to recovered.  In real life scenarios, there are too many variables to fully account for, so we only were able to place a few in our equations. This made the models less accurate, but at the same time very useful to us in our problem set.  They gave us a good idea of how things worked in an actual epidemic and helped us to understand what mathematical modeling really is.

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Network Science

By Cameron Farrar, Elizabeth Gross, Shiropa Noor, and Rebecca Rozansky

Girls Talk Math was an eyeopening experience to a brand new world of mathematics. Over the past two weeks, we have been introduced to multiple topics and related professions. We learned about: quantum mechanics, surface classification, knot theory, computing & dynamics, elliptic curve cryptography, RSA encryption, special relativity and the most interesting of them all- NETWORK SCIENCE!

During our time at Girls Talk Math, we learned about the wonders of network science and graph theory. The difficult part of this otherwise enjoyable journey? Mathematica. Mathematica is a software created to make you suffer, especially if you already know computer science (AHEM BECKY). Basically, we created graphs, did calculations and got confused on Mathematica. Typing out all the commands took ages. We’ll show you some examples as we go through the different concepts we explored. Don’t worry- once you spend some time on Mathematica, you’ll get used to it.

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