Monte Carlo and the Coding Tale

By: Michelle Chen, Cameron Farrar, Laura O’Sullivan, and Cat Bassett

Introduction

Everything we do in life has a chance. That chance may come from picking the right card, picking a certain marble out of a bag or maybe deciding to give the first person who walks through a random door $100. Essentially,each chance has a certain trade-off of benefits. Often times we think about the chances as something will happen over the chance of something else taking place as we weigh possible outcomes. This is called risk analysis. One of the ways we can determine risk is we can use Monte Carlo simulations to replicate real life situations a large number of times in order to observe the long-term patterns without having the complications (cost, labor, materials, etc.) of manual repetition.

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The Art of Cryptography

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

Introduction

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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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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Elliptic Curve Cryptography

By Mukta Dharmapurikar, Anagha Jandhyala, Savanna Jones, and Ciara Renaud.

Have you ever wondered how your credit card number stays secure after shopping online? Every day millions of people’s personal information is entered online or stored in databases, where it seems like anyone could access it. However, a process called cryptography keeps theft from occurring.

Cryptography is the ancient art of keeping secret messages secure. Elliptic curve cryptography is one type of encryption that we spent the last two weeks learning about. It has some advantages over the more common cryptography method, known as RSA.

RSA relies on the difficulty of factoring very large prime numbers. Despite the current security, it’s feasible that one day a method could be invented that makes factoring large prime numbers realistic. In this blog post, we will be explaining the essential math behind how elliptic curves work and how they are used to encrypt messages.

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Real World Cryptography

By: Shai Caspin, Natalie Bowers, Bryana Dorsey, Nia Pierce, and Cana Perry

Cryptography is the act of encrypting and decrypting codes. It’s used to pass secret messages and keep outsiders from accessing information. Math is used to help encrypt codes using different methods. One common methods is to use RSA encryptions, which uses prime numbers and mod functions to make deciphering impossible. RSA encryptions are so successful since factoring large numbers into their prime factors is incredibly difficult, and there is yet a way to do so quickly and efficiently. 

We were all very interested in learning more about cryptography since it incorporates everyday math with real-world problems and situations.

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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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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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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.

lightcone3

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Knot Theory

By Jillian Byrnes, Monique Dacanay, Kaycee DeArmey,  Alana Drumgold, Ariyana Smith*, and Wisdom Talley*.

*Ariyana and Wisdom helped the group work through the problem set but were unfortunately unable to attend camp during the blog writing.

A mathematical knot is a loop in three-dimensional space that doesn’t intersect itself, and knot theory is the topological study of these knots. Two knots are considered to be equivalent if they can be stretched or bent into each other without cutting or passing  through themselves. The simplest of these knots is known as the unknot, which is just a circle or its equivalence. Similar to a knot is a link, which is multiple knots intersecting each other. Both knots and links are often described in the form of knot diagrams, which are two-dimensional representations of the three-dimensional shape. There are an infinite number of both knots and links, but here are a few examples in diagram form:

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Mathematical Modeling (Fluid Dynamics)

By: Annie Huang, Heesue Kim, Sophie Gilliam, and Sylvia Towey

Hi guys!

Welcome to the Girls Talk Math blog today! This blog is to show you guys what we have learned and accomplished with fluid dynamics. At first, we (Annie, Heesue, Sophie, Sylvia) thought this was a very difficult topic but after some explanation and experiment, we learned how easy it is to work with the different topics thanks to the Girls Talk Math Camp held on the UNC Chapel Hill campus. Today we will be giving you a brief intro to mathematical modeling, Bernoulli’s principle, Dimensional Analysis, and Projectile motion.

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