Math Club

Stony Brook University

The Stony Brook Math Club is intended for students interested in exploring the mathematical universe. Students meet weekly. Approximately once a month there are also talks during the Campus Lifetime (Wednesdays at 1pm) in Math P-131. At the Wednesday meetings, there are problem sets and informal student discussions, which could involve anything from origami to cool tricks to use on a calculus exam. The Wednesday talks will generally be more mathematical in depth and are given by professors, undergraduates, or anyone in between. Pizza is always provided! You can join the mailing list by visiting


Informal Talks (New! We have now the talks on tape. Here (or linked to the title)

Thursday Sept. 8th, 1pm,  P-131 Yuval Peres Learning with a perfect expert: How much weight should majority opinion carry? Abstract
March 2nd, 2016 Physics 117 Matthieu Arfeux A quick trip through fractals
February 17th, 2016, 1pm Physics 117
Tanya Khovanova Cookie Monster Plays Games Abstract
October 28, 1pm, 2015  P-131 Alexander Kirillov Quivers and their representations Abstract
September 30th, 2015, SCGP 103, 1pm Simon Donaldson Four dimensional manifolds Abstract
Tuesday May 5th, 2015, 1pm, P-131. Hugo Parlier Puzzles, Triangulations and Moduli Spaces Abstract
April 27th, 2015, 1pm, P-131 Joe Mitchell Optimal Enclosures and Peeling Potatoes: Computing Outer and Inner
Approximations of Shapes -- A Computational Geometry Perspective
October 8th, 2014, 1pm, P-131 Yaar Solomon How to tile the plane non-periodically? Abstract
September 10th, 2pm, P-131 Nick Trefethen Numerical computing with Chebfun Abstract
Friday April 11th 2014, 2:30pm Physics P116,  Jason Cantarella Robot Calculus, or how to always win at bean bag toss (if you are a robot) Abstract
March 5th, 2014, Math P-131 Irwin Kra What is a (compact) Riemann surface? Abstract
Thursday February 13th 2014, 1pm, Math p-131 Russell Lyons Coins tossing to the Drunk Lamplighter
November 12th 2013 1pm Math P-131   Arnaud Cheritat Straightening the square
October 9th 2013 1pm Math P-131   Thomas Hales How to do without blunders Abstract
September 11th 2013 1pm Math P-131   Tony Phillips Geometry of polyhedral surfaces, gravitational lensing and the Aharonov-Bohm experiment. Abstract
April 10th 2013,1:00pm, Math P-131   Phillip Webster Fractal Islamic Geometric Patterns Based on Arrangements of {n/2}Stars. Abstract
February 6th 2013,1:00pm, Math P-131   Joe Mitchell Guarding Art Galleries, Patroling Prisons, Shoveling Snow, and Surveying Planets. Abstract

October 24th 2012, 12:50pm, Math P-131 
John Morgan
The mathematics behind the umbilic torus
Umbilic Torus
September 19th 2012, 12:50pm, Math P-131   Dennis Sullivan Stories about Bill Thurston and related mathematics. Abstract
April 11th 2012, 12:50pm, Math P-131   Dusa McDuff Embedding questions in symplectic geometry: an elementary introduction. Abstract
February 1st 2012, 12:50pm, Math P-131   Jim Simons My Life and Times in Mathematics.
December 7n 2011, 12:50pm, Math P-131   Mikhail Lyubich The Mandelbrot set and the Riemann Mapping Theorem. Abstract
November 2n 2011, 4:30pm, Math P-131   Bernie Maskit Complex structures on a torus. Abstract
October 28, 2011, 4:30pm  Math P-131   Maria Hempel Flexible Polyhedra. Abstract
October 5, 2011, 12:50-1:45pm, Math P-131   Chris Bishop How to draw a conformal map. Slides of the talk. Abstract
April 13, 2011, 12:50-1:45pm, Math P-131   George Hart Mathematics and Art Abstract
March 9, 2011, 12:50-1:45pm, Math P-131   Marianna Csornyei On the Visibility of Invisible Sets Abstract
December 1, 2010, 12:50-1:45pm, Math P-131   Alex Kontorovich Primes in Circle Packings
October 27, 2010, 12:50-1:45pm, Math P-131   Jack Milnor Geometry of growth and form
September 29, 2010, 12:50-1:45pm, Math P-131   Scott Sutherland Complex polynomials and branched covers
April 21, 2010, 12:50-1:45pm, Math P-131   Marco Martens Cantor Sets and Chaos Abstract
March 17, 2010, 12:50-1:45pm, Math P-131   Alex Kunin   Origametry Abstract
February 3, 2010, 12:50-1:45pm, Math P-131   Jeremy Kahn   A simple proof of the Vaan der Waarden theorem Abstract
November 18, 2009, 12:50-1:45pm, Math P-131   Oleg Viro   Can straight lines be interlaced? Abstract
October 14, 2009, 12:50-1:45pm, Math P-131   Chris Arettines   Visualizing curves and their intersections on surfaces Abstract

Garden State Undergraduate Mathematics Conference

2010 A group of 15 Stonybrook undergraduates, mostly math majors, were organized through the math club and led by Professor Moira Chas of the Mathematics department to present posters and compete in the MAA undergraduate math competition both team and individual last saturday april 10th. (see MAA link below) They traveled by yellow school bus to the middlesex county community college campus in Edison NJ, participated in poster presentations and competitions in the morning, listened to lectures in the afternoon on "Math Challenges in Climate Control" *, and "Can Computers Do Math (research)" ** . After a successful day, they returned to Stonybrook that evening for a celebratory dinner at the Eastern Pavilion. Photos of these happenings as well as the students receiving their recognition certificates are to be seen here.
First place team competition Stonybrook : Kenneth Ascher '11 , Kevin Sackel '13 and Jingyu Zhao '11
Second and Fourth place individual : Kevin sackel '13 and Ahmed rafiqi '12
Poster distinction: Roman Kogan '10
Poster recognition: Ren Yi '11 and Robert Castellano '11

2011 Results from 2011
Second Places in individual: Tie between Thao Do and Kevin Sackel
Second Place in team competition: Robert Castellanos, Rob Pond and Kevin Sackel

Problem of the Month (May/June 2010)

Let ABCD be a quadrilateral inscribed in a circle with center O so that the angles DAO and BAC are the same. Show that the diagonals, AC and BD, in ABCD are perpendicular. pdf

Solutions can be dropped off in Math 3-119 or e-mailed to Moira Chas as a pdf file.

April 2010   problem and solution   Winners: Du Huang, Ahmad Rafiqi, Kevin Sackel ('13)   Prize: The Poincare Conjecture: In Search of the Shape of the Universe by Donal O'Shea
February 2010   problem and solution   Winners: Kevin Sackel ('13), Ren Yi ('11)   Prize: Music of the Primes by Marcus du Satoy
November 2009   problem and solution   Winner: Kevin Sackel ('13)   Prize: Algebra by Michael Artin

If you'd like something more challenging, try this or Conjecture 1 at the bottom of page 3 here; the footnote on page 1 and everything on pages 4-6 can be ignored. This would make an excellent honors thesis, as well as an actual research publication.

Math Department Homepage      Putnam Competition     

Faculty Advisory Committee: Moira Chas (chair), Jeremy Kahn, Aleksey Zinger.
Last modified: March 28, 2011.