The mathematics of ancient Egypt was fundamentally different from our math today. Contrary to what people might think, it wasn’t a primitive forerunner of modern mathematics. In fact, it can’t be understood using our current computational methods. *Count Like an Egyptian* provides a fun, hands-on introduction to the intuitive and often-surprising art of ancient Egyptian math. David Reimer guides you step-by-step through addition, subtraction, multiplication, and more. He even shows you how fractions and decimals may have been calculated –they technically didn’t exist in the land of the pharaohs. You’ll be counting like an Egyptian in no time, and along the way you’ll learn firsthand how mathematics is an expression of the culture that uses it, and why there’s more to math than rote memorization and bewildering abstraction.

Reimer takes you on a lively and entertaining tour of the ancient Egyptian world, providing rich historical details and amusing anecdotes as he presents a host of mathematical problems drawn from different eras of the Egyptian past. Each of these problems is like a tantalizing puzzle, often with a beautiful and elegant solution. As you solve them, you’ll be immersed in many facets of Egyptian life, from hieroglyphs and pyramid building to agriculture, religion, and even bread baking and beer brewing.

Fully illustrated in color throughout, *Count Like an Egyptian* also teachers you some Babylonian computation –the precursor to our modern system –and compares ancient Egyptian mathematics to today’s math, letting you decide for yourself which is better.

“Reimer gives us a detailed introduction to the mathematics of the ancient Egyptians –from their arithmetic operations to their truncated pyramids –in a beautifully designed volume that is so much easier to read than a papyrus scroll.”

-William Dunham, author of *The Calculus Gallery: Masterpieces from Newton to Lebesgue*

“This book is by far the best presentation of Egyptian math I have read. In the age of overpopularized and sensationalized science reporting, Reimer’s crisp prose and concise exposition earned my unqualified admiration. *Count Like an Egyptian* is destined to become a classic.”

-Eli Maor, author of *e: The Story of a Number*

“*Count Like an Egyptian* is well written and entertaining. This book fills a void in popular science writing on Egyptian mathematics.”

-Annette Imhausen, section author of *The Mathematics of Egypt, Mesopotamia, China, India, and Islam: A Sourceboo*

On Tuesday, June 10, 2014, as Governor Chris Christie announced the first 50 Woodrow Wilson New Jersey Teaching Fellows, a group of men and women gathered in Armstrong Hall to begin their journey. Each of these individuals is part of a highly competitive program that recruits both recent graduates and career changers with strong backgrounds in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math). Each Fellow receives $30,000 to complete a specially designed master’s degree program, which prepares them to teach in high-need urban or rural secondary schools. They also commit to teaching for three years in a high-needs district in NJ. The College of New Jersey was one of five state schools (including

Montclair State University, Rowan University, Rugters University-Camden, and William Paterson University) to be chosen as part of this nationwide endeavor. These colleges and universities will partner with local school districts to enable the Fellows to learn how to teach in real classrooms. The College of New Jersey’s portion of the Fellowship is led by Dr. Cathy Liebars (Department of Mathematics and Statistics), Dr. James Beyers (Department of Elementary and Early Childhood Education), and Dr. Steve O’Brien (Department of Technological Studies) with partner districts Ewing, Trenton, New Brunswick, and Burlington City.

The New Jersey program is supported by a consortium of New Jersey funders, headed by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation.

For more information, please see:

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On Thursday, May 15, 2014, the Department of Mathematics and Statistics bid a fond farewell to another exceptional group of graduates. After the students processed in before their proud families and friends, the department co-chairs, Dr. Cathy Liebars and Dr. Thomas Hagedorn, gave a brief welcome and then read out the long list of student achievements. Dr. Carlos Alves stepped up to the podium and gave a speech that touched on how we will all miss this extraordinary group of young people. Then our own Elizabeth Sweeney ’14 introduced a slideshow of pictures and quotes that she had put together (Part 1 and Part 2). Finally the degrees were conferred and, after a few more words from the co-chairs, everyone reassembled in the Science Complex courtyard to mingle and take pictures.

Although we will miss them terribly, we wish our Class of 2014 great joy in all that they do, and we look forward to hearing all about their future successes.

To see the list of graduates, please download the Mathematics & Statistics Commencement booklet.

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“Dr. Karen Clark is an extraordinary mathematics teacher and mentor of students. She combines great classroom teaching with a commitment to investing significant time in students outside the classroom. With both high standards and a kind heart, she inspires students in the mathematics classroom and influences their lives outside the classroom. Past students have written the following about her dedication:

- “‘I would not have the passion and the skills for applied math research … nor would I be in the position to apply for this program without Dr. Clark’s mentorship.’
- “’She always has inspired me to set my goals high and to reach for what I want in my career.’
- “’After witnessing her influence on others, I realized that I wanted to have that same influence on a student someday.’ “

The full citation from the MAA, including Dr. Clark’s response, is available here.

]]>**Mike Muller** won best poster for work that he has done with his faculty sponsor, Andrew Clifford.

In addition, eleven TCNJ students competed in the team competition. We had so much interest this year that some of our students had to compete on mixed teams with other NJ colleges. Our teams placed 4th and 6th out of 32 teams.

Team 1 – ** Vince Longo, Ben Castor and Alana Huszar** placed **4th**

Team 2 – **Dan Seminara, David Picolella, Katarina Rose** placed **6th**

Special thanks to Dave Reimer, who sharpened our competitors minds on combinatorial problems.

Congratulations to all of our students!!

]]>**Gene Function Analysis
**

The determination of protein function has been a major goal of molecular biology since the founding of the discipline. However, as we learn more about gene function, we discover that the context within which a gene is expressed controls the specific function of that gene. It has become critical to establish the background in which gene function is determined and to perform experiments in multiple applicable backgrounds. In *Gene Function Analysis, Second Edition*, a number of computational and experimental techniques are presented for identifying not only the function of an individual gene, but also the partners that work with that gene. The theme of data integration runs strongly through the computational techniques, with many focusing on gathering data from different sources and different bimolecular types. Experimental techniques have evolved to determine function in specific tissues and at specific times during development. Written in the successful *Methods in Molecular Biology *series format, chapters include introductions to their respective topics, lists of the necessary materials and reagents, step-by-step, readily reproducible protocols, and notes on troubleshooting and avoiding known pitfalls.

Authoritative and easily accessible, *Gene Function Analysis, Second Edition* seeks to serve both professionals and novices with a growing understanding of the complexity of gene function.

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** Abstract: **The Calculus of Variations is the study of finding extremals of functionals. Usually these functionals take the form J(y(x))=\int_{x_1}^{x_2} f(x,y,y’) dx. This talk will discuss some examples which yield exactly this situation, some of which are the very problems that led to the development of our topic. We will derive the Euler-Lagrange equation and use it to solve these examples. This talk is aimed at students; only a basic knowledge of Calculus is necessary to delve into this subject.Dr.

Christopher Catone is a TCNJ alum who received his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is currently an Associate Professor at Albright College.

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Dr. David Molnar, Felician College, on Tuesday, April 22 at 4:00 pm in SCP 224.

**Title:** Connection Games

** Abstract: **Connection games are a genre of abstract strategy games characterized by intuitive play and topological, rather than geometric, goals. The archetypical game in this genre is Hex, independently discovered by Piet Hein and John Nash in the 1940s. I will give a brief overview of the history of connection games, mixing in a tiny bit of strategy. The primary objective of the talk is to describe how to use graph theory to analyze games, and to prove that certain games cannot end in a draw. In particular, I will focus on a game called Atoll, a recent discovery that I find to be an improvement on Hex. I will provide pencil-and-paper game boards so that attendees will be able to explore these games further on their own.

Dr. Christopher Catone on Tuesday, April 1 at 11:30 am in SCP 229.

**Title:** The Calculus of Variations & the Most Important Equation Our Students Never Learn

** Abstract: **The Calculus of Variations is the study of finding extremals of functionals. Usually these functionals take the form J(y(x))=\int_{x_1}^{x_2} f(x,y,y’) dx. This talk will discuss some examples which yield exactly this situation, some of which are the very problems that led to the development of our topic. We will derive the Euler-Lagrange equation and use it to solve these examples. This talk is aimed at students; only a basic knowledge of Calculus is necessary to delve into this subject.Dr.

Christopher Catone is a TCNJ alum who received his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is currently an Associate Professor at Albright College.

Pizza and snacks will provided!

]]>Dr. Robert Cunningham from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics will be share his talk entitled “Transfers between Algebraic, Numeric, and Graphic Representations: A cautionary tale,” and Dr. Danielle Guarracino from the Department of Chemistry will be speaking about “Biochemical Mimicry: Imitating nature with peptidomimetics.”

Refreshments will be served!

Abstracts:

Dr. Robert Cunningham, Department of Mathematics and Statistics “Transfers between Algebraic, Numeric, and

Graphic Representations: A cautionary tale”

For students to develop an understanding of functions, they must have opportunities to solve problems that require them to transfer between algebraic, numeric and graphic representations (transfer problems). Research has confirmed student difficulties with certain types of transfer problems and has suggested instructional factors as a possible cause. Teachers (n = 28) were surveyed to determine the amount of class time that they devote to different types of transfer problems and how many times these problems appear on their teacher-made assessments. Survey results will be presented, and cautions offered to experts whose ease in blending interpretations (representations) often mask subtle complexities associated with transfer problems and who present ideas wrung free of messiness.

Dr. Danielle Guarracino, Department of Chemistry ““Biochemical Mimicry: Imitating nature with peptidomimetics”

The macromolecular structure of biochemical compounds often plays a large role in their cellular function. Unique cycles and helices can dictate the ability of a hormone, peptide or whole protein to perform its job inside and outside of the cell. When the relationships between such compounds are implicated in the disease state, they can be traced to the interactions between the varying shapes of the compounds involved. We have been working on synthesizing peptide-based compounds that imitate the structural features of naturally found peptides, but work to improve overall stability, maintenance of structure and hope to provide unique functionality.

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