This past Saturday more than 270 people turned out to hear Po-Shen Loh speak about “Math, Games, and Strategy”. Professor Loh is a mathematician at Carnegie Mellon University, and in a deep and accessible way he modeled what it means to be a math researcher.
His talk was built around a single question that captured his interest–“Why do the opposite sides of a die add up to 7?” This simple fact led him in many directions–to thinking through the implications of what would happen if the opposite sides did NOT have this sum; to how you could apply properties of Physics to be a better
gambler, ahem, to be better at playing games; to how we keep score affects our perceptions of games (why not multiply each new score to the previous score in a football game rather than adding?); to finding out how expensive it is to have your own custom dice made, and that you’ll need to place an order in Hong Kong and wait a while!
Thanks again to Professor Loh, and to the Metropolitan Math Club of Chicago for bringing Po-Shen to Chicago in the first place. We look forward to his next visit!