Population Ecology

I have decided to focus on the math in population ecology that determines and monitors the population of species in nature. Obviously it is not possible to tag and record every single organism of each species to get a head count. Population ecologists have to use specific mathematical equations and techniques to get educated estimates of populations and study the dynamics of those populations and how they interact with their environments. This includes collecting data on how populations behave and change over time. It is critical to study why and how they interact with their environments and not just individual organisms within the population. This information is used in a multitude of ways and helps to inform and shape our decisions on how we move through the world and the impact certain factors may have.

Here is a quick run through by my favorite cram artist:


Shredding the Slopes?

Hello Friends!

This topic is not finalized, but I am hoping to to gather enough knowledge over the next few days to make decision. A big hobby of mine during the winter months is snowboarding. I have always had a deep passion for all aspects of the sport. There’s something about being entirely submersed in the most beautiful scenery and still getting an intense adrenaline rush that brings me back to the mountains every year. Although most people don’t actually study and understand the forces involved in snowboarding prior to going and doing it, there is so much math that can be seen on the slopes. You could be calculating how much speed you can generate based off of the steepness of the run, or even gauging how the force of gravity will effect you while you are in the air. There are certainly many forces that come in to play when snowboarding.

Even professional snowboarders who travel the world seeking the most surreal, almost impossible scenarios, to ride. In order for them to do this, there is a huge amount of research that must be done to assess these winter playgrounds to find the perfect run, route, or trail. I attached a video that might be able to show that in professional snowboarding there is zero margin for error. To make action sports films such as the one featured in the video, these riders really must know every inch of the run they are choosing because the forces involved are so extreme, one small mistake such as shifting your weight in the wrong direction could lead to a very serious fall. Also this video is in all aspects epic and shows how incredibly beautiful the world is!


So, I’m still feeling a bit lost with what topic I want to do my project on. Two of my biggest hobbies are crafting & cooking. With crafting, I don’t even know where I would begin or how I could relate math. As for cooking, I know a lot of math goes into it (measurements, ratios, temperatures) but I think it might be a bit too broad of a topic, so I’m not really sure of what direction I could go with it.

Another idea I have is to look at the math behind traffic. The other day I was sitting at a red light and the car in front of me took about 3 seconds to start moving after the light turned green, it made me wonder how this would effect the other cars waiting to go through the intersection, how many wouldn’t make that light now?

As you can see, I still have a lot of brainstorming to do. But I hope to settle on an idea soon!

Math and airplanes!

For my final I am going to be discussing airplanes what math is needed to make them work/fly.  I have always been amazed by planes since I was very little.  My dad has been an aviation mechanic for over 30 years and going to his work to visit him and constantly being surrounded by planes I fell in love with them.  So I thought for my final why not look more into planes and really see the math that is behind planes. It amazes me how a huge object can stay in the air for hours and hours.

Image result for how aircraft fly

There is more to planes than just the engine that can get the plane to fly. There is a lot of math that one needs to know how to get the plane to move, to go up in the air, to stay afloat and so on.

The Math Behind Victory

For my final, I would like to discuss some of the ways we can win games by using math. Sometimes, we can use math to cheat, and sometimes the only way to win the game is either by using math or having some crazy luck. Games I intended to discuss would be board games like monopoly or battleship. I was also thinking of discussing the game 2048, which is entirely about math and may be a bit too complicated to explain entirely, but I think I could show how we can use math to win, even if I can’t explain everything else in that game. For those of you who don’t know (or don’t remember), 2048 is a tile puzzle game, where the objective is to combine 2 of the same number tiles until you get a 2048 tile. It is an app, and it looks like this:

I was hoping to find a topic that was both interesting and useful, and this topic struck me as both.

The Symmetry in Sign Language

I found American Sign Language (ASL) about 6 years ago and absolutely fell in love with it. How the handshapes are formed to create words or sentences captivated my attention and made me want to learn more. I started taking classes when I was 13 and that has since led me to pursue a career in ASL interpreting here at UNHM.

Never would I have thought of combining ASL and math together. Before taking this class, I wouldn’t have paid much attention to how the two correlate. After discussing various topics thus far and then being asked to think about our final projects, my first thought was that I wanted to find a way to connect the two. Then symmetry patterns and translations popped into my head. I thought about how signs in ASL could be compared to wall-paper patterns with translations and chirality and the like. At first I was going to try to find how the speed at which some signs are signed and signed fluently relates to math. Then, I thought the symmetry portion would be a much more interesting path since we have already discussed it and I would be adding to it with hands and how they are used to form words or to express meaning. Who knows?!? Maybe I’ll find a way to discuss both!

(The sign for math in ASL is being shown here)

Probable Project

So, last year I wrote a thesis paper for leaving MCC. It wasn’t anything superb, but I felt as though it was both interesting and important. I wrote about memes. Or more so, memetics. Which probably sounds goofy as hell to write about. And to be honest, when I first started writing I wasn’t taking it too seriously. But I found out that the opposite is true. I read a book by Richard Dawkins titled the Selfish Gene. The book was originally published in the late 1970’s an focused on the idea of memetics. Memetics in a pre-digital age.

In the book he discusses a particular aspect of memetics. The aspect of memetic replication and how ideas thrive. Focusing on characteristics and traits in successful ideas and how they passed down from generation to generation without fading away. He focused on copying-fidelty, fecundity and longevity.

For my final project, I would like to correlate these three topics into mathematics. Particularly the idea of the three characteristics on online trending videos. And how certain things become viral in the only world. I want to explore statistics and back them up with the foundation of memetics.

I’m not sure if I can entirely do it. But I find it interesting nevertheless.


Are We Alone?

The above question has been questioned by humanity for the longest time. The probability that alien life exists outside of our solar system are astronomically high.

That doesn’t even compare to what extent humanity’s radio broadcasts to aliens are:

By the looks of it, humanity’s broadcasts haven’t traveled far at all, so who’s to say that alien life forms aren’t on the other side of the galaxy, or even in another galaxy all together?

If we assume there were only one alien civilization in each galaxy, then there will be approximately 100 billion alien civilizations in the universe.

If you couldn’t tell, my project will be on the probability of alien life existing somewhere in the universe.

The Origami Car?

I was captivated by the title of this video because I work with cars and enjoy them as my primary hobby, I was irritated when i realized that this project has nothing to do with origami and i’m quite sure they don’t even mention it in this video despite the title. Nonetheless I found this project very interesting and considering how often we discuss 3D printing and CAD I think this project would branch into our usual discussions. These two set out to build a complete to scale, functioning model of this sedan and they did just that. Using hundreds of laser cut pieces of cardboard, whose dimension where taken from CAD they stacked,layered and glued this car to together and it works! The model is sitting on a chassis with an electric motor and direct drive to a set of small wheels that are under the model.

Living Origami

Of the many complex and intriguing ways that origami is able to produce technological marvels for our society, there is one in particular that I find to be exciting because it really makes me think of Transformers: Tiny folding robots!

The above robot was introduced by MIT researchers a couple of years ago, and while it seems like a fun toy just to start out, this magnetically powered microbot shows the potential for how folding can create something that it even capable of self-destructing.

Note that this model is not in fact self-propelled – the researchers set up electro-magnets that they used from the outside to power and direct the little machine. But this shows the potential of a tiny robot that can get into places that would normally be hard to reach. Imagining swallowing one of these things to get that gum wad that you swallowed seven years ago.