Math for Liberal Arts Poster Presentation

Students in Math for the Liberal Arts, a class that focuses on students who do not major in a science, recently presented posters that displayed math in interesting ways, from how the Allied Forces cracked a German WWII encryption code to formulas that will better your odds of winning blackjack or a game show. “I use the poster demonstration as a way to show this class that math is everywhere,” says Mathematics and Computer Science Instructor Rosemarie Wait. “The fact that they have to choose their own topic and create a visual representation of how the math is used gives them the opportunity to see math and how it can apply to their specific major,” says Wait. Some of the posters are featured below.

German WWII Enigma MachineGerman WWII Enigma Machine
“Our project describes the importance and complexity of German communications during WWII and how the cracking of the enigma code gave the Allied forces a substantial advantage in military planning. The code was very complex with many possible combinations, and it took many great, European Mathematicians years to decipher the basic formula.”
Jerry Gares, History, 2014
John Schroeder, History, 2015

Victoria's Secret (Golden Ratio)Victoria’s Secret (Golden Ratio)
“My partner [Sam Salomon, 2015] and I examined the measurements of the faces of Victoria’s Secret models. We used the golden ratio to see who had a face closest to ‘perfect,’ then compared it to their salaries to see if there was a correlation.”
[This project was related to Business and Economics Professor Jennifer VanGilder’s research on the facial symmetry of NFL starters.]
Sofia Gallicchio
Media & Communication Studies, 2014

The Make Up of MakeupThe Make Up of Makeup
“We surveyed 15 to 25 women…and found the top three brands [of makeup they use] and the top three chemicals that exist in those brands. We asked how often they reapply throughout the day, how often they buy makeup, and how many days a week they wear it. We made pie charts that illustrate how often these chemicals are being purchased and put on their faces.”
Bethany Mitchell
Media & Communication Studies and Dance, 2016
Dorinda Ma, English, 2016

“Our project consisted of different forms of probability relating to blackjack. Blackjack is a game of, if you’re quick enough, narrowing down the probability of what the next card drawn will be. Blackjack is also a great way of demonstrating probability through the use of several decks of cards in order to make the chances harder and the rewards larger.”
Russell Inverso, Humanities, 2016
Michael Bolte, Undecided, 2016

That's What Makes You MusicalThat’s What Makes You Musical
“Our project focused on pop music and the secret to making a catchy song (or why it feels like pop music is everywhere). We found that some of the most popular songs of 2012 had a similar measurement of beats per minute. When we averaged the numbers together and divided them by 60, we find the beat per second. We concluded that catchy pop songs have about the same beat; which is what makes them all sound the same.”
Drew Capone, History, 2016
Moira Kisch, Psychology, 2016
Elspeth Sarro, Religious Studies and French, 2016

Dance and MathDance and Math
“For our project we couldn’t decide between dance and math so we decided to incorporate both. We explained how to count music when engaged in dance. We measured the positions of ballet foot placement as well as located the angles and degrees throughout the body.”
La’Shante Cox, Psychology and Dance, 2016
Gemma Foley, Undecided, 2016

What W.A.R. Is Good For (in Baseball)What W.A.R. Is Good For (in Baseball)
“Our poster broke down the math behind the calculation of W.A.R. for a pitcher. W.A.R. is an acronym for wins above replacement or in other words how valuable a player is to his team.“
Mike Elberson, History, 2015|
Greg Fontaina, Business, 2013

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