MATC Mathematics Club
Lecture #75

Madison Area Technical College
Madison, Wisconsin


Spring 2008 Presentation #75 (Wednesday, September 17, 2008)
byProfessor Marty Isaacs, UW-Madison

Previous Lectures: (Dirty Children, Unfaithful Husbands, and Similar Problems) , (Triangular Miracles)

"Soccer Balls, Pentagons and Euler"

Abstract: A soccer ball is essentially a sphere covered with pentagons and hexagons, arranged in such a way that three of these polygons meet at each corner. We will see in this talk that whenever a sphere is covered by pentagons and hexagons in that way, there must be exacty 12 pentagons. This depends on a beautiful formula of Euler, which we will derive.

Biography: Professor Isaacs received his Ph.D from Harvard University and has held visiting positions at UC Berkeley, Oxford, Australian National University, University of Essen (Germany), University of Valencia (Spain). He is the author of three books and over 125 research papers. He has been a recipient of a Sloan Research Fellowship, the UW Teaching Award, the Mathematical Association of America (WI) Teaching Award, and the UW- School of Engineering Teaching Award.


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