Lecture April 3 to start Mathematics Awareness Month
A Shippensburg University mathematics professor will
present a lecture April 3 to kick-off Mathematics Awareness Month.
Doug Ensley, professor of mathematics, will present “Mathematics, Magic, and Mystery: Permutations and Invariance in
Card Tricks” at 3:30 p.m. in Dauphin
Humanities Center 151. His talk is free and open to the public.
The theme this year of Mathematics Awareness Month is “Mathematics,
Mystery” in honor of long-time science writer, amateur magician and mathematics
popularizer, Martin Gardner.
presentation will show how understanding mathematical properties of card
shuffling allows a magician to find order where the spectators expect disorder,
often to surprising effect. To this end we will illustrate basic properties of permutations
and the idea of invariance through some specific card tricks that anyone can do.
Ensley has been at Shippensburg since
1993. He earned his BS degree from the University of Alabama-Huntsville and his
Ph.D. in mathematics from Carnegie Mellon University. He has produced many
articles and presentations on the use of “recreational” mathematics to teach
serious mathematical concepts, including the publication of the textbook Discrete Mathematics: Mathematical Reasoning
and Proof with Puzzles, Patterns, and Games. That book was written with
fellow faculty member Dr. J. Winston Crawley.
has received three National Science Foundation grants to develop technology-based learning
materials, and his website, www.flashandmath.com, received the 2009 ICTCM Award
for Excellence and Innovation with the Use of Technology in Collegiate
For more information, contact at firstname.lastname@example.org.