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Math Horizons - April 2005

Content Teasers for April 2005

Knot Divided
Stan Wagon & Carlo Séquin 
A frozen tribute to topology. See this year's snow sculpture entry for Team Minnesota---a triply-twisted and knotted Möbius band.


A Mathematical Model to Predict Award Winners  article available online
Rebecca L. Sparks & David Abrahamson
Is it possible to look at the information for each candidate and combine it in such a way that we an predict how the voters will rank the candidates? For the Cy Young Award, the answer appears to be yes.


Chance Encounters: Sporting Chances
Mark Schilling
For soccer fans and baseball conspiracy theorists. Can anything be done to decrease the number of soccer games ending in ties?  Are the number of seven-game World Series statistically significant?


One, Two, Three, ...Jump: A Model of the Long Jump and Other Field Events
Alan Levine
Explore the mathematical implications for the "best-of-three" scoring systems commonly used in track and field competitions. Victory may favor higher variance over consistent performance.


Graphic Violence
Dale Hathaway
Don't believe everything you read in the paper, especially the graphics. Just because the information conveyed by a graph will often be remembered  long after the rest of the article is forgotten, should it be?


Spotlight: Mathematics Advanced Study Semesters
Serge Tabachnikov
Go "abroad" in the United States by attending this mathematically intense semester at the University of Pennsylvania.


Alumni Profiles: Colorado State University-Pueblo
Hortensia Soto-Johnson
Math Horizons interviews four CSU-Pueblo students: Michael Armijo-Wolfe, multimedia specialist for Booz Allen Hamilton Inc.; Cheri (Brown) Armstrong, analytical chemist for Earth Tech; Mark Main, software engineer for Lockheed Martin; and Leslie (Straayer) Varys, lecture at Colorado University in Denver. 


Can You Beat the Odds(makers)?
John A. Trono
Mathematical methods to predict the outcomes of sporting events.


Book Reviews
Ché Smith & Michael Flake
Read reviews of Teaching Statistics Using Baseball by Jim Albert and How to Win More: Strategies for Increasing a Lottery Win by Norbert Henze and Hans Riedwyl.


Math in The Real World: Mathematical Moments from Reality Television
Mark MacLean
Mathematical knowledge could have given the edge to contestants on Survivor, The Mole, or Real World/Road Rules Battle of the Season.


Cardano and the Case of the Cubic
Jeff Adams
The fictional account of a mathematical detective.


Problem Section
Andy Liu


Playing with Matches
Eric Libicki
 A puzzle matching vocabulary shared by mathematics and sports.  Both the puzzle and solution are available.