Welcome to the home page of the Mathematics Graduate Student Organization (MGSO) at Texas A&M University in College Station. The purpose of this organization is to encourage communication among students, faculty, and staff, and contribute to a rich social life in the department through cultural and scientific dialogue. We would also like to provide an environment where students in the mathematics department can practice their presentation skills as well as view the techniques of others. It is our goal to be a source of support and information for all graduate students.
The main activity of the MGSO is the Graduate Student Seminar. This seminar is for grad students, (largely) by grad students: Volunteer to give a talk!
Seminar: Spring 2015, Thursdays, Blocker 506A, 4:00-4:50 PM
-- Spring 2015 Visiting Students Weekend--
Speaker: Kaitlyn Phillipson
Title: A History of Sylvester's Four Point Problem
Time / Date: 5:00 - 6:30 BLOC 220 , February 27
What is the probability that four points taken at random in the plane will form a convex quadrilateral?
Sylvester posed this problem in the Educational Times in 1864. He believed the the correct answer was 3/4; however, he was surprised to find that there were a variety of different answers with equally valid arguments. These disagreements led to a spirited discussion of what ``at random in the plane'' should mean and helped to motivate the development of geometric probability theory. In this talk, I will discuss the history of Sylvester's Four Point Problem, the theorem that arose from it (with some of the pretty mathematical tools used to prove it), and generalizations of Sylvester's Four Point Problem.