Million Dollar Math Problems

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photo by Shahla Rashid

In 1993, the Hardest Math Problem in the world, according to Guinness Book of World’s Records, was solved after over 200 years. Math professor Andrew Wiles had worked on it secretly because most mathematicians thought it impossible to solve. It took years of work, but he won $750,000 in prizes for solving the problem – which he had first tried to solve when he was 10 years old.

There are more math problems with big prizes attached. In 2000, Seven Millennium Prize Problems were chosen, with a one million dollar prize for each. One was solved in 2002, although the winner turned down the prize money. The satisfaction of proving the problem was enough reward, he said.

That leaves 6 big-ticket prizes for six big problems.

What kind of math problems could be worth $1,000,000 dollars?

It’s not the math you learn in school. Elementary school and middle school math is over 1,000 years old. Even high school math is hundreds of years old. Imagine if our study of art, literature and history stopped at pictures of people in wigs, English with “Thee” and “thou,” and the American Revolution. Or if you were told you need to learn to play music and sports because they’ll be important later in life, but were not allowed to play or spectate music or games, only do scales and repetitive drills. Most school math is drills and scales and rules. Millennium Problem math is music and games, making your own rules.

Mathematicians say their subject is creative, playful, and elegant. It makes and breaks rules, explains patterns, reveals unseen connections.

Find out how Math went thousands of years without numbers.

Learn how not to be tricked by people who know more math than you.

Understand more about probability and how to win at dice and cards.

Stretch your mind around hyperspace and multi-dimensional worlds.

Wonder whether you could solve a Million Dollar Math Problem

Bridget Frederick reads at Sugar! Salon December 9, 2017

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Join us Saturday, December 9th for our monthly community storytelling night.

Bridget Frederick, reads Better Off

Did you have a best friend when you were young? This is a story about finding love when love is hard to find. Bridget has written and performed 8 solo shows. She is the co-founder and producer of the hit storytelling series Tell It on Tuesday, now in its 12th year at The Marsh, Berkeley. Tell It on Tuesday celebrates the expression of individual voices by promoting the art of storytelling and solo performance.

As ever, there will be playful literary exercises and yummy snacks. Have some treats, listen, create and connect!

Door opens for drinks and snacks 7:00, reading 7:30 (Suggested donation: $20)

headquarters gallery: 2302 Roosevelt Ave, Berkeley (at Bancroft)

http://www.hqstudio.org

questions: sharoneberhardt(at)yahoo.com

Rebecca Black at Sugar! at Headquarters

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We hope you’ll join us this Saturday for our monthly community storytelling night.

Rebecca Black, poet and professor
Reading from Archival Reel, a documentary long poem that unfolds over six months in Georgia, 1962. Originally from Albany, Georgia, Rebecca now lives in Albany, California, where she is the city’s poet laureate. Her first book, Cottonlandia, won a Juniper prize.

As ever, there will be playful literary exercises, and yummy snacks. Be ready to have some treats, listen, create and connect!

Door opens for drinks and snacks 7:00, reading 7:30 (Suggested donation: $10)

headquarters gallery: 2302 Bancroft Ave, Berkeley (at McGee)

http://www.hqstudio.org

questions: sharoneberhardt(at)yahoo.com

Kenny Yun at Sugar! Storytelling at Headquarters Gallery October 14, 2017

 

Please join us as we welcome Kenny Yun for the start of our fall Sugar! Season.

Kenny writes and performs comedic solo shows with passionate characters and heart filled stories. He’ll be reading an excerpt of his work, Mom Spilled Her Guts on My Tater Tots.

A new immigrant family story with a twist! Oh no, mom is starting again. I want to eat my tater tots in peace. Kenny’s Solo shows include “Lettuce Town Lies, about growing up in Salinas, CA, and “The Kim Jung IL Experience.”

He is an assistant teacher and director for Charlie Varon’s solo performance workshop at The Marsh theater in the Bay Area.

“Best Solo Show” –Bay Area Reporter “Supreme Laughs” –SF Chronicle “Funny yet poignant” –SF Examiner

More info here:
http://kennyyun.com/MG_3115-Edit-Edit-Edit-Edit-Edit-e1465065348414

https://www.facebook.com/events/1008186439321356/

 

I love this bike

20170924_171929I love this bike. Like most great relationships, I don’t feel worthy of it. It’s sleek, strong, well-designed, a bike I have no business owning.

The bike may be thirty years old. I got it almost that many years ago. One summer home from college, my brother’s friend, Tim, a drummer who worked at a bike shop, was moving in with his girlfriend. She said some bikes had to go. So my brother “bought” my standard Ross 10-speed from me, gave his friend that money, and I gave a measly sum saved from work-study jobs and babysitting.

He said the bike was one of the first 3 pound aluminum frames made, that he’d fitted it with top-of-the-line Dura Ace brakes, other Campagnolo and Shimano parts. Names I knew from when my sister and I briefly got Bicycling magazine and we built up to riding a century, me on my Ross and she on her Schwinn. She and I didn’t really “know” bikes. We just spent summer days riding – 50 miles round trip to the Charlaps dairy store for ice cream, other long rides on Buffalo’s mostly flat roads, me sometimes falling when I got distracted and went off the road. No real injuries. One time, a nice lady who thought she’d made me crash gave me a ride home in the back of her pickup truck.

This bike felt so different– each revolution of the pedals pushing it forward in a glide, no energy wasted, but seemingly amplified. So easy to ride. The bike didn’t care that I’m really a bad cyclist. Lost in my thoughts, I half-notice I’m pushing harder, but do not connect that I ought to change gears for the hill until I’m almost at the top, and totally straining, off my saddle, or sometimes embarrassingly out of power, wobbling to a stop.

The bike went to New York under a Greyhound bus. It’s so light, I could easily carry it up and down stairs to dorm rooms and summer sublets. I rode from downtown Morningside Heights to movies, to plays. Locked the bike, or took it indoors when I could.

One amazing night of theater, ushering the Wooster Group – Ron Vawter in Three Sisters, I was so torn, knowing my bike was locked to scaffolding outside. I skipped the last act, finally giving in to fear that the bike would be stolen. I’ll always be sad I missed end of the play, but happy I still have to bike.

In graduate school, I moved further uptown to Inwood — Dyckman St, then 215th, sometimes running, sometimes biking to my job and classes, carrying the bike upstairs to the office where I worked. Once, I locked the bike outside on campus, next to 10 other bikes, and came out after ten minutes to find the rear wheel gone. No other bike touched. The guy at the bike shop said “they knew what they had.”

This bike took me on an all-night bike ride with some guy whose name I can’t recall. And the bike made it so easy, I had energy to do a big marathon training run the next day. It went along the route of the old Croton Harmon Reservoir – not recommended for road bikes, I’ll say, and did 5 Borough Bike Tours, NYC Centuries, some trips to NJ and back, with another guy, who I married.

None of these trips meant I had learned to ride well. Luckily, New York and environs are not too hilly. Only Wave Hill in Riverdale showed me for the totally unskilled rider I am.

The bike came west, and sat in the garage for many years, coming out rarely, till this year I started riding regularly again to prepare for a sprint triathlon. The man at the bike shop looked it over, and kept saying all the things I ought to change to bring it up to modern ideas of gearing, alternating with “but it’s a beautiful bike.” I haven’t made the changes yet because it’s still more bike than I deserve and “It’s a beautiful bike.”