Math Portion
Summer 2006

College of Science
Math Department
Nick Korevaar's home page

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Nick Korevaar
Meagan McNulty
Erin Chamberlain
Rosemary Gray
Irene Hacke

JULY 3-7, 2006

     Welcome back to Math! The week 1 schedule now lives at week1.html Our themes for this week are scaling laws in nature, and fractal geometry. Our tentative schedule is shown below. It may change as the week progresses. A current version of this schedule lives at
     As part of your project work this week, you will be testing the "Body Mass Index" hypothesis, that human body weights should scale like the square of their heights, for people of proportional size. To run this experiment we need lots of height-weight data, which you shall collect from family and friends. I'll need this data from you by this Thursday July 6, at the latest. Please record weight in pounds and height in inches, (or feet and inches). We will especially need data from babies and children.

Monday July 3
8:30 a.m.-10:45 a.m.
JTB 120
Geometric scaling: how to rescale space and gingerBob with affine transformations.
Class notes: part1-scaling.pdf, parts23-affinemaps.pdf.
11 a.m. - noon
LCB 323
Megan Morris, entering ACCESS class of 2003, will talk about her undergraduate research experiences in Math and Bioengineering, her double major areas. Megan has co-written a paper about "A Network Model for Fluid Transport through Sea Ice", with Math Professors Jingyi Zhu and Ken Golden. This summer she's in Chicago mostly, working on a bioengineering REU.

Tuesday July 4 Enjoy your Independence Day holiday!

Wednesday July 5
LCB 323
What are fractals, how can they have a fractional dimension, and how can you turn Bob into one using iterated function systems?
Class notes: part4-fractals.pdf, part5-fractals.pdf.
LCB 323
Math class advising and FREE LUNCH with Angie Gardiner, our Director of Undergraduate Services, and early ACCESS graduate, doing the advising; sandwiches from "Skool Lunch."

Thursday July 6:
8:30-10:10 a.m.
PC-Lab 1735
Making your own fractals with Maple, part of your group project for this week. Use the files in the directory fractals.
LCB 323
"What if Animals were Fractals?", a presentation by Meagan McNulty. A reference for Meagan's talk is "A General Model for the Origin of Allometric Scaling Laws in Biology", G.B. West, J.H. Brown, and B.J. Enquist, "Science Magazine" 276 4/7/97 p. 122-125,

Friday July 7:
PC-Lab 1735
Testing the body mass index hypothesis with the data you have collected: For people of equal fatness or skinniness, is weight roughly proportional to the square of height, should there be a different power law, or is there no good power law? Erin will begin by explaining the mathematics behind finding "best line" fits to data. Nick will go through the file bmi.mws  ( bmi.pdf), which reviews Meagan's discussion about finding power laws from best-line fits of ln-ln data. It then applies these ideas to some national height-weight data. After this discussion you will use the rest of the morning working on your group projects, assignment2.pdf. The height-weight data you all collected is in the file htwts.mws