Fall 2023

Combinatorial Geometry: Packings and Polytopes

Listed in: Mathematics and Statistics, as MATH-256


Michael C. Ching (Section 01)


This course is a survey of geometry in dimensions 2, 3, 4, and higher. We will consider questions such as: How do we know the angles of a triangle add up to 180 degrees? (Spoiler: usually they don't.) What are the different ways we could tile our kitchen floor? How many tennis balls fit in a bucket? How many regular polyhedra are there in four dimensions? And what shape is the universe? We will examine how mathematicians and scientists, from Euclid to Einstein, have tried to give definitive answers to these questions, and we will explore some of what is still unknown about how the mathematical world reflects what we see around us.

Requisite: MATH 211 or instructor permission. Limited to 25 students. Fall semester. Professor Ching.

How to handle overenrollment: Priority to math majors.

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Problem sets, in-class quizzes or exams, take-home exams, in-class group work.

MATH 256 - LEC

Section 01
Tu 11:30 AM - 12:50 PM SMUD 204
Th 11:30 AM - 12:50 PM SMUD 204


Other years: Offered in Fall 2023