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New mathematics professor gives MCSP lecture on probability and dice


Morgan Minyard

Staff Writer

Dr. Hannah Robbins is a new professor of mathematics here at RC. She graduated from Reed College in Oregon before obtaining her doctorate at Michigan State University. On Sept 27, Dr. Robbins gave her  lecture on “Crazy Dice” in the Massengill auditorium for the Math Computer Science and Physics Conversation Series.

Many students attended Dr. Robbin’s lecture. It was the most crowded MCSP Conversation Series presentation most had ever been to and the auditorium filled up fast. It was the first presentation of this year’s series and many were eager to discover what the series are about. To most students these presentations are not new because they have attended previous series lectures before and know what to expect; although each subject topic for each stalk is always different. For freshmen and transfer students these conversations are something new.

Dr. Robbins’ presentation goal was to show students how to find another pair of dice with the same sums with a number of different ways to get them. For example: if you rolled two dice at once and got a 2 and a 9 there is only one way to get the number 2 if you only roll two dice once and only 4 ways to get the number 9 if you only roll the two dice once.

She taught the students about three certain requirements, or rules, that she had developed for this procedure. The first rule was that each side has to have the same number of dots. Secondly, you must stick with an integer number of dots, and thirdly there must be a positive number of dots. There were also many other small little notes along the way as well, but these were the main points.

After Dr. Robbins did countless equations, she finally reached her conclusion and proved her method to be successful. She reached the conclusion, that if you were to use one die numbered: 8, 6, 5, 4, 3, 1 and the other die numbered: 4, 3, 3, 2, 2, 1 you will get the same results as if you were to use two normal dice.

Students were able to gain knowledge of something they had previousoy been unawre of.

“The presentation started off interesting and engaging but towards the middle she lost me because of all the equations. She did a good job though,” said Anonymous.

“I am a math major and I found the entire process hard to understand. Good for her for figuring out how to do this,” said a Mathematics Major ‘13.

Overall, Dr. Robins was extremely enthusiastic and knowledgeable about her topic. Students look forward to getting to know her better in the future and are excited to see what she has to talk about next.