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Ruler-and-compass vs origami high school workshop

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Event description

International Day of Mathematics "Pi Day" workshop

In this workshop we'll explore the ancient Greek mathematician Euclid's ruler-and-compass constructions, and their mysteries that stumped mathematicians for millennia: trisecting angles and squaring circles.

We'll compare the ruler and compass method of construction to the Japanese art of paper folding—also known as origami—and see which one can achieve more! Can you origami-trisect an angle? Can you origami-square a circle?

The answers are rooted in the concept of "field extensions", discovered by 19th century mathematician Evariste Galois, who died at age 19 in a duel: you may have heard about him in our 2023 public lecture.

This event will be presented by University of Sydney mathematician Zsuzsanna Dancso from the School of Mathematics and Statistic's Algebra Group.

Who should attend this workshop? High-school students in Sydney who are studying maths. Considering taking higher level mathematics next year or at University? Come along!

What to bring: A ruler and a compass

Where will the workshop take place? The workshop will be held in the Law Annex Seminar Room 342 in the University of Sydney's Camperdown campus. The location will be sent to attendees via email. Please make sure we have your contact details.

Important info: Supervising staff have valid Working With Children Checks. Snacks will be served (fruit or individually-wrapped with ingredients listed), please inform of any allergies or dietary requirements.

About the presenterZsuzsanna Dancso is Associate Professor of Mathematics at the University in Sydney. She grew up in Hungary, and completed her PhD in mathematics at the University of Toronto in Canada, before moving to Australia. Zsuzsanna came to love Euclidean geometry in high school, and she was fascinated to learn about the deep algebra beneath "unsolvable" construction problems in university.

Her research today focuses on knot theory, where she applies algebraic tools to reveal the intricate structure of knots. She teaches university courses at all levels and enjoys sharing her enthusiasm for maths with diverse audiences. She's been featured in a series of Numberphile videos, which you can watch on YouTube.

If you like the sound of this workshop, come along to our fold-and-cut theorem workshop on Tuesday afternoon (12 March).

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