Towards the 4-D Honeycomb: Thursday, November 02

6 p.m. in Bowman 205. Pizza and drinks will be served.

Abstract: The honeycomb is an incredible natural structure that exhibits many intriguing mathematical properties. For instance, if you took a slice of the honeycomb you would see hexagonal cells, which for a given amount of area is the most cost-effective shape that slots together to fill space. In other words, hexagons tile the plane and do so with the least perimeter; that is why bees love them! Now the question arises, what does a 3-D chunk of a 4-D honeycomb look like? What shape tiles space with the least amount of surface area? We make progress in answering this question by proving the first non-trivial case for a 3-D solid and show the best tetrahedron (pyramid with a triangular base) that tiles space.

About the lecturer: Arjun Kakkar is a senior math major at Williams College and an international student from New Delhi, India. Driven by his passion for the application of math in a wide variety of fields he has worked as a consultant, a quantitative analyst and a researcher in mathematics. His research interests include geometry, mathematical modeling and computational techniques for problem-solving. For his senior thesis in mathematics, he is working on modeling of vegetation patterns in semi-arid regions under the  guidance of Professor Chad Topaz, Williams College.

Flyer: Kakkar_Flyer