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May 2, 2014
CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine

Math Club creates 125th event T-shirt


You can count Slippery Rock University Math Club members among the biggest supporters of the University's yearlong celebration of its 125th anniversary.

Students designed a Math Club 125th anniversary T-shirt that displays a complicated expression that simplifies to 125. Students said the green shirt with yellow lettering is expected to arrive in May.

"The Math Club does a different design each year for a shirt, so as president, I approached the [executive] board and several math majors and the idea for a 125th shirt came about," said Brett Brown, a math major from Hopewell who serves as club president.

The club, which includes 20 students, bought the first round of shirts.

"As a club, we discussed about buying a few extras for people who come next year to talk to the math club and maybe a few for other important people on campus," Brown said.

Brown said the club organized a contest to see who could come up with the best mathematical way to express 125. Alex Maben, a math major from Limestone, N.Y., and club vice president, won.

"Having my design chosen was great," he said. "It showcases a lot of techniques. Although the expression is quite simple to solve, it doesn't appear to be trivial."

The expression involves a radical, an intregal, a series, some trigonometry and a bit of modular arithmetic.

"Inside the radical, I started by finding some fun ways to represent 125," Maben said. "Turns out that 44^2 + 117^2 = 125^2. Also within the expression is the year 2014, also another landmark for the shirt."

Maben said the T-shirt is a great way to promote the anniversary celebration and awareness of mathematics studies.

"Hopefully with the T-shirt floating around campus, the Math Club will have a few more faces at the meetings."

The Math Club gives students opportunity to hear what professors and students are working on, gaining insight into trends. They discover mathematics they won't see in classes, learn about career options and have fun with like-minded math geeks.

Math faculty Robert Vallin and Jeffrey Forrest serve as club advisers.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.