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Local STEM Event

How to Use Geometry to Get Rich Playing the Lottery*

Who: Jordan Ellenberg, University of Wisconsin at Madison
When: 7:00 P.M., Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Where: 2-650 Moos Tower
515 Delaware St SE
East Bank, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

For seven years, a group of students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology exploited a loophole in the Massachusetts State Lottery’s Cash WinFall to win game after game, eventually pocketing more than $3 million. Jordan Ellenberg will talk about how they did it, why they got away with it, the mathematical notions of expected value and variance, and the surprising relationship of all this with projective geometry.

Ellenberg is the author of the New York Times bestseller How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking and the novel The Grasshopper King. Both books will be available for purchase and signing at the lecture.

*Sadly, will not actually help you get rich playing the lottery.

This event is free and open to the public. The IMA Public Lecture Series features distinguished mathematicians and scientists who illuminate the role of mathematics in understanding our world and shaping our lives. The purpose of these talks is to give the public a better understanding about how contemporary mathematical ideas are applied to important technological and scientific problems, conveying the significance and excitement of these applications. These engaging and informative lectures are designed for a broad audience, appropriate for middle-school students and older. This well-established series regularly draws diverse audiences of several hundred people. For additional information, please call (612) 624-6066 or download the event PDF.