Graduate & Undergraduate Student Seminar (GAUSS)
Abstract: Is a burrito a sandwich? What about a pita pocket, a wrap, or a calzone? This talk will explore a year long debate held among graduate students concerning the nature of a sandwich. In a whimsical yet rigorous presentation, we will look at the process of using pure mathematics learned in class to answer questions where math doesn’t seem immediately applicable. Using basic topological concepts, including connectedness and homology, we will construct a mathematically sound definition of a sandwich and use this definition to answer a question that not even state courts can agree on. Note that this is a self-contained talk; no prior knowledge of topology is needed.