Spring Breakthrough is a risk-free opportunity for first- and second-year students to explore their intellectual interests. For five days during spring break (March 12-16, 2017), they can participate in a mini-seminar designed to be intellectually stimulating and fun. These courses have no prerequisites, no grade or credit (but will be recorded on transcripts), and no fees. Eleven courses will be offered in a range of topics. Registration begins November 7. (https://undergrad.duke.edu/programs/spring-breakthrough)

Anita T. Layton, Robert R. & Katherine B. Penn Professor of Mathematics and Professor of Biomedical Engineering, will be teaching a course titled “Mathematics, As Seen On TV.” She plans to share popcorn and explore the role that mathematics plays in TV shows such as Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead. They will discuss questions such as: What can game theory tells us about the alliance between the houses of Stark and Baratheon? And how can you survive a zombie attack using differential equations? This course is designed for students who are, or will likely be, non-quantitative science majors but who nonetheless like to have fun with numbers and love TV of all sorts.

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