Day Three

Day three of Sigma Camp saw new friendships form and exciting opportunities present themselves. After breakfast, the campers were able to choose between several exciting lectures: Stony Brook professor Helmut Strey spoke about the "Maker revolution" and startups, Dima Kozakov from Boston University introduced the campers to protein structure, Nikita Nekrasov from the Simons Center at Stony Brook talked about mathematical models of reality and their significance, and, finally, Sasha Abanov from Stony Brook gave a lecture on the Quantum Hall effect.

The lectures were well presented and allowed campers to choose from ones with advanced mathematical concepts to those that did not need any specific prerequisites and generally got great reviews.

After a lunch of tacos, Danya Lukin amazed campers with his experiment of the day: melting nails in two or three seconds using a transformer. A crowd gathered outside the dining hall and cheered him on.

Following the second semilab was day two of the Sigma tournament. This team event brings out the best of the campers' competitive spirit. Each team chooses a five person crew that represents them, but those on the sidelines can participate as well. When a team has solved a problem, they "claim" it and send a member up to the board to present a solution. The opposing team has a chance to question the solution presented, find errors, and give their own solution if needed. Even those on the sidelines can participate: their solved problems can be handed in and often decide the result of a match.

After dinner, campers had a chance to choose between a variety of fantastic workshops. Mark Lukin repeated a perennial favorite: creating beautiful flowers out of test tubes through the art of glass blowing. Another Marc, who insists on spelling his name with a "c", had a very popular workshop on juggling. Not only did campers learn how to juggle three balls in under an hour, they got a presentation on the fascinating mathematics of juggling and the history of juggler-mathematicians. In the soccer field, other campers launched a soda pop rocket.

The long day concluded with evening club favorites including Danya and Jessica's popular West Coast Swing class and Yuri Salkinder's brain ring. Brain Ring is a trivia game based on a popular Russian TV Quiz Show. The teams get questions that can be solved through knowledge or just clever thinking. One of the camper teams managed to tie a team of all Staff -- an impressive performance.

All in all, day three went very well. By night time the campers were relatively tired -- an astonishing feat -- and seemed to feel well at home.