BHSU Professor Daniel May Presents ‘The Joy of Set’ Geek Speak in Jonas Hall

David Steffen, Proofreader/ Fact Checker

Dr. Daniel May presented his Geek Speak, “The Joy of Set” in Jonas Hall 110 on Sept. 21 at 4 p.m. to a mixed group of 40 Black Hills State University students and Spearfish residents.     

“The Joy of Set: Inroads into Combinatorics and Finite Geometry” is about the geometry-based card game “Set”. Each of the 81 cards carries an object based on a “set-type” surrounding its shape, color, shade and number. The objective of the game is to spot and collect sets of cards. A set is a special collection of three cards where the object’s “set-types” are either all the same or all different. 

May began his Geek Speak by relating these facts on a Smart Board PowerPoint presentation. The audience both listened to May and engaged in conversation when they had questions.
“Set” cards were handed out to each table after the rules were explained. May gave each table enough time to play a game of “Set” as he moved through the room. May helped any group that had a question and made sure to strike up a conversation at each table.  

The earlier PowerPoint began again after the last card had been dealt. May explained how he could predict which one of the 81 cards had been left after the rest had been played. He also briefly mentioned his employment of “Set” in the “Bridge to Enter Advanced Mathematics” summer camp. 

May admitted that “Set” can be played competitively. He chose to underscore the competitiveness of the game in the hope to make it more of a learning experience.  

The night concluded with no further questions.