2013-14 Academic Year Colloquium Schedule
September 5, 2013
Title: | Planning for Graduate Study in Mathematics and Computer Science |
Speaker: | David A. Reimann Professor Mathematics and Computer Science Albion College Albion, Michigan |
Abstract: | A degree in mathematics or computer science is excellent preparation for graduate school in areas such as mathematics, statistics, computer science, engineering, finance, and law. Come learn about graduate school and options you will have to further your education after graduation. |
Location: | Palenske 227 |
Time: | 3:30 PM |
Citation | Click for BibTeX citation |
October 3, 2013
Title: | What is the Point of Algebraic Geometry? A variety of Examples |
Speaker: | David C. Murphy Associate Professor Dept. of Mathematics and Computer Science Hillsdale College Hilldale Michigan |
Abstract: | Algebraic geometry has been at the corner of much of mathematics for hundreds of years. Its applications range from number theory to modern phyiscs. Yet, it begins quite humbly with the study of conic sections: circles, ellipsys, hyperbolas, and parabolas. What is algebraic geometry and how did it grwo beyond the scope of these familiar curves to become one of the most important branches of methematics today? |
Location: | Palenske 227 |
Time: | 3:30 PM |
October 10, 2013
Title: |
Mathematics and Fiber Arts: Some Intersections |
Speaker: |
Norma J. Taber |
Abstract: | Color, texture, pattern - there's more than first meets the eye in my crocheting. Come for a hands-on experience and new insights into finding mathematics in unlikely objects and expressing math concepts in artful ways. Invite your knitting and crocheting friends, bring someone who claims "I can't do math," attend with a classmate who thinks math is too abstract to be interesting, bring along that education major or art student. Build a bridge between math and their world: enjoy this event together. |
Location: | Palenske 227 |
Time: | 3:30 PM |
October 17, 2013
Title: |
Pizza & Pamphlets |
Speaker: | Pizza & Pamphlets is the event where the Mathematics and Computer Science Department provides information about spring courses in Mathematics and Computer Science. All Math majors/minors, Computer Science minors, Math/Physics majors, Math/Econ majors, prospective majors and friends of the department are invited to join us. |
Abstract: | Bring your friends, your questions and your schedule. We will also provide pizza and pop! |
Location: | Palenske 227 |
Time: | 3:30 PM |
October 31, 2013
Title: |
EY - Intro to Data Analytics: Using Analytics to Build a Better Working World |
Speaker: |
Aaron Croad, '12 and Dennis O'Dowd, '13 |
Abstract: | We live in an era where there has never been greater access to information. Being able to sift through and analyze this information to understand what is "noise" and what can actually lead to valuable insights has become a highly demanded commodity. In turn, so to have Data Analysts. For profit-seeking companies, the realization of business objectives through reporting of data to analyze trends, creating predictive models for forecasting and optimizing business processes for enhanced performance has become pivotal for sustainable success. In this talk, we will provide an introduction to data analytics and we will review how our employer, EY, uses data anayltics to build a better working world. |
Location: | Palenske 227 |
Time: | 3:30 PM |
November 7, 2013
Title: |
Ford Circles, Euclidean Rings, and Graph Coloring |
Speaker: |
Lon Mitchell |
Abstract: | A research problem concerning the Colin de Verdiere number of a graph recently led me on a journey that provides a great example of the interconnected nature of mathematics. We'll take a relaxing cruise through some of the topics involoved, including ideas from Analysis, Algebra, Geometry, and Graph Theory, see how they all fit together, and talk about some of the mysteries that remain. Only knowledge of arithmetic is needed. |
Location: | Palenske 227 |
Time: | 3:30 PM |
November 14, 2013
Title: |
Serious Game Design - Using Games to Make the World a Better Place |
Speaker: |
Culver Redd, '11 |
Abstract: | While games are ordinarily thought of as a means for entertainment and distraction, they are also inherently useful to accomplish all manner of other purposes. Among other thigns, games-both digital and physical-can be used to teach, modify behaviors, infulence opinions, and improve physical and mental health. I will share some of the major heuristics that are useful in designing games for "serious" purposes, as well more general knowledge of game design and the game industry. Additionally, I will share my experiences as a graduate student in the serious game design MA program at Michigan State University. |
Location: | Palenske 227 |
Time: | 3:30 PM |
November 21, 2013
Title: | Adjusting Child Support Payments in Michigan |
Speaker: | Michael A. Jones Associate Editor Mathematical Reviews Ann Arbor, MI |
Abstract: | Michigan uses an unusual formula in the calculation of child support payments. For divorced parents in Michigan, the base monetary support each parent is expected to contribute to raising their child is adjusted according to the number of (over)nights spent with the parents. Curiously, this adjustment is based on a rational polynomial function parameterized by k that describes the amount of money that A must pay B, where B must pay A if the result is negative. In the 2004 Michigan Child Support Formula Manual, k=2, meaning the polynomials are quadratic; while k=3 (for cubic polynomials) in both the 2008 and 2013 editions. In this talk, we will brainstorm and collaborate in using calculus to examine this function, explain the effect of changing k, and point out an alternative form that stretches and translates a simpler function. This talk is based on joint work with Jennifer Wilson (New School University, NY). |
Location: | Palenske 227 |
Time: | 3:30 PM |
February 6, 2014
Title: | From Waster to Biogas - Insight through Mathematical Modeling |
Speaker: | Marion Weedermann Chair, Dir. of Joint Engineering Porgram with IIT Dept of Mathematics Dominican University |
Abstract: | Anaerobic digestion is a biochemical process in which organic matter is broken down to biogas and various byproducts in a oxygen-free environment. When used in waste treatment facilities, the biogas i scaptured before it excapes into the atmosphere. It can then be used as renewable energy either by combusting the gas to produce electrical energy or by extracting the methane and using it as a natural gas fuel. In industrial applications anaerobic digestion appears to be difficutl to control and reactors often experience break-down resulting in little or no biogas production. In this talk we describe a model for anaerobic digestion and illustarte how qualitative and numberical analysis give guidelines for how to control the system to (1) stablize and (2) optimize biogas production. At the same time the model explains various possible pitfalls in industial installations. |
Location: | Palenske 227 |
Time: | 3:30 PM |
February 13, 2014
Title: | Bernoulli Numbers and Polynomials |
Speaker: | David Gaebler Assistant Professor Mathematics Hillsdale College Mathematics Dept. Hillsdale, MI |
Abstract: | Question: What do sums of powers have to do with approximations of factorials? Answer: Integration by parts. No, really? In this talk we will see how a clever use of standard calculus techniques leads to the Euler-Maclaurin formula, a powerful way of connecting sums to integrals, and how this formula solves several classic problems. |
Location: | Palenske 227 |
Time: | 3:30 PM |
March 3, 2014
Title: | What exactly is half a derivative anyway? |
Speaker: |
William R. Green, '05 |
Abstract: | The Theory of differentiation is well-known to any student who has taken calculus. However, it make sense of a non-integer order derivative takes considerable more work. Tools are needed from complex analysis, harmonic analysis and linear algebra to understand a half derivative. In this talk, we will begin by investigating what it means to take the square root of a matrix, and viewing a derivatie as a "really large matrix" we can begin to make sense of a half derivative. With these simple tools, we can make sense of even crazier object such as derivatives of imaginary order! |
Location: | Palenske 227 |
Time: | 3:30 PM |
March 6, 2014
Title: | Partial Geometries and Strongly Regular Graphs: Connections and Questions |
Speaker: | Ellen Kamischke Teacher Assistant, Mathematics Michigan Technological University Houghton, MI |
Abstract: | Partial geometries were first described in 1963 by R.C. Bose. They are finite point line geometires specified by three parameters that are defined by a set of four basic axioms. Each partial geometry has a strongly regular point graph. While some very simple shapes can be understood as partial geometries, the number of proper ones is actually limited. In this talk we will define both the geometries and the graphs and explore some connections between them. We will also look at how we can use a group of automorphisms acting on the geometry to clasify it as one of three types. Finally we will see how this work enables us to generate a list of parameters for potential partial geometries and how we are beginning to investigate these possiblilities. |
Location: | Palenske 227 |
Time: | 3:30 PM |
April 3, 2014
Title: | Fractals, p-adics, and a problem of Erodos |
Speaker: | William Abram Assistant Professor, Mathematics Hillsdale College Hillsdale, MI |
Abstract: |
Erdos asked: when does the base 3 expansion of a power of 2 omit the digit 2? His conjectured answer is that this only happens for 1, 4, and 256, but this conjecture is still open, and has proven to be very elusive. There underlies a deep relationship between the primes 2 and 3. Our attempt to understand this relationship has led to interesting connections among symbolic dynamical systems, graph theory, p-adic analysis, number theory, and fractal geometry. Despite the awesome variety of mathematics involved, linear algebra should be sufficient background knowledge for this talk. I report on joint work with Jeff Lagarias of the University of Michigan and Artem Bolshakov of the University of Texas of Dallas. |
Location: | Palenske 227 |
Time: | 3:30 PM |
April 10, 2014
Title: | Stripes, Squares & Oscillons: An Introduction to Mathematical Modeling and Pattern Formation |
Speaker: | Catherine Crawford Assistant Professor, Mathematics Elmhurst College Elmhurst, IL |
Abstract: | Patterns appear everywhere in the world around us from zebra stripes, to hexagonal honeycombs, to spiral arrangements of sunflower seeds, to the periodic ups and downs of a population size due to seasonal migration. Similar patterns also arise in experiments done in many disciplines, such s physics, chemistry, and biology. One goal in studying pattern formation is to understand why and how these patterns are created. Another goal is to determine whether similar patterns from vastly different systems can be described and understood through similar mathematical model equations. This talk will describe how a pattern can be represented mathematically and how basic knowledge of functions and derivatives can help determine when and where the patterns will exist. Ananlytical and numerical results will be compared with experimental observations. Finally, the connection between the underlying pattern and the observation of a single, isolated pulse, called an oscillon, will be described. |
Location: | Palenske 227 |
Time: | 3:30 PM |
April 17, 2014
Title: | Operations Research/Advanced Analytics: Opportunities and Methods in Applied Math |
Speaker: | Andrew M. Ross Assistant Professor, Mathematics Eastern Michigan University Ypsilanti, MI |
Abstract: | Operations Research in an area of applied math that deals with analyzing and optimizing many different systems: industial, nonprofit, government, healthcare, etc. It operates at the intersection of math, engineering, statistics, computer science, and business. We will talk about common focus areas like minimizing waiting times for important public services, and scheduling staff in an optimal way. The methods are incredibly powerful--optimization decisions can often involve hundreds of thousands of variables, and sometimes millions or billions. |
Location: | Palenske 227 |
Time: | 3:30 PM |