# Colloquium Series

The Mathematics and Computer Science Colloquium Series fills an important role in our educational mission. Our departmental colloquium series brings students, faculty, and experts together where they can directly interact socially and intellectually. Specifically, it provides students with the opportunity to grow intellectually through exposure to concepts, ideas, and research areas that exist beyond the traditional classroom setting. This follows the long-standing tradition in the sciences of gathering interested people together for the open exchange of ideas, presentation of new results, and positing of intriguing questions.

Another important mission of our department is to prepare students in mathematics and computer science for meaningful careers. The colloquium series serves as a forum for professionals who have backgrounds in mathematics and/or computer science to visit Albion’s students and discuss the wide variety of career options that await them once they graduate. These talks are of both academic and inspirational value to our current students. Indeed, they provide current mathematics and computer science majors with tangible examples of what they can achieve after graduating from Albion College.

## 2017-18 Academic Year Colloquium Schedule

### Palenske 227 on Thursday at 3:30 p.m.

- August 28, Dave Reimann, Intro
- August 31, Dave Reimann, LaTex
- September 7, Drew Ash, Ergodic Theory
- September 14, Dave Reimann, Grad School
- September 21, Lauren Keough
- September 28, Darren Mason, Balck-Scholes
- October 5, TBA
- October 12, Pizza and Pamphlets
- October 19, TBA
- October 26, Michael Elliot
- November 2, Mike Jones
- November 9, TBA
- November 16, TBA
- November 23, Break
- November 30, Student talks

## Audience

The target audience is undergraduate students with majors in mathematics and computer science. Faculty from mathematics, computer science, and other disciplines freqently attend. Students are required to have first semester calculus and computer science, but most will have additional experience. We expect between 10 and 30 people to attend, including faculty. Consider preparing a handout for complicated reference material such as terminology, source code, graphs, and assumed facts, axioms, or theorems.

## Title and Abstract

Please supply us with a title and a brief (less than 250 words) abstract to help us advertise your talk. You can see titles and abstracts of other talks to get some ideas of what has been presented.

The schedules from the following years are available:

## 2016-17 Colloquium Schedule

**September 10, 2015 **

- Title: Counting Without Seeing
- Speaker: Eric Kamischke

Mathematics & Engineering

Jackson College

Jackson, MI - Abstract: The National Park Service asked for an estimate of the number of elk taken by the wolves introduced to the park. As there was no method guaranteed to find all the kills in the wilds of the park, a design was created to estimate what was not seen. The estimate involved a double count procedure, logistic regression modeling and parameter approximation. Once the estimate was found, the search and verification of the standard error involved delta methods, bootstrapping and simulation.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:30 p.m.
- Citation: BibTeX citation

**September 17, 2015**

- Title: Planning for Gradute Study in Mathemaitics and Computer Science
- Speaker: David A. Reimann, Professor Albion College
- 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 p.m.
- Citation: BibTeX citation

**September 24, 2015**

- Title: The Mathematical Connection between Patterns in Moorish Architecture and the Artwork of M.C. Escher
- Speaker: David A. Reimann, Professor Albion College
- Abstract: The Mathematical structure of symmetrical patterns can be studied using group theory. The Moors built many magnificent buildings richly decorated with geometic patterns during their rule of the Iberian peninsula (711-1492). The graphic artist M.C. Escher visited southern Spain in 1922 amd was capitivated by the patterns that richly decorate the archtecture of the Alhambra, Alcazar, and other Moorish building. After a second visit to Spain in 1935, Escher became obsessed with creating patterns of interlocking figures based on these elaborate tiling patterns. While Escher had no formal mathematical training, he used mathematical methods grounded in scientific literature to study these patterns. We will view these patterns through the lens of group theory, one of the great mathematical accomplishments of the 19th century. This talk will be highly visual with many pictures of Escher’s work and Moorish architecture.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:30 p.m.
- Citation: BibTeX citation

**October 1, 2015**

- Title: Finding the Best Way From Here to There – A Primer on Variational Calculus
- Speaker: Darren Mason, Professor Albion College
- Abstract: Given a task to accomplish, it is natural to ask what is the best way to achieve your goal? Maybe you are flying from Beijing to London and need the shortest flight path. Or you are selling fuel and you want to find the optimal time t to sell it so that you can maximize your profit. Or you are crossing a river with a strong current and want to determine a propeller direction (as a function of time) so that you cross the river in the least amount of time. The number of possible questions of this type seems endless. During this lecture we will discuss some of the above problems, a famous brain-teaser called the brachistochrone problem, and illustrate how to find solutions to these problems using a version of calculus that makes sense in infinite dimensions — the interesting field of variational calculus!
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:30 p.m.
- Citation: BibTeX citation

**October 8, 2015**

- Title: Spider Craps: Mathematical Development of the New Casino Games
- Speaker: Dr. Mark Bollman, Professor Albion College
- Abstract: Games of chance have been found in the relics of ancient cultures for as far back as one cares to look. The popular game of craps, played with two six-sided dice, traces its origins to the Old English game of Hazard, which was then transplanted to New Orleans by French settlers and evolved into one of the most popular casino table games. This talk will describe research in both theoretical and experimental probability that modified craps to use eight-sided dice, leading to the invention of a new game called “Spider Craps”. Mathematical points of interest for casino game developers including reasonable win probabilities, a meaningful house advantage, and efficient gameplay will be described. This research was carried out under a grant from Albion College’s Foundation for Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity (FURSCA) with recent Albion alumnus Jacob Engel.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:30 PM
- Citation: BibTeX citation

**October 15, 2015**

- Title: Pizza and Pamphlets
- Speaker: Bring your friends, bring your questions; bring your schedule!
- Abstract: Pizza and 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.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:30 p.m.
- Citation: BibTeX citation

**October 22, 2015**

- Title: Building Better Biological Models
- Speaker: Elizabeth Skubak Wolf, Assistant Professor
- Abstract: Randomness is inherent in many biological processes, from the dynamics of the populations in an ecosystem down to the systems of biochemical reactions occurring within a single cell. Therefore, when trying to analyze these processes, we might consider using a stochastic model — that is, one that includes some form of randomness. Can stochastic models behave significantly differently from deterministic models? (Yes!) What might a stochastic model look like? How exactly does one use a stochastic model to say anything useful? We’ll look at a few biological examples, introduce a particular stochastic model called a Markov chain, and see how, using a tool called Monte Carlo simulation, we can gain some insight into the biological systems we model.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:30 p.m.
- Citation: BibTeX citation

**October 29, 2015**

- Title: The weak cop number of a graph
- Speaker: Robert Bell

The weak cop number of an infinite graph

Lyman Briggs College & Department of Mathematics

Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI - Abstract: The cop number of a finite graph G is defined as the minimal number of cops a player needs to capture an opponent’s robber in a game of cops and robbers on G. In this game, the cop player places each of her cop pawns on vertices of G; and then the opponent places his robber pawn on a vertex of G. Both players have complete information about G and the location of the pawns. The players alternate turns, with the cop player playing first, by moving any number of his or her pawns along edges of G to adjacent vertices. If a cop is moved to the same vertex as the robber, then the robber is captured. In this talk, we explore the notion of a weak cop number due to Florian Lehner. Suppose G is a possibly infinite graph. The weak cop number of G is the minimal number of cops needed to either capture the robber or prevent the robber from visiting any vertex of G infinitely often. We compute the weak cop numbers of several families of infinite graphs, extend several theorems to this new setting, and give examples of how some of the foundational theorems for finite graphs fail to extend to infinite graphs. In particular, we will outline how one can bound the weak cop number of a connected, countable, locally finite planar graph. This is joint work with undergraduate participants in the 2015 summer REU program at MSU.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:30 p.m.
- Citation: BibTeX citation

**November 5, 2015**

- Title: Random Chess: Piece Strength; End Games; and Large Sparse Eigenvalue Problems
- Speaker: Allan Struthers, Professor Mathematical Sciences, Michigan Technological University
- Abstract: Chess books all include an assessment of the relative strength of pieces and a detailed analysis of various end game situations. Modern computer algebra systems make it easy to build transition matrices for random walks by various pieces on chess boards. The eigenvectors of these large sparse matrices quantify piece strength and provide interesting end-game information. The talk will provide all necessary background in both Chess and Linear Algebra.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:30 p.m.
- Citation: BibTeX citation

**November 12, 2015**

- Title: Two-Colored Motzkin Paths, Set Partitions and Restricted Growth Functions
- Speaker: Samantha Dahlberg, Mathematics – Michigan State University
- Abstract: This talk is based on the research done with a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) group at Michigan State University in the summer of 2014. The goal of this talk is to first introduce three commonly studied objects in combinatorics: set partitions, restricted growth functions (RGFs) and two-colored Motzkin paths. We will introduce and explore these seemingly different objects, but we will find that they are actually closely related to each other. This is joint work with Robert Dorward, Jonathan Gerhard, Thomas Grubb, Carlin Purcell, Lindsey Reppuhn, and Bruce Sagan.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:30 p.m.
- Citation: BibTeX citation

**November 19, 2015**

- Title: Tennis Rankings over Time
- Speaker: Michael A. Jones, Associate Editor Mathematical Reviews
- Abstract: In 2010, Kim Clijsters won the U.S. Open, but had her world ranking drop from #3 to #5 by the Women’s Tennis Assocation (WTA). How can a tennis player win a tournament but drop in the rankings? The WTA uses a moving window to determine the rankings. We explain how discounting older results in the window can prevent such counterintuitive behavior and consider geometric and arithmetic discounting methods. We examine real data from the WTA, and comment on discounting methods already in use by the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) for ranking national teams for the World Cup and by the Professional Golf Association for ranking golfers. This talk is based on joint work with Alex Webb (undergraduate at Macalaster College) and Jennifer Wilson (Eugene Lang College, New School University).
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:30 p.m.
- Citation: BibTeX citation

## 2015-16 Colloquium Schedule

**September 10, 2015**

- Title: Counting Without Seeing
- Speaker: Eric Kamischke

Mathematics & Engineering

Jackson College

Jackson, MI - Abstract: The National Park Service asked for an estimate of the number of elk taken by the wolves introduced to the park. As there was no method guaranteed to find all the kills in the wilds of the park, a design was created to estimate what was not seen. The estimate involved a double count procedure, logistic regression modeling and parameter approximation. Once the estimate was found, the search and verification of the standard error involved delta methods, bootstrapping and simulation.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:30 p.m.
- Citation: BibTeX citation

**September 17, 2015**

- Title: Planning for Gradute Study in Mathemaitics and Computer Science
- Speaker: David A. Reimann, Professor Albion College
- 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 p.m.
- Citation: BibTeX citation

September 24, 2015

- Title: The Mathematical Connection between Patterns in Moorish Architecture and the Artwork of M.C. Escher
- Speaker: David A. Reimann, Professor Albion College
- Abstract: The Mathematical structure of symmetrical patterns can be studied using group theory. The Moors built many magnificent buildings richly decorated with geometic patterns during their rule of the Iberian peninsula (711-1492). The graphic artist M.C. Escher visited southern Spain in 1922 amd was capitivated by the patterns that richly decorate the archtecture of the Alhambra, Alcazar, and other Moorish building. After a second visit to Spain in 1935, Escher became obsessed with creating patterns of interlocking figures based on these elaborate tiling patterns. While Escher had no formal mathematical training, he used mathematical methods grounded in scientific literature to study these patterns. We will view these patterns through the lens of group theory, one of the great mathematical accomplishments of the 19th century. This talk will be highly visual with many pictures of Escher’s work and Moorish architecture.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:30 p.m.
- Citation: BibTeX citation

**October 1, 2015**

- Title: Finding the Best Way From Here to There – A Primer on Variational Calculus
- Speaker: Darren Mason, Professor Albion College
- Abstract: Given a task to accomplish, it is natural to ask what is the best way to achieve your goal? Maybe you are flying from Beijing to London and need the shortest flight path. Or you are selling fuel and you want to find the optimal time t to sell it so that you can maximize your profit. Or you are crossing a river with a strong current and want to determine a propeller direction (as a function of time) so that you cross the river in the least amount of time. The number of possible questions of this type seems endless. During this lecture we will discuss some of the above problems, a famous brain-teaser called the brachistochrone problem, and illustrate how to find solutions to these problems using a version of calculus that makes sense in infinite dimensions — the interesting field of variational calculus!
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:30 p.m.
- Citation: BibTeX citation

**October 8, 2015**

- Title: Spider Craps: Mathematical Development of the New Casino Games
- Speaker: Dr. Mark Bollman, Professor Albion College
- Abstract: Games of chance have been found in the relics of ancient cultures for as far back as one cares to look. The popular game of craps, played with two six-sided dice, traces its origins to the Old English game of Hazard, which was then transplanted to New Orleans by French settlers and evolved into one of the most popular casino table games. This talk will describe research in both theoretical and experimental probability that modified craps to use eight-sided dice, leading to the invention of a new game called “Spider Craps”. Mathematical points of interest for casino game developers including reasonable win probabilities, a meaningful house advantage, and efficient gameplay will be described. This research was carried out under a grant from Albion College’s Foundation for Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity (FURSCA) with recent Albion alumnus Jacob Engel.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:30 PM
- Citation: BibTeX citation

**October 15, 2015**

- Title: Pizza and Pamphlets
- Speaker: Bring your friends, bring your questions; bring your schedule!
- Abstract: Pizza and 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.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:30 p.m.
- Citation: BibTeX citation

**October 22, 2015**

- Title: Building Better Biological Models
- Speaker: Elizabeth Skubak Wolf, Assistant Professor
- Abstract: Randomness is inherent in many biological processes, from the dynamics of the populations in an ecosystem down to the systems of biochemical reactions occurring within a single cell. Therefore, when trying to analyze these processes, we might consider using a stochastic model — that is, one that includes some form of randomness. Can stochastic models behave significantly differently from deterministic models? (Yes!) What might a stochastic model look like? How exactly does one use a stochastic model to say anything useful? We’ll look at a few biological examples, introduce a particular stochastic model called a Markov chain, and see how, using a tool called Monte Carlo simulation, we can gain some insight into the biological systems we model.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:30 p.m.
- Citation: BibTeX citation

**October 29, 2015**

- Title: The weak cop number of a graph
- Speaker: Robert Bell

The weak cop number of an infinite graph

Lyman Briggs College & Department of Mathematics

Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI - Abstract: The cop number of a finite graph G is defined as the minimal number of cops a player needs to capture an opponent’s robber in a game of cops and robbers on G. In this game, the cop player places each of her cop pawns on vertices of G; and then the opponent places his robber pawn on a vertex of G. Both players have complete information about G and the location of the pawns. The players alternate turns, with the cop player playing first, by moving any number of his or her pawns along edges of G to adjacent vertices. If a cop is moved to the same vertex as the robber, then the robber is captured. In this talk, we explore the notion of a weak cop number due to Florian Lehner. Suppose G is a possibly infinite graph. The weak cop number of G is the minimal number of cops needed to either capture the robber or prevent the robber from visiting any vertex of G infinitely often. We compute the weak cop numbers of several families of infinite graphs, extend several theorems to this new setting, and give examples of how some of the foundational theorems for finite graphs fail to extend to infinite graphs. In particular, we will outline how one can bound the weak cop number of a connected, countable, locally finite planar graph. This is joint work with undergraduate participants in the 2015 summer REU program at MSU.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:30 p.m.
- Citation: BibTeX citation

**November 5, 2015**

- Title: Random Chess: Piece Strength; End Games; and Large Sparse Eigenvalue Problems
- Speaker: Allan Struthers, Professor Mathematical Sciences, Michigan Technological University
- Abstract: Chess books all include an assessment of the relative strength of pieces and a detailed analysis of various end game situations. Modern computer algebra systems make it easy to build transition matrices for random walks by various pieces on chess boards. The eigenvectors of these large sparse matrices quantify piece strength and provide interesting end-game information. The talk will provide all necessary background in both Chess and Linear Algebra.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:30 p.m.
- Citation: BibTeX citation

**November 12, 2015**

- Title: Two-Colored Motzkin Paths, Set Partitions and Restricted Growth Functions
- Speaker: Samantha Dahlberg, Mathematics – Michigan State University
- Abstract: This talk is based on the research done with a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) group at Michigan State University in the summer of 2014. The goal of this talk is to first introduce three commonly studied objects in combinatorics: set partitions, restricted growth functions (RGFs) and two-colored Motzkin paths. We will introduce and explore these seemingly different objects, but we will find that they are actually closely related to each other. This is joint work with Robert Dorward, Jonathan Gerhard, Thomas Grubb, Carlin Purcell, Lindsey Reppuhn, and Bruce Sagan.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:30 p.m.
- Citation: BibTeX citation

**November 19, 2015**

- Title: Tennis Rankings over Time
- Speaker: Michael A. Jones, Associate Editor Mathematical Reviews
- Abstract: In 2010, Kim Clijsters won the U.S. Open, but had her world ranking drop from #3 to #5 by the Women’s Tennis Assocation (WTA). How can a tennis player win a tournament but drop in the rankings? The WTA uses a moving window to determine the rankings. We explain how discounting older results in the window can prevent such counterintuitive behavior and consider geometric and arithmetic discounting methods. We examine real data from the WTA, and comment on discounting methods already in use by the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) for ranking national teams for the World Cup and by the Professional Golf Association for ranking golfers. This talk is based on joint work with Alex Webb (undergraduate at Macalaster College) and Jennifer Wilson (Eugene Lang College, New School University).
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:30 p.m.
- Citation: BibTeX citation

## 2014-15 Colloquium Schedule

**September 4, 2014**

- Title: Technical Writing with LaTeX
- Speaker: David A. Reimann

Professor

Mathematics and Computer Science

Albion College

Albion, Michigan - Abstract: The document preparation system LaTex is a powerful program for typesetting. LaTeX was developed over 30 years ago to aid in document preparation. Like TeX, it is a markup language that takes control sequences and converts them into symbols and instructions having no normal key. It is particularly useful in creating documents with mathematical text, such as formal papers, theses, and textbooks. This talk will be interactive, allowing students to work with LaTeX on simple exercises.
- Location: Palenske 231
- Time: 3:30 p.m.
- Citation: BibTeX citation

**September 11, 2014**

- Title: The Numbers Behind The Neon
- Speaker: Mark Bollman

Professor and Chair, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science

Mathematics and Computer Science Albion College

Albion, Michigan - Abstract: Probability is a branch of mathematics whose roots lie in gambling. While evidence of games of chance may be found in the artifacts of many ancient civilizations, the underlying mathematics that can be used to analyze these games is a far more recent development. In this talk, the mathematics underlying games of chance will be explored and the relative house advantages of many popular (and some obscure) casino games will be examined. This talk is based on the book Basic Gambling Mathematics: The Numbers Behind The Neon, recently published by Taylor & Francis/CRC Press. Copies of the book will be available for purchase.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:30 p.m.
- Citation: BibTeX citation

**September 18, 2014**

- 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 p.m.
- Citation: BibTeX citation

**September 25, 2014**

- Title: Relationships between Platonic Solids and Scottish Carved Stone Balls
- Speaker: David A. Reimann

Professor

Mathematics and Computer Science Albion College

Albion, Michigan - Abstract: In this talk, we will trace the history of Platonic Solids and Scottish carved stone balls, then examine the relationships between these objects. The first account of the Platonic solids, namely the regular tetrahedron, cube, octahedron, dodecahedron, and icosahedron, were first given by Plato in about 360 BCE. However, most scholars contend that these objects were known to others before Plato. Over 425 Neolithic stone balls with carved knobs have been found in northern Scotland and date to about 2000 BCE. There is no recorded use of these objects, which has resulted in much speculation about their purpose. A theory that these were models of Platonic solids was advanced in 1979. Yet these objects are clearly not polyhedra and thus do not represent examples of Platonic solids, despite recent claims to that effect. In some cases, the symmetry of the knob placements is consistent with the symmetries associated with Platonic solids. The symmetric form contributes to the aesthetic appeal of many carved stone balls, thus they can be considered very early examples of mathematical art. Examples are shown along with pictures of modern art that they have inspired. Could knowledge of these objects have traveled to from Scotland to Greece and helped develop the Greek theory of Platonic solids?
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:30 p.m.
- Citation: BibTeX citation

**October 2, 2014**

- Title: Bond and CDS Pricing with Stochastic Recovery
- Speaker: Albert Cohen

Academic Director, Actuarial Sciences Program

Mathematics (also appointed in Statistics and Probability) Michigan State University

East Lansing, Michigan - Abstract: Classical credit risk and pricing models typically assume that the expected recovery at default is constant, or at the very least independent of the default probability. However, a large body of recent empirical evidence has challenged this assumption and shown that default rates are in fact negatively correlated with recovery rates \cite{ABRS}. Recently, Moody’s Analytics proposed a model in the context of credit capital which incorporates this empirically observed correlation within a structural framework \cite{LH}. In this work we revisit Moody’s PD-LGD correlation model and in the process complete and extend several results. We then price Bond and Credit Default Swaps with recovery risk using the PD-LGD model under both the Merton and Black-Cox default assumptions, and in addition compute associated risk metrics and Greeks. Our results are then compared with classical results which assume no recovery risk.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:30 PM
- Citation: BibTeX citation

**October 9, 2014**

- Title: EY & Data Analytics: Building a Better Working World
- Speaker: Aaron Croad and Dennis O’Dowd

Data Consultants – Advisory Services

Analytics

Ernst & Young

Detroit, Michigan - Abstract: Analytics now sits at the top of the agenda for many leading organizations as they look for new ways to create a competitive advantage. Although analytics as a business discipline has existed for decades, the explosion of data and new technology has increased the potential and promise for better business decisions informed by analytics. Analytics can be a foundational element of business transformation — challenging conventional wisdom about what we think is true. Analytics can deliver more value when sophisticated techniques are used to discover root causes, analyze micro-segments of the market, transform processes and make better predictions about cause and effect relationships. In this talk, we will provide a brief introduction to data analytics and the analytic tools we use, as well as review how our employer, EY, uses data analytics to build a better working world.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:30 p.m.
- Citation: BibTeX citation

**October 23, 2014**

- Title: Rise of the Hackers
- Speaker: NOVA Video
- Abstract: Our lives are going digital. We shop, bank, and even date online. Computers hold our treasured photographs, private emails, and all of our personal information. This data is precious—and cybercriminals want it. Now, NOVA goes behind the scenes of the fast-paced world of cryptography to meet the scientists battling to keep our data safe. They are experts in extreme physics, math, and a new field called “ultra-paranoid computing,” all working to forge unbreakable codes and build ultra-fast computers. From the sleuths who decoded the world’s most advanced cyber weapon to scientists who believe they can store a password in your unconscious brain, NOVA investigates how a new global geek squad is harnessing cutting-edge science—all to stay one step ahead of the hackers.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:30 p.m.
- Citation: BibTeX citation

**October 30, 2014**

- Title: Data, Data, Everywhere!
- Speaker: Michele Intermont

Associate Professor

Department of Mathematics Kalamazoo College

Kalamazoo, Michigan - Abstract: Everywhere we look these days there seem to be huge piles of data being generated. People collect this data, but how does it get analyzed? Recently, people have begun looking at the branch of mathematics known as topology to help organize and give some shape to data. Applied topology is still a new field, and in this talk, we’ll give an introduction to it, as well as to topology itself, and talk about some of the applications.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:30 p.m.
- Citation: BibTeX citation

**November 6, 2014**

- Title: Distance-Preserving Graphs
- Speaker: Dennis Ross, ’08

Graduate Research Assistant

Computer Science and Engineering Michigan State University

East Lansing, Michigan - Abstract: Graphs provide terrific models, and some powerful mathematical machinery, to better understand many practical and theoretical problems. One important relationship between vertices of a graph is the length of the shortest path connecting them. We will explore a class of problems which seek to fix this distance between vertices while reducing the order of the graph. Consider a simple graph G of order n. We say G is distance-preserving if, for all integers k such that 1<k<n, there exists an order k induced subgraph of G where dG(x,y)=dH(x,y) for all pairs of x,y∈H. We will explore the definitions and properties of distance-hereditary graphs, distance-preserving graphs, and distance-preserving trees. We will then continue with an extremal proof on the constructability of regular distance-preserving graphs. Additionally, we will discuss some open problems and see some practical applications.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:30 p.m.
- Citation: BibTeX citation

**November 13, 2014**

- Title: Tempered fractional processes
- Speaker: Farzad Sabzikar

Visiting assistant professor

Statistics and Probability

Michigan State University

East Lansing, Michigan - Abstract: Tempered fractional Brownian motion (TFBM) is defined by exponentially tempering the power law kernel in the moving average representation of a fractional Brownian motion (FBM). TFBM is a Gaussian process with stationary increments, and we call those increments tempered fractional Gaussian noise (TFGN). TFGN exhibits semi-long range dependence. That is, its autocovariance function closely resembles that of fractional Gaussian noise on an intermediate scale, but then it eventually falls off more rapidly. The spectral density of TFGN resembles a negative power law for low frequencies, but eventually converges to zero at very low frequencies. This behavior of the spectral density is consistent with the Davenport spectrum that extends the 5/3 Kolmogorov theory of turbulence beyond the inertial range. TFBM is a linear combination of tempered fractional integrals (or derivatives) of a white noise. Using that fact, we developed the theory of stochastic integration for TFBM. Replacing the Gaussian random measure in the moving average or harmonizable representation of TFBM by a stable random measure, we obtained a linear tempered fractional stable motion (LTFSM), or a real harmonizable tempered fractional stable motion (HTFSM), respectively.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:30 p.m.
- Citation: BibTeX citation

**November 20, 2014**

- Title: A Geometric Perspective on Counting Nonnegative Integer Solutions and Combinatorial Identities
- Speaker: Michael A. Jones

Associate Editor

Mathematical Reviews

Ann Arbor, Michigan - Abstract: We consider the effect of constraints on the number of nonnegative integer solutions of x+y+z=n, relating the number of solutions to linear combinations of triangular numbers. Our approach is geometric and may be viewed as an introduction to proofs without words. We use this geometrical perspective to prove identities by counting the number of solutions in two different ways, thereby combining combinatorial proofs and proofs without words. This will be an interactive talk where those in attendance will get to use triangular graph paper to construct proofs of some of the results. This talk is based on a paper of the same name that is co-authored with Matt Haines and Ryan Huddy.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:30 p.m.
- Citation: BibTeX citation

## 2013-14 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 - 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

2013 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient

Lead Multi-Discipline Systems Engineer

MITRE Corp. in McLean, VA - 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

Staff – Advisory Service

Ernst & Young

Detroit, MI - 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

Associate Editor

Mathematical Reviews

American Mathematical Society - 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

Game Designer and Software Engineer

Communication Arts & Sciences (Recently Graduated)

Michigan State Univ. (Recently Graduated) TechSmith Corp. - 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

Assistant Professor

Dept. of Mathematics

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

Terre Haute, IN - 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

## 2012-13 Academic Year Colloquium Schedule

**September 6, 2012**

- Title: Point of View: Scientific Imagination in the Renaissance (Program 3 from The Day the Universe Changed)
- Speaker: James Burke (Virtual)

Science Historian

James Burke Institute - Abstract: The introduction of perspective techniques transforms Europe’s use of art, architecture, geography and navigation among others with its revolutionary concept of remote positioning.

Available on YouTube. - Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:30 PM
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**September 13, 2012**

- Title: On God’s Number(s) for Rubik’s Slide
- Speaker: Brittany Shelton

Ph.D. Candidate

Mathematics Department

Lehigh University

Bethlehem, PA - Abstract: Rubik’s Slide is a puzzle which consists of a $3 \times 3$ grid of squares that is reminiscent of a face of the well-known cube. Each square may be lit one of two colors or remain unlit. The goal is to use a series of moves, which we view as permutations, to change a given initial arrangement to a given final arrangement. Each play of the game has different initial and final arrangements. To examine the puzzle, we use a simpler $2 \times 2$ version of the puzzle to introduce a graph-theoretic approach, which views the set of all possible puzzle positions as the vertices of a (Cayley) graph. For the easy setting of the puzzle, the size of the graph depends on the initial coloring of the grid. We determine the size of the graph for all possible arrangements of play and determine the associated god’s number (the most moves needed to solve the puzzle from any arrangement in the graph). We provide a Hamiltonian path through the graph of all puzzle arrangements that describes a sequence of moves that will solve the easy puzzle for any initial and final arrangements. Further, we use a computer program to determine an upper bound for god’s number associated to the graph representing the medium and hard versions of the puzzle. This is joint work with Michael A. Jones, Mathematical Reviews, Ann Arbor MI and Miriam Weaverdyck, Bethel College, North Newton KS.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:30 PM
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**September 20, 2012**

- Title: Planning for Graduate Study in Mathematics and Computer Science
- Speaker: David A. Reimann

Associate Professor

Mathematics and Computer Science

Albion College

Albion, Michigan - Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:30
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**September 27, 2012**

- Title: Tessellations and Symmetries of the Plane
- Speaker: David A. Reimann

Associate Professor

Mathematics and Computer Science

Albion College

Albion, Michigan - Abstract: Pattern, repetition, and symmetry play important roles in the aesthetics of imagery. Tessellations use patterns of repeated geometric shapes to cover the plane. Uniform tessellations use regular polygons to cover the plane with no gaps or overlaps. The polygons in such tessellations can be decorated in such a way to give rise to interesting visual patterns. The inherent symmetry of regular polygons gives rise to tessellations containing symmetry patterns. Example symmetric tessellation patterns will be presented. An explanation of algorithmic techniques for constructing uniform tessellations will also be presented.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:30 PM
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**October 4, 2012**

- Title: Stochastic Optimal Control Models for Online Stores
- Speaker: Albert Cohen

Actuarial Program Director

Mathematics AND Statistics and Probability

Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI - Abstract: We present a model for the optimal design of an online auction/store by a seller. The framework we use is a stochastic optimal control problem. In our setting, the seller wishes to maximize her average wealth level, where she can control her price per unit via her reputation level. The corresponding Hamilton-Jacobi-Bellmann equation is analyzed for an introductory case, and pulsing advertising strategies are recovered for resource allocation. Paper is available on ArXiv at http://arxiv.org/pdf/1103.1918.pdf
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:30 PM
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**October 11, 2012**

- Title: Rational Approximations of $\sqrt{2}$: An Introduction to Isosceles Almost Right Triangles
- Speaker: David Friday, ’04

Instructor

Mathematics

Macomb Community College

Clinton Township, Michigan - Abstract: While visiting the Calculus and Physical Sciences Tutorial Lab at Grand Rapids Community College, a question was posed: for what values of $n$ will the sum of the first $n$ positive integers be a perfect square? A thorough investigation of the problem and the introduction of the concept of an isosceles “almost” right triangle yielded a number of interesting results. One of the results involves a sequence of rational numbers that converges to $\sqrt{2}$, yielding some excellent approximations.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:30 PM
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**October 25, 2012**

- Title: Opt Art
- Speaker: Robert Bosch

Mathematics

Oberlin College

Oberlin, Ohio - Abstract: Optimization is the branch of mathematics concerned with optimal performance—finding the best way to complete a task. It has been put to good use in a great number of diverse disciplines: advertising, agriculture, biology, business, economics, engineering, manufacturing, medicine, telecommunications, and transportation (to name but a few). In this lecture, we will showcase its amazing utility by demonstrating its applicability in the area of visual art, which at first glance would seem to have no use for it whatsoever! We will begin by describing how to use integer programming to construct a portrait out of complete sets of double nine dominoes. We will then describe how high quality solutions to certain large-scale traveling salesman problems can lead to beautiful continuous line drawings. We will conclude by presenting other examples of Opt Art—art constructed with the assistance of mathematical optimization techniques.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:30 PM
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**November 1, 2012**

- Title: Skolem, Langford, Extended, and Near-Skolem Sequences, Oh My!
- Speaker: Heather Jordon

Associate Editor

Mathematical Reviews

Ann Arbor, MI - Abstract: A Skolem sequence of order $t$ is a sequence $2t$ integers such that each integer between 1 and $t$ appears twice and two instances of the integer $k$ are $k$ apart. For example, 5242354311 is a Skolem sequence of order 5. These sequences, and their generalizations, are very interesting from a combinatorial point of view and have many applications. In this talk, we will discuss Skolem sequences and some generalizations: extended, Langford, and near-Skolem sequences. We will also discuss a few applications of these sequences, including integer partitioning and graph decompositions.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:30 PM
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**November 8, 2012**

- Title: Symmetry + Cardboard = Sculpture
- Speaker: George W. Hart

Sculptor and Mathematician

New York, New York - Abstract: George Hart, the designer of the sculpture Comet!, which hangs in the science complex atrium, will return to Albion for a hands-on workshop on mathematical sculpture. During his visit to Albion, he will lead participants in a hands on construction of a brand new never seen geometrical sculpture. During the workshop, the mathematical ideas behind the sculpture will be explained and participants will build their own personal sculpture with playing cards. For other examples of his work, see georgehart.com.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:30 PM
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**November 15, 2012**

- Title: Math in my World (Business to Politics)
- Speaker: Art Kale,’71

Calhoun County Commissioner, Board Chair

Calhoun County

Albion, Michigan - Abstract:
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:30 PM
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**November 29, 2012**

- Title: What does Fairness have to do with Cake and Chicken?
- Speaker: Michael A. Jones

Associate Editor

Mathematical Reviews

Ann Arbor, MI - Abstract: The Adjusted Winner procedure is a fair division procedure used to divide contested items between two people so that the allocation satisfies three desirable properties (efficiency, equitability, and envy-freeness). After reviewing these properties and the procedure, I’ll explain how the procedure is related to cake cutting. Further, exploiting information and manipulating the Adjusted Winner procedure is an example of the game of Chicken. This talk combines ideas from two previously published papers: Michael A. Jones and Stanley F. Cohen, Fairness: How to Achieve It and How to Optimize in a Fair-Division Procedure, Mathematics Teacher 94 (3) 2004: 170-174. and Michael A. Jones, Equitable, Envy-free, and Efficient Cake Cutting for Two People and Its Application to Divisible Goods, Mathematics Magazine 75 (4) 2002: 275-283.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:30 PM
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**December 6, 2012**

- Title: Yo-Yo Trick Combinatorics
- Speaker: Alexandra L. Sovansky, `13

Mathematics Major

Mathematics and Computer Science

Albion College

Albion, Michigan - Abstract: Oftentimes, multiple different yo-yo tricks can be done sequentially before the yo-yo returns to the user’s hand. Tricks can be done like that due to the fact that some tricks end where others begin, and vice versa. If we take these common start/end points to be nodes on a directed graph, all sorts of possibilities for mathematical examination open up. In this talk, we will look at how interesting parts of graphs (such as cycles) translate into yo-yo trick combos, and also how real-world restrictions on yo-yo trick combos affect what we can do with the graphs.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:30 PM
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**December 6, 2012**

- Title: An Introduction to Fractals
- Speaker: Marc Winter, `13

Mathematics Major

Mathematics and Computer Science

Albion College

Albion, Michigan - Abstract: This presentation intends to cover the basics of what a fractal is. Since fractals don’t tend to have integer dimensions like we are used to this will include how to determine the dimension of fractals. We will also discuss some simpler fractals that are easy to conceptualize many of these will come from a group of fractals known as the polygaskets. The polygaskets are fractals that are based on recursively using a polygon shape to create them. A prime example of these is Sierpinski’s triangle which is a fractal based off of a triangle.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:30 PM
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**January 31, 2013**

- Title: Necessity and Scope in the Logic of Quantification
- Speaker: Jeremy Kirby

Associate Professor

Philosophy

Albion College

Albion, MI - Abstract: When I say “Eight is necessarily greater that seven,” I state something that is true. In contrast, when I say “The number of planets is necessarily greater than seven,” I say something that is false. (We can conceive of a smaller solar system, indeed at times the number of planets is revised.) Furthermore, the locutions “eight” and “the number of planets” seem to pick out the same thing? How can it be both true and false of the same thing that it is necessarily greater than seven?
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:30 PM
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**February 7, 2013**

- Title: The $25,000,000,000 Eigenvector
- Speaker: Dawn Archey

Assistant Professor of Mathematics

Mathematics and Software Engineering

University of Detroit Mercy

Detroit, MI - Abstract: This talk will describe the mathematics behind Google’s page rank algorithm. We will see how Google sets up and solves an eigenvector problem to decide which of the web pages containing your search terms are most relevant. The talk will also touch briefly on graph theory and computational complexity.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:30 PM
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**February 14, 2013**

- Title: The Trivial Owl Bundle on a Goat
- Speaker: Rachel Maitra

Visiting Assistant Professor

Physics

Albion College

Albion, MI - Abstract: In this colloquium, we will see how to construct not only the trivial owl bundle on a goat (and a bonus nontrivial owl bundle), but a fish tank that can mirror-reverse your fish. Fiber bundles are more than just something you should be eating for breakfast every day. They can be used to describe and construct forces of nature in this universe and the next. They are also good for hours of pure topological fun.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:30 PM
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**February 21, 2013**

- Title: The Math and Algorithms behind TesselManiac and Tessellations
- Speaker: Kevin Lee

Instructor Math/CSCI

Math/CSCi

Normandale Community College

Bloomington, Minnesota - Abstract: Modern computer graphics cards have GPUs (graphic processing units) that can do several hundred million calculations per second. I will demonstrate my new algorithms that exploit this power to create and animate Escher-like tessellations (tilings) of the plane in real time. Besides being fun, the animations dramatically illustrate the geometry behind the tessellations. I will also discuss how parametric equations, symmetry groups, homogenous coordinates, linear algebra, computational geometry, computer graphics, and data structures all come together to create the algorithms behind the animations. TesselManiac is my third major tessellation program, my previous programs include TesselMania and Tessellation Exploration.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:30 PM
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**February 28, 2013**

- Title: Careers in Mathematics and Computer Science
- Speaker: David A. Reimann

Associate Professor and Chair

Mathematics and Computer Science

Albion College

Albion, MI, USA - Abstract: A degree in mathematics or computer science is excellent preparation for employment in areas such as teaching, actuarial science, software development, engineering, and finance. Come learn about career opportunities awaiting you after graduation.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**April 11, 2013**

- Title: Breaking Chaos
- Speaker: Ryan Huddy

Graduate Student

Mathematics

Clarkson University

Potsdam, New York - Abstract: In mathematics, chaos can be defined as a deterministic dynamical system which has aperiodic long-term behavior and exhibits sensitive dependence on initial conditions. Surprisingly, such systems can be coupled together and made to synchronize. If their communication is delayed, this chaotic behavior can also be broken and stable periodic behaviors will emerge from the coupled system. Join me as we study the basics of chaotic systems and explore some examples of the synchronization of chaos (with and without delay).
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:30 PM
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**May 2, 2013**

- Title: Chaotic Dynamics and Lattice Effects Documented in Experimental Insect Populations
- Speaker: Shandelle M. Henson

Professor and Chair

Department of Mathematics

Andrews University

Berrien Springs, MI - Abstract: Guided by the predictions of a discrete-time mathematical model, we induced a sequence of bifurcations (dynamic changes) in laboratory insect populations by manipulating one of the biological parameters in the system. In particular, we were able to induce chaotic dynamics. The data from these 8-year-long time series show the fine structure of the deterministic chaotic attractor as well as lattice effects (dynamic effects arising from the fact that organisms come in discrete units). We show that “chaos” is manifest in discrete-state noisy biological systems as a tapestry of patterns that come from the deterministic chaotic attractor and the lattice attractors, all woven together by stochasticity.References

1. Henson, S. M., Costantino, R. F., Cushing, J. M., Desharnais, R. F., Dennis, B., and A. A. King 2001. Lattice effects observed in chaotic dynamics of experimental populations. Science 294:602-605. http://www.andrews.edu/~henson/HensonEtAlScience2001.pdf

2. Dennis, B., Desharnais, R. A., Cushing, J. M., Henson, S. M., and R. F. Costantino 2001. Estimating Chaos and Complex Dynamics in an Insect Population. Ecological Monographs 71:277-303. http://www.andrews.edu/~henson/EcoMongr01.pdf

3. Henson, S. M., King, A. A., Costantino, R. F., Cushing, J. M., Dennis, B., and R. A. Desharnais 2003. Explaining and predicting patterns in stochastic population systems. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 270:1549-1553. http://www.andrews.edu/~henson/MeanModeReprint.pdf

4. King, A. A., Costantino, R. F., Cushing, J. M., Henson, S. M., Desharnais, R. A., and B. Dennis 2004. Anatomy of a chaotic attractor: Subtle model-predicted patterns revealed in population data. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 101:408-413. http://www.andrews.edu/~henson/PNAS2004.pdf - Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:30 PM
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

## 2011-12 Academic Year Colloquium Schedule

Palenske 227 – Thursdays at 3:30 p.m.

EVERYONE IS WELCOME!

**Spring 2012**

January 26- Robert R. Bruner – PDF

February 2 – Daniel E. Bollman – PDF

February 9 – Brad Emmons – PDF

February 16 – Rachel Maitra – PDF

**Fall 2011**

September 1

- Speaker: David A. Reimann, Associate Professor

Mathematics and Computer Science

Albion College - Title: Planning for Graduate Study in Mathematics adn Computer Science

September 8

- Speaker: Bruce C. Berndt, ’61, Professor

Dept. of Mathematics

Univ. of IL at Urbana-Champaign - Title: Ramanujan’s Lost Notebook
- Abstract: In the spring of 1976, while searching through papers of the late G. N. Watson at Trinity College, Cambridge, George Andrews found a sheaf of 138 pages in the handwriting of Srinivasa Ramanujan, generally regarded as Indian’s greatest mathematician. In view of the fame of Ramanujan’s earlier notebooks, Andrews naturally called these papers Ramanujan’s “lost notebook.” This work, comprising about 650 results with no proofs, arises from the last year of Ramanujan’s life and represents some of his deepest work. Since many in the audience may not be familiar with Ramanujan, we begin with a brief biography. Second, we provide a history of the lost notebook. Third, a general description of the topics found in the lost notebook will be provided. For some of the topics, in particular, q-series, theta functions, mock theta functions, continued fractions, partitions, and infinite series, we offer some details. In the time remaining, the fourth portion of the lecture will be devoted to a more detailed discussion of one of the topics prominently addressed in the lost notebook, namely continued fractions.

September 15 – Dave Reimann – PDF

September 22 – James Burke (Virtual) PDF

September 29 – David C. Murphy PDF

October 13 – Eric Barth PDF

October 20 – Pizza & Pamphlets PDF

October 27 – Darren Mason PDF

November 3 – Daniel Christiansen PDF

November 17 – Michael A. Jones PDF

November 24 – Thanksgiving Break!

December 1 – Student speakers:

Katelyn Broekema, Abigail Carter, Nathaniel Hissom, Rachel Kain and Katelyn Stringham

## 2010-11 Academic Year Colloquium Schedule

**September 2, 2010**

- Title: The Rubik’s Cube
- Speaker: David A. Reimann

Associate Professor

Department of Mathematics and Computer Science

Albion College

Albion, Michigan - Abstract: For over 30 years people around the world have been captivated by the Rubik’s cube. Why is it so popular? What makes it a good puzzle? This talk will cover the history and design of the cube, explore some mathematics related to the cube, discuss solving the cube, and explore some possible and impossible patterns. I will bring several cubes for the audience to play with after the talk.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 pm
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**September 9, 2010**

- Title: Planning for Graduate Study in Mathematics and Computer Science
- Speaker: David A. Reimann

Associate 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: 3:10
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**September 23, 2010**

- Title: Mesocale Modeling of Damage Nucleation in Titanium Aluminum Grain Boundaries
- Speaker: Darren E. Mason

Associate Professor

Mathematics and Computer Science

Albion College

Albion, Michigan - Abstract: Is there a way to predict when and where such failure occurs? In this talk I will discuss some recent research directed at providing answers to these critical real-world problems. After a brief tutorial on the basic math, physics, and metallurgy required to attempt to answer such questions, I will review prior work that used a well characterized patch of Titanium Aluminum (TiAl) to evaluate the utility of a scalar fracture initiation parameter (fip) to predict the relative resistance of grain boundaries to microcracking when subjected to stress. I will then discuss new research that has generalized the idea of a scalar fip to a physically motivated damage tensor D that measures the amount of physical damage that accumulates at stressed grain boundaries as they evolve through space and time. Local lattice curvature near the grain boundary, local elastic and plastic stress evolution, and accumulated dislocation content at the grain boundary are among the quantities considered. Then, using data generated from a three dimensional, nonlinear, crystal plasticity finite element simulation of the same experimental TiAl region, the ability of this the tensor D to predict the location of “weak” grain boundary locations where micro-cracking is likely to occur.

This work is funded by the NSF Materials World Network Grant DMR-0710570, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) Grant EI 681/2-1, and the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Albion College. - Location:Palenske 227
- Time:3:10
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**September 30, 2010**

- Title: Random Hard Problems
- Speaker: Harold S. Connamacher

Assistant Professor

Mathematics and Computer Science

Albion College

Albion, Michigan - Abstract: If it is easy to verify the solution to a problem, is it easy to solve that problem? This is the famous P vs NP problem. There are other important open questions we can ask. Is a uniformly randomm instance of a hard to solve problem still hard to solve? Are there specific structures in the solution space to a problem that will prevent certain algorithm techniques from working? This talk explores what is currently known about these questions, and we will use the well-known problems 3-SAT and factoring as examples. The talk will also introduce some new work in defining a random problem model that has many of the properties of 3-SAT but for which we can prove behavior that we observe experimentally but not yet prove for 3-SAT.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**October 7, 2010**

- Title: Grade School Triangles and Ailles’ Rectangle
- Speaker: Jack Calcut

Assistant Professor

Department of Mathematics

Oberlin College

Oberlin, Ohio - Abstract: In grade school, students learn a standard set of Euclidean triangles. Among this set, the usual 45-45-90 and 30-60-90 triangles are the only right triangles with rational angles and side lengths each containing at most one square root. Are there any other such right triangles? We answer this question and present an elegant complement, called Ailles’ rectangle, that deserves to be in every geometry teacher’s toolkit.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**October 21, 2010**

- Title: Are you smarter than a 19th century mathematician?
- Speaker: Timothy A. Sipka

Associate Professor

Mathematics and Computer Science

Alma College

Alma, Michigan - Abstract: The Four Color Theorem is a simple and believable statement: at most four colors are needed to color any map drawn in the plane or on a sphere so that no two regions sharing a boundary receive the same color. It might be surprising to find out that mathematicians searched for a proof of this statement for over a century until finally finding one in 1976. In this talk, we’ll consider the “proof” given by Alfred Kempe, a proof published in 1879 and thought to be correct until an error was found in 1890. You’re invited to look carefully at Kempe’s proof and see if you can do what many 19th century mathematicians could not do—find the flaw.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**October 28, 2010**

- Title: Spirals in Planes and Space
- Speaker: Aaron Cinzori

Associate Professor and Chair

Department of Mathematics

Hope College

Holland, Michigan - Abstract: We’ll explore an algorithm that takes $n$ points in $\mathbb{R}^2$ or $\mathbb{R}^3$ and produces a piecewise-linear spiral that uses the given points as its initial nodes. We generate further points in the spiral by repeatedly taking a convex combination of $m \le n$ (existing) points at a time. In particular, let $P_0,\ldots,P_{n-1}$ be the initial points, and let $0\le t_1, t_2, \ldots, t_m \le 1$ be fixed parameters with $t_1+t_2+\cdots+t_m=1$. Produce more points by using the formula $P_{k+n} = t_1P_k + t_2P_{k+1}+ \cdots + t_mP_{k+m-1}$ for each $k\ge 0$.

We can then ask a lot of questions: Where does the spiral end up?, How long is it? When and how can we arrange things so that the segment lengths are a geometric series? What is the general behavior of the spiral as it approaches its limit? The tools we’ll use will come from linear algebra, complex analysis, infinite series, and linear recurrences. We’ll also talk a bit about how this problem evolved from a Problem of the Week to several REU projects and papers (including one in the Spring 2010 $\Pi$ME Journal). - Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**November 4, 2010**

- Title: Utility Theory and Deal or No Deal
- Speaker: Michael A. Jones

Associate Editor

Mathematical Reviews

American Mathematical Society

Ann Arbor, Michigan - Abstract: Deal or No Deal was a prime time game show on the National Broadcasting Corporation network in which a Contestant selects one of 26 suitcases. Inside each suitcase is a different dollar amount; all 26 dollar amounts are known beforehand. In a series of rounds, the Contestant is asked to “deal” (in which she accepts a monetary offer from a Banker) or to “no deal” (in which she has to open a specified number of suitcases, thereby revealing the dollar amounts inside the suitcases). The game ends when either she accepts an offer or, after opening all of the suitcases except the one she selected at the outset, she receives the monetary amount in her selected suitcase.

Because each suitcase may contain any of the fixed monetary amounts, selecting a suitcase is analogous to a lottery in which each value has an equal likelihood of being selected. Assuming the Banker’s offer is based on a utility function that describes the Contestant’s utility or value for money and incorporates the Contestant’s view toward the risk of participating in the lottery, the Banker makes an offer so that the Contestant is indifferent between accepting the Banker’s offer and continuing to play the game.

In this talk, I will introduce the basics of utility theory and will explain how the Banker could use a utility function to determine an offer. I will demonstrate how data from televised episodes may be used to recover the utility function. Further, I will examine a paradoxical offer from NBC’s online version of the game.

A forthcoming paper of the same name is co-authored with Jennifer Wilson, New School University, New York. - Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 pm
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**November 11, 2010**

- Title: Summer and Off-Campus Programs
- Speaker: David A. Reimann

Associate Professor

Department of Mathematics and Computer Science

Albion College

Albion, Michigan - Abstract: Have you ever wondered if you can study mathematics and/or computer science off-campus? Either during the summer or during the academic year? Each year a number of high-quality academic opportunities are availableto Albion College students. Options include research/study internships at

academic institutions both within the United States and abroad,

numerous federal government agencies, and

a number of government scientific laboratories.

In this presentation we will tour a new portion of the Albion College Math/CS website that illustrates these various opportunities as well as provide adviceon how to apply, deadlines, any other pertinent information. - Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**November 18, 2010**

- Title: Combinatorial Problems Arising from English Country Dance
- Speaker: Robert A. Messer

Emeritus Professor

Mathematics and Computer Science

Albion College

Albion, Michigan, USA - Abstract: A popular form of folk dance is English country dance. In one simple English country dance, four couples dance as two groups of two couples. As the dance progresses, each couple moves to a new position and dances with another couple. Can you have such a dance where each couple dances in each of the four positions with each of the other three couples? What are other mathematical restrictions on such dances?
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**December 2, 2010**

- Title: Student Presentations
- Speaker: Students

Mathematics and Computer Science

Albion College

Albion, Michigan, USA - Abstract: Robert Calvert, “Decoding the Enigma”

Through my talk I will talk about the enigma’s build, the main people involved in decoding it, and the methods used in decoding it.

Cassie Labadie, “Incorporating Mathematical Museum Exhibits into Classrooms”

How do you make learning math fun? Studies show that learning through traditional means, such as lecture and taking notes, does not make the information the students are gaining commit to memory. We will take a look at the importance of creative pedagogical practices in the classroom, and how you apply these to a math classroom. We will be focusing on different mathematical museums and museum exhibits that can be implemented in the classroom, and how you change both simple and complicated exhibits into fun learning experiences for students in the classroom.

Culver Redd, “Meaningful Play: How Games Can Be Productive In Our Society”

During this past October, I attended a conference at Michigan State University called Meaningful Play. This talk will disseminate my experience of this conference. Meaningful Play was held to display the potential for games to be used to enhance education, general learning, academic study, and many other aspects of our lives, as well as to examine the current state of the industry that creates games for these purposes. The results, ideas, and opinions expressed at this conference are, I believe, extremely valuable to students—particularly those with interest in computer science—as they detail the forefront of a quickly growing aspect of computer science, as well as one possible future for the educational systems of America and the world. - Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**January 27, 2011**

- Title: Introduction to Decision Analysis
- Speaker: Gregory M. Saltzman

Professor and Chair

Department of Economics and Management

Albion College

Albion, MI - Abstract: Decision analysis is a procedure for identifying, clearly representing, and formally assessing important aspects of a decision involving uncertainty. The procedure, developed by operations research and business professors, now is widely used in research evaluating medical treatments. Greg Saltzman, Professor of Economics and Management at Albion College, taught a course in 2008 and 2010 at the University of Michigan School of Public Health for medical researchers, “Cost Utility and Decision Analysis.” He will present an introduction to decision analysis during his talk.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**February 3, 2011**

- Title: Cops and Robbers on Graphs
- Speaker: Robert W. Bell

Assistant Professor of Mathematics

Department of Mathematics

Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI - Abstract: Suppose G is a finite graph. Two players play a game on G as follows: one player takes n markers (which represent “cops”) and assigns each one to a vertex of G; then the second player takes one marker (representing a “robber”) and assigns it to a vertex of G. The players then alternate turns, each moving any number of his or her markers to adjacent vertices each turn. If a cop is moved to the same vertex as the robber, the cop player wins. If the robber player can always avoid such an outcome the robber player wins. Certainly the cop player can win on a given graph G if sufficiently many cops are at his disposal. But what is the fewest number of cops needed to guarantee that the robber can always be captured? This was a topic at a summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) at Michigan State University in the 2010. The investigations of several of the participants will also be highlighted.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**February 10, 2011**

- Title: Fractals : Hunting The Hidden Dimension
- Speaker: NOVA DVD

Abstract: What do movie special effects, the stock market, heart attacks, and the rings of Saturn have in common? They all consist of fractals, irregular repeating shapes that are found in cloud formations and tree limbs, in stalks of broccoli and craggy mountain ranges, and even in the rhythm of the human heart. This video takes viewers on a fascinating quest with a group of pioneering mathematicians determined to decipher the rules that govern fractal geometry. - Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**February 17, 2011**

- Title: Quadratic Approximations to Pi, or What if Archimedes Had Had Mathematica?
- Speaker: Mark Bollman

Associate Professor

Department of Mathematics and Computer Science

Albion College - Abstract: Archimedes (c. 287 BCE–c. 212 BCE) used polygons inscribed within and circumscribed about a circle to approximate pi. In this talk, we will extend his work by approximating the areas of circular sectors. This is done by adjoining parabolic segments to triangular subregions of his inscribed regular polygons. While much of the mathematics would have been familiar to Archimedes, the calculations involved quickly outstrip the computational power of ancient Greece, and so Mathematica is used to facilitate calculations. The method allows us to derive recurrence relations that can be used to approximate pi more accurately.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**February 24, 2011**

- Title: From Atoms to Sky Scrapers: The Role of Crystallography in Deformation, Damage, and Fracture
- Speaker: Martin A. Crimp

Professor

Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI - Abstract: Why is copper soft and ductile while rock salt is hard and brittle? One would guess that the mechanical behavior of crystalline materials is inextricably linked to how their atoms are bonded, but just as important is how their atoms are arranged in crystal structures. Plastic (permanent) deformation is achieved through the motion of crystal defects, while failure through fracture results from the rupture of atomic bonds. In order to fully understand and optimize mechanical behavior of materials, it is therefore necessary to understand the arrangement of atoms. But how can we determine the positions of atoms in a material? Atomic arrangements are typically studied using diffraction techniques (x-ray, electron, neutron) by implementing Bragg’s Law and Structure Factor calculations to determine not only the size and shape of the unit cell, but also the atom positions and types within the unit cell. Armed with this information, it is possible to understand the details of mechanical behavior, in particular the anisotropic nature of plastic deformation. This talk will review and build on these concepts to illustrate how the macroscopic deformation and fracture behavior, and the ultimate performance of planes, trains, and automobiles, is a function of the crystallographic orientation distribution in both single and polycrystalline materials. Examples of the role of non-random crystallographic orientation distribution in the anisotropic behavior of a number of materials, including FeAl, TiAl, and Ti will be presented. The implications of this anisotropic behavior will be discussed.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**March 24, 2011**

- Title: Fractals and Number Theory
- Speaker: Vivek Dhand

Postdoctoral Fellow

Department of Mathematics

Michigan State University

East Lansing, Michigan - Abstract: We give several examples of interesting self-similar structures which appear in elementary number theory: visible points, Pascal’s triangle, the dragon curve, and Pythagorean music.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 pm
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**March 31, 2011**

- Title: Optimal Prediction: An overview of the history, applications, and potential directions
- Speaker: Albert Cohen

Actuarial Specialist / Program Coordinator

Department of Mathematics

Michigan State University - Abstract: Optimal prediction is about a decade old now, but has fast become one of the most exciting new areas in Optimal Stopping. The original paper by Graversen, Peskir, and Shiryaev showed, in an elegantly simple way, that one could compute the best time to stop a Brownian motion “as close as possible” to its ultimate maximum over a finite time interval. Since then, researchers have worked to extend this idea to other diffusions, different measures of “close”, and to financial applications. In this talk, we review the original approach, extensions, and current research including the recent application to infinite horizon prediction The area is rich with potential for new research, and it is hoped that young mathematicians will be encouraged to read more on the subject after this talk.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**April 7, 2011**

- Title: Unusual Behavior in Rubber Cubes
- Speaker: Darren E. Mason

Associate Professor

Mathematics and Computer Science

Albion College - Abstract: In this talk we will consider the mathematical problem associated with special linear deformations of an incompressible and nonlinear elastic cube. We will discover that the problem admits a wide variety of different solutions, depending on the magnitude and direction of external isotropic forces. To understand why certain solutions are preferred by nature, we will then study an associated energy minimization problem that leads to a selection criterion to determine the optimal deformed state of the cube. Finally, we will connect the mathematical appearences of these multiple solutions, natural and mathematical stability, and the fundamentals of bifurcation theory.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**April 21, 2011**

- Title: Games and Their Connections to Numbers
- Speaker: Michael A. Jones

Associate Editor

Mathematical Reviews

American Mathematics Society

Ann Arbor, MI - Abstract: I will show how optimal moves in the combinatorial games Nim, Wythoff, and Euclid are related to binomial representations of integers, the Fibonacci numbers, and a proof that the positive rational numbers are countable, respectively.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**April 28, 2011**

- Title: Parallel Processing and It’s Involvement in Making the Future Better
- Speaker: Neil Copeland

Albion Computer Science Major

Department of Mathematics and Computer Science

Albion College - Abstract: Parallel computing is a method in which many calculations can be carried out simultaneously. Not every algorithm or problem can gain an increase in speed from being executed in parallel. In recent years the bottlenecks of output of a single computer processor has increase a demand for multicore processors. At the same time our trusty graphics processors have helped in such acts of massive computation. Using these techniques there are global computation projects that you can use your very own equipment at home in order to help better understand illness and disease by simulating problems millions of time in order to exceed what was previously understood. Other applications include deep oil exploration and finances.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**April 28, 2011**

- Title: Comparison of Quantization Results from Two-dimensional Cosmologies Quantized with Different Factor Orderings
- Speaker: Christopher Creighton

Albion Mathematics and Physics Major

Department of Mathematics and Computer Science

Albion College - Abstract: During the Big Bang, a point of infinite curvature of spacetime, the basic rules for how the universe behaves break down. While general relativity accurately describes the universe and the effects of gravity on the larger scale, it struggles with points of singularity such as the Big Bang. It needs to be infused with quantum mechanics, the rules of behavior for the very small, to explain the likes of the Big Bang and black holes. With quantum mechanics applied to general relativity, there arise ambiguities in the ordering of factors in the definitive equation for the state of the universe. To find out the proper ordering of factors, we turn to a computer model of the universe that has arguably made a good choice using a completely different methodology, simplified to the toy model of one space and one time dimension. We do this by comparing our varied possibilities to the computer model to try and ascertain hints to how our universe behaves in the realm of the very small.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**April 28, 2011**

- Title: The Zoomba: Designing and Developing an Application to Control the iRobot Create
- Speaker: Shea McCavit

Albion Computer Science Major

Department of Mathematics and Computer Science

Albion College - Abstract: The development of a software program can often be a long and difficult task. I was recently part of a development team for the creation of an application to control the iRobot Create, which I call Zoomba. This application remote controls the speed, direction, and movement of the iRobot Create via an Android phone. This talk will discuss the design, implementation, coding, and testing of our application as well as give an overview of the software development process in general. I will also give a brief demonstration of how the application works.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**April 28, 2011**

- Title: Working with Perl and SQL at OnRoto Fantasy Sports
- Speaker: Geoff Keyes

Albion Computer Science Major

Department of Mathematics and Computer Science

Albion College - Abstract: Fantasy sports have been extremely popular among sports fans for many years now, and starting this summer I was lucky enough to get a job with one of these companies. Running a fantasy sports website does not mean manually inputting stats in for each player and calculating each teams results, but instead writing software that will automatically handle all of this. Working at OnRoto Fantasy Sports, I had to learn the computer languages of Perl, C, and SQL to be able to write scripts to improve the website at OnRoto. I will focus on a few projects that I have completed over the past year including the new mobile site that is in the late development stages that I am currently working on.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**April 28, 2011**

- Title: TBA
- Speaker: Nicholas Steigerwald

Albion Mathematics Major

Department of Mathematics and Computer Science

Albion College - Abstract: I will discuss the company MCP asset management from the the outside as well as the inside. I will discuss the decisions that are made by the workers of the company to make money as well as the decisions made by the company to choose quality clients. These decisions include people who they choose to allow to invest their money with as well as who they should accept money from. Both of these decisions involve who the company thinks is reliable and using legal means to acquire their money. Many possible clients and investors use questionable means to acquire and grow their money. Overall this is a dog eat dog market that can eat a company up quickly if they do not do reliable research on clients and investors.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**April 28, 2011**

- Title: Using Integer Programming to Convert Image Files
- Speaker: Taylor Watkins

Albion Mathematics Major

Department of Mathematics and Computer Science

Albion College - Abstract: My Colloquium talk involves using binary programming to convert image files to pixel art. I created a model for choosing what values should be used in creating a smaller image based on the larger image. In order to get data for the image I used a program called Gimp to save it in a format that I could use and create a binary value matrix to base my function on. I used the program MPL to minimize the function that I created. Unfortunately I needed to split the problem into 4 problems because when I made the model I needed more variables to convert the image than I had. I took the result matrices and combined them and used the resulting matrix in Mathematica to create an image.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**April 28, 2011**

Title: Elementary School Math Education in China and the U.S.

Speaker: Shu He

Albion Mathematics Major

Department of Mathematics and Computer Science

Albion College

Abstract: The oral talk will show the current situation and comparison of elementary school math education in China and US. I will focus on the differences and similarities in two different math education system by collecting data and information on the history of elementary school math education, the materials they are using for math study, teaching methods to inspire students’ interests in math. At the same time, I will show the importance of math education that affects students’ life. And finally, I will talk about the pros and cons of two different math education systems and effects on students’ math ability.

Location: Palenske 227

Time: 3:10 PM

Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**August 27, 2009**

- Title: A cohomological approach to Serre’s Minkowski-style bounds
- Speaker: Giovanni Di Matteo (`06)

Ecole Normale Superieure de Lyon (forthcoming)

Lyon, France - Abstract: In recent years, Serre has adapted a classical theorem of Minkowski to give bounds for the -valuation of |G(k)|, where G is a reductive group or semi-simple of inner type. It was observed by Serre that these bounds may be recovered from -adic cohomology. We illuminate the cohomological approach in the case of G = GLn.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**September 10, 2009**

- Title: Planning for Graduate Study in Mathematics and Computer Science
- Speaker: David A. Reimann

Associate Professor

Mathematics and Computer Science

Albion College

Albion, Michigan - Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**September 17, 2009**

- Title: Exploring the mathematical themes of M. C. Escher’s artwork
- Speaker: David A. Reimann

Associate Professor

Department of Mathematics and Computer Science

Albion College

Albion, Michigan - Abstract: M.C. Escher illustrated many mathematical themes in his artwork. In addition to developing many ideas independently, he was inspired by conversations with mathematicians throughout his lifetime. One thing that sets Escher apart from a strict mathematical illustrator is that Escher extensively used concrete objects to help illustrate complex abstract concepts such as infinity. In this talk, we will view many of Escher’s artworks and explore some of the mathematical themes present in his work.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 pm
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**September 24, 2009**

- Title: N is a Number: A Portrait of Paul Erds; A film by George Paul Csicsery
- Speaker:
- Abstract: A man with no home and no job, Paul Erdos was the most prolific mathematician who ever lived. Universally revered among mathematicians, Erdos, who was born in Hungary in 1913, was a wandering genius who eschewed the traditional trappings of success, dedicating himself instead to inventing new problems and searching for their solutions. He inspired generations of mathematicians throughout the world with his insightful approach and the wry humor with which he discusses politics, death, and the cosmic struggle to uncover proofs hidden by the most stubborn of adversaries – God.

N is a Number, a documentary filmed in England, Hungary, Poland and the United States over four years, presents Erdos’s mathematical quest in its personal and philosophical dimensions, and the tragic historical events that molded his life. N is a Number was made with support from the American Mathematical Society, Film Arts Foundation, the Heineman Foundation, the Mathematical Association of America and the National Science Foundation’s Informal Science Education Program. http://www.zalafilms.com/films/nisfilm.html. - Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**October 1, 2009**

- Title: Revolution OS – Part 1

Speaker: - Abstract: REVOLUTION OS tells the inside story of the hackers who rebelled against the proprietary software model and Microsoft to create GNU/Linux and the Open Source movement. On June 1, 2001, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said “Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches.” Microsoft fears GNU/Linux, and rightly so. GNU/Linux and the Open Source & Free Software movements arguably represent the greatest threat to Microsoft’s way of life. Shot in cinemascope on 35mm film in Silicon Valley, REVOLUTION OS tracks down the key movers and shakers behind Linux, and finds out how and why Linux became such a potent threat. REVOLUTION OS features interviews with Linus Torvalds, Richard Stallman, Bruce Perens, Eric Raymond, Brian Behlendorf, Michael Tiemann, Larry Augustin, Frank Hecker, and Rob Malda. To view the trailer or the first eight minutes go to the ifilm website for REVOLUTION OS. Companies such as Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Oracle, Wipro, Ogilvy & Mather, OSTG, and Dreamworks Animation have rented REVOLUTON OS for private theatrical screenings. It has also screened in numerous film festivals including South By Southwest Film Festival, the Atlanta Film & Video Festival, Boston Film Festival, and Denver International Film Festival. REVOLUTION OS won Best Documentary at both the Savannah Film & Video Festival and the Kudzu Film Festival. See www.revolution-os.com/ for more information.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 pm
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**October 8, 2009**

- Title: Revolution OS – Part 2
- Speaker:
- Abstract: REVOLUTION OS tells the inside story of the hackers who rebelled against the proprietary software model and Microsoft to create GNU/Linux and the Open Source movement. On June 1, 2001, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said “Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches.”

Microsoft fears GNU/Linux, and rightly so. GNU/Linux and the Open Source & Free Software movements arguably represent the greatest threat to Microsoft’s way of life. Shot in cinemascope on 35mm film in Silicon Valley, REVOLUTION OS tracks down the key movers and shakers behind Linux, and finds out how and why Linux became such a potent threat.

REVOLUTION OS features interviews with Linus Torvalds, Richard Stallman, Bruce Perens, Eric Raymond, Brian Behlendorf, Michael Tiemann, Larry Augustin, Frank Hecker, and Rob Malda. To view the trailer or the first eight minutes go to the ifilm website for REVOLUTION OS.

Companies such as Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Oracle, Wipro, Ogilvy & Mather, OSTG, and Dreamworks Animation have rented REVOLUTON OS for private theatrical screenings. It has also screened in numerous film festivals including South By Southwest Film Festival, the Atlanta Film & Video Festival, Boston Film Festival, and Denver International Film Festival. REVOLUTION OS won Best Documentary at both the Savannah Film & Video Festival and the Kudzu Film Festival.

See www.revolution-os.com/ for more information. - Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 pm
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**October 15, 2009**

- Title: Teaching Robots to See
- Speaker: Nathan Sprague

Assistant Professor of Computer Science

Department of Mathematics and Computer Science

Kalamazoo College

Kalamazoo, Michigan - Abstract: I will present some recent research at the intersection of machine learning, computer vision, and robotics. The objective of my work is to understand how machines and organisms can learn to extract relevant information from the noise and confusion of unprocessed visual input. I will also describe recent work at Kalamazoo College to develop a simulator and controller framework for the iRobot Create robotic platform.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 pm
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**October 29, 2009**

- Title: The Fibonacci Sequence: Melody and Harmony
- Speaker: Vivek Dhand

Postdoctoral Fellow

Department of Mathematics

Michigan State University

East Lansing, Michigan - Abstract: The Fibonacci numbers are famous for their intriguing appearances in art and nature, and their mathematical properties have been extensively studied. Remarkably, the Fibonacci sequence is periodic mod n, for any positive integer n. In fact, we can produce many such periodic sequences by simply changing our initial conditions. We interpret these sequences in terms of points on a torus, and then as a musical score.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 pm
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**November 5, 2009**

- Title: The P2 + P problem and conjectures of Pólya
- Speaker: Stephanie Edwards

Associate Professor

Department of Mathematics

Hope College

Holland, Michigan - Abstract: One of the problems stated in the Pólya and Szegö text from the early 1900’s, “Aufgaben und Lehrsätze aus der Analysis,” is: If P is a real polynomial with only real zeros, find the number of non-real zeros of P2 + P. If one removes the hypothesis that P has only real zeros, the problem becomes quite hard and was not solved until the 1980’s. We will solve the P2 + P problem when P has only simple real zeros. Further, we will show how the problem can be restated in terms of the number of non-real zeros of the second derivative of a real entire function and discuss the research and progress which has been made in the area of distribution of zeros of real entire functions.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**November 12, 2009**

- Title: Simplified Assembly Language Programming
- Speaker: James T. Streib

Professor and Chair of Computer Science

Department of Computer Science

Illinois College

Jacksonville, Illinois - Abstract: Assembly Language is a low-level language that uses mnemonics and has a one-to-one correspondence to the machine language (which uses ones and zeros) of a particular processor. Understanding the fundamentals of assembly language need not be intimidating and programming can be simplified by using techniques involved in learning high-level languages. This talk is based on a previously published paper by the same name in the Journal of Computing for Small Colleges, November 2000, and also an upcoming text tentatively entitled Guide to Assembly Language: A Look at the Intel Processor to be published by Springer Verlag London Ltd.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 pm
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**November 19, 2009**

- Title: Minimal Requirements for Representation in the Democratic Primary
- Speaker: Michael A. Jones

Associate Editor

Mathematical Reviews

American Mathematical Society

Ann Arbor, Michigan - Abstract: In the Democratic Party Primary, presidential candidates are assigned delegates based on their share of the vote in each primary state using Hamilton’s method of apportionment. However party rules state that candidates receiving less than 15% of the vote are not awarded any delegates. In this talk, we look at the consequences of such a cut-off for Hamilton’s method and several other apportionment methods. For each method, we find the threshold of inclusion (the level of support necessary to possibly receive a delegate) and the threshold of exclusion (the level of support necessary to assuredly receive a delegate). We compare these values and determine the relationship between the thresholds and the Democratic Party cutoff of 15%. We also examine a new apportionment paradox that can arise when cut-offs are applied to Hamilton’s method.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 pm
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**January 28, 2010**

- Title: Combinatoria Poetica: Counting and Visualizing Rhyme Patterns in Sonnets
- Speaker: Hartmut F.W. Höft

Professor

Computer Science

Eastern Michigan University

Ypsilanti, Michigan - Abstract: I will give a brief overview of sonnets, citing some examples, and describe a notation for the grouping structure and end rhyme pattern types of individual poems and sonnet sequences. Then I construct the sets of rhyme patterns of poems with even rhymes and compute their counts. Cascading this construction over rhyme groupings leads to counts for a variety of sonnet forms. The structure and counts for two types of sonnets are visualized as trees. I then visualize end rhyme patterns as color bands for two types of patterns: (1) systematically generated rhyme patterns for sections of sonnets, and (2) sonnet sequences from the literature. These bands provide a holistic visual overview that can give insight into the structure of poem sequences that may span hundreds of lines. Different color assignments can also be used to exhibit and enhance the visual beauty inherent in rhyme patterns. Mathematica 7 is used to create counts, summary tables and images of end rhyme patterns.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 pm
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**February 4, 2010**

- Title: Guessing Games, Information Theory, and Codes
- Speaker: Ryan Hutchinson

Assistant Professor

Mathematics

Hillsdale College

Hillsdale, Michigan - Abstract: Information theory is a mathematical framework for studying the problems of reliable transmission and storage of data. In this talk, we will use a simple guessing game to illustrate some of the fundamental concepts of information theory and the limits they place on the possibility of reliable communication over a noisy channel. We will also discuss the use of codes in correcting errors that result from the presence of noise.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**February 11, 2010**

- Title: Summer and Off-Campus Programs
- Speaker: David A. Reimann

Associate Professor

Department of Mathematics and Computer Science

Albion College

Albion, Michigan - Abstract: Have you ever wondered if you can study mathematics and/or computer science off-campus? Either during the summer or during the academic year? Each year a number of high-quality academic opportunities are availableto Albion College students. Options include research/study internships at

academic institutions both within the United States and abroad,

numerous federal government agencies, and

a number of government scientific laboratories.

In this presentation we will tour a new portion of the Albion College Math/CS website that illustrates these various opportunities as well as provide advice on how to apply, deadlines, any other pertinent information. - Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**February 18, 2010**

- Title: Some Really Interesting Fibonacci Numbers
- Speaker: Mark E. Bollman

Associate Professor and Chair

Mathematics and Computer Science

Albion College

Albion, Michigan - Abstract: The Fibonacci sequence F(n) = (0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,…), where F(0) = 0, F(1) = 1, and F(n) = F(n-1) + F(n-2) for n > 1, was discovered in 1202 and has been the object of much mathematical fascination for over 800 years. In this talk, we will search for Fibonacci numbers that have other interesting mathematical properties–perfect squares, triangular numbers, and the like. Several questions are completely solved, while others remain open even today. In addition, we will explore the interplay between experimental mathematics, as revealed by computer work, and the rigor necessary for a complete mathematical proof.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 pm
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**February 25, 2010**

Title: Between the Folds, a film by Vanessa Gould

Speaker:

Abstract: Green Fuse Films‘ award-winning documentary Between the Folds chronicles the stories of ten fine artists and intrepid theoretical scientists who have abandoned careers and scoffed at hard-earned graduate degrees—all to forge unconventional lives as modern-day paperfolders.

As they converge on the unlikely medium of origami, these artists and scientists reinterpret the world in paper, and bring forth a bold mix of sensibilities towards art, expressiveness, creativity and meaning. And, together these offbeat and provocative minds demonstrate the innumerable ways that art and science come to bear as we struggle to understand and honor the world around us—as artists, scientists, creators, collaborators, preservers, and simply curious beings.

“Luminously photographed“, with a “haunting” original score featuring the Budapest Symphony Orchestra, the film paints an arresting portrait of the mysterious creative threads that bind us all–fusing science and sculpture, form and function, ancient and new.

See www.greenfusefilms.com for more information.

- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 pm
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**March 4, 2010**

- Title: Careers in Mathematics and Computer Science
- Speaker: David A. Reimann

Associate Professor and Chair

Mathematics and Computer Science

Albion College

Albion, MI, USA - Abstract: A degree in mathematics or computer science is excellent preparation for employment in areas such as teaching, actuarial science, software development, engineering, and finance. Come learn about career opportunities awaiting you after graduation.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**March 25, 2010**

- Title: Mathematical models of shape memory alloys
- Speaker: Darren E. Mason

Associate Professor

Mathematics and Computer Science Department

Albion College

Albion, Michigan - Abstract: On overview of shape memory alloys is given including mathematical models that can be used to predict the behavior of these fascinating materials.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 pm
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**April 1, 2010**

- Title: Mathematics on the gridiron
- Speaker: Dan Isaksen

Associate Professor

Department of Mathematics

Wayne State University

Detroit, Michigan - Abstract: I will discuss a few examples of pure mathematics problems that arise in the game of American football.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**April 8, 2010**

Title: PRODUCT WARNING: Scratch is highly engaging and contagious

Speaker: George Stockman

Professor

Department of Computer Science and Engineering

Michigan State University

East Lansing, Michigan

Abstract: Scratch is a visual programming environment that makes programming accessible to kids 10 years old and up. Sprites are objects that have color, shape, etc. and can be moved about on a stage by programming coordinate locations. Moreover, sprites can make sounds, can change costume, and can have their behavior timed by messages sent by other sprites. Scratch provides menus of explicit commands and control structures that the programmer (script writer) uses to create a program or behavior. Creating a script is “lego-like” so the programmer has a visual guide to the language components. Programming is thus drag-and-drop and filling in parameters, such as the number of times to repeat a loop. Scratch has a rich set of sprites, sounds, backgrounds, and example games, stories, and simulations for “plug-and-play”. It has been used in CS1 at Harvard to introduce students to programming and multimedia. It has also become a common topic in tech camps for kids, as it has been at ITEC-Lansing.

Those with laptops can download Scratch from scratch.mit.edu and bring it to the talk to work along with the speaker.

- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 pm
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**April 15, 2010**

- Title: Frequency modulation and synthesizing music
- Speaker: David Austin

Professor

Department of Mathematics

Grand Valley State University

Allendale, Michigan - Abstract: Music and mathematics are deeply expressive languages that reveal their mysteries through both pattern and serendipity. This talk aims to expand the connection by demonstrating some elegant mathematical ideas that explain how music may be represented and even created by a computer.

- The figure above shows the waveform created when the G string on a guitar is picked. We’ll use this as a starting point to understanding the nature of sound and what it takes to recreate a sound like this.

I intend for this talk to be accessible to undergraduates. In fact, I hope to make the ideas, which include topics such as Fourier series and Bessel functions, very concrete through the use of pictures and sound files. - Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

**April 29, 2010**

- Title: Student Presentations
- Speaker: Students

Mathematics and Computer Science

Albion College

Albion, Michigan, USA - Abstract: Yang Chen, “Validity of Unbiased forward rate hypothesis”

A market is efficient if the market price reflects all publicly available information. In line with the unbiased forward rate hypothesis (UFH), the Foreign Exchange (FOREX) markets are efficient in the sense that arbitrage keeps exchange rates between any two currencies to be consistent with other exchange rates. This paper examines the validity of the UFH, argues that the forward exchange rates are not unbiased predictors of future spot rates, and concludes FOREX markets are not efficient due to information lags.

Matt Howe, “User login and authentication and security through the web”

A discussion of these login and authentication as implemented on Squeller.

Rachel Kamischke, “Teaching les Mathématiques en France and in the United States”

A discussion of research comapring the mathematics education systems in France and the USA.

Mike Smar, “Can Machines Think: A Brief History”

In 1950 Alan Turing proposed what we now call The Turing Test as a measure of whether a machine could think. This was understandably controversial. Since then, various AI’s have been put forth, such as ELIZA and PERRY, and various contentions have been raised, some by Turing himself. So, given a sufficiently advanced AI, is it thinking in the same sense that people think, or is it just blindly manipulating symbols?

Robbie Sessions, “Development of a Networked Poker Client”

If you’ve ever been to a casino, you know the thrill of gambling. With the rise of the internet, you can still get in on the action without even leaving your house. Online poker is a booming example. However, the development of a poker client capable of supporting networked play is no easy feat. This talk will explore the challenges to overcome in creating one’s own networked poker client, including establishing client/server communication, handling dynamic game logic, supporting scalability, and idiot-proofing a graphical user interface. This project is only in its infancy, but it has already shown great promise. - Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM
- Citation Click for BibTeX citation

## 2008-09 Academic Year Colloquium Schedule

**September 4, 2008**

- Title: Unusual Behavior in Rubber Cubes
- Speaker: Darren E. Mason

Associate Professor

Mathematics and Computer Science

Albion College

Albion, MI, USA

Abstract: In this talk we will consider the mathematical problem associated with special linear deformations of an incompressible and nonlinear elastic cube. We will discover that the problem admits a wide variety of different solutions, depending on the magnitude and direction of external isotropic forces. To understand why certain solutions are preferred by nature, we will then study an associated energy minimization problem that leads to a selection criterion to determine the optimal deformed state of the cube. - Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**September 11, 2008**

- Speaker: Robert A. Messer

Emeritus Professor

Mathematics and Computer Science

Albion College

Albion, Michigan - Abstract: We will consider basic features of three-dimensional geometric figures and build models of these objects using the Zometool construction system of plastic rods and connector balls. We will consider issues of symmetry and the duality between vertices and faces. We will apply these concepts to the sculpture designed by George Hart for the atrium of the Albion College Science Complex. Our insights will help us in assembling these sculptures on Saturday and give us a fuller appreciation of this sculpture.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**September 18, 2008**

- Title: Planning for Graduate Study in Mathematics and Computer Science
- Speaker: David A. Reimann

Associate Professor and Chair

Mathematics and Computer Science

Albion College

Albion, MI, USA - Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**September 25, 2008**

- Title: Liberal Arts at Work: An Albion Applied Mathematics Education
- Speaker: Erich Owens

Student

Engineering

Columbia University

New York, NY, USA - Abstract: My time at Albion engendered a deep appreciation for both mathematics and the liberal arts. This has led to appreciation for both sides of the pure/applied dichotomy, forays into related fields (Political Game Theory, Probability Theory and Stochastics, Systems Engineering). I plan to speak about my studies since leaving Albion College, the internship opportunities with NASA and the DoE that have been afforded to me, my time abroad in the Budapest Semesters in Mathematics, and the Engineering School’s atmosphere at Columbia University (and further reflection on the 3-2 program). I hope to give some sense of the possibilities available to current Mathematics and Computer Science students at Albion College, spread some enthusiasm about the sheer magnitude of what can be studied, and hopefully answer some questions about the pre-engineering program.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:35 PM

**September 25, 2008**

- Title: The Road to the Farmland
- Speaker: Adam Hashimoto

Student

Mechanical Engineering

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, MI - Abstract: Albion College’s Dual Degree Engineering program prepared me well not only for my engineering classes but also for the real world. In my presentation, I will talk about how the professors, classes, and classmates at Albion prepared me for the Mechanical Engineering major at the University of Michigan, all of the challenges and opportunities available at U of M, and the experience I gained while interning with John Deere as a Product Engineer at the Seeding Group in Moline, IL this past summer.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**October 2, 2008**

- Title: Treewidth, Algorithm Design and Computational Complexity: How We Can Exploit Problem Structure to CreateFaster Algorithms
- Speaker: Harold Connamacher

Assistant Professor

Mathematics and Computer Science

Albion College

Albion, Michigan, USA - Abstract: Treewidth is a fundamental property of a graphs. The treewidth property was defined by Neil Robertson and Paul Seymour in the late 1970’s. Originally used to answer Wagner’s Conjecture on graph minors, in the decades that followed there was an explosion of research using treewidth to study other graph structures, computational complexity, and algorithm design. New algorithms based on treewidth have been used in many areas of computer science including databases and artificial intelligence. This talk will introduce fundamental concepts in algorithms, computational complexity, and discrete mathematics.It will then introduce treewidth and show how we can create fast algorithms for intractable problems when the underlying graph of the problem has small treewidth.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**October 9, 2008**

- Title: Computerized Voting Machines: Who is Counting Your Vote?
- Speaker: Barbara Simons (Virtual)

Senior Technology Advisor for IBM Global Services, Retired

Almaden Research Center

California - Abstract: In this video, the speaker highlights some of the issues of modern voting systems.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**October 16, 2008**

- Title: Hide and Seek: A Quick Peek at Steganography
- Speaker: Peter Honeyman

Research Professor of Information and Scientific Director

Center for Information Technology Integration

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, Michigan - Abstract: In February 2001, Jack Kelley reported in USA Today that Usama bin Laden and his associates were communicating plans for terrorist attacks against the United States by surreptitiously embedding them in photographs posted on the Internet.

To investigate Kelley’s claim, Niels Provos and I downloaded images from implicated web sites. We examined them for months on a collection of over 500 engineering workstations using state of the art steganography detection algorithms developed by Provos as part of his doctoral research.

In August 2001, we reported at a computer security conference that our examination of millions of images failed to produce a single hidden message. One month later, our results took on unexpected significance and were reported all over the world.

In 2004, USA Today fired Jack Kelley, who admitted to years of mendacious reporting.

In this talk, I will (briefly!) review the 25 century history of steganography, describe how today’s techniques borrow from modern cryptography, and

show how even the most sophisticated algorithms leave subtle telltales that suggest the presence of hidden content. I will review the massive search that Niels and I undertook and explain why I believe that our results accurately reflect the absence of steganographic content in secret Internet communications. - Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**October 30, 2008**

- Title: ENAVis: Enterprise Network Activities Visualization
- Speaker: Qi Liao

Graduate Student

Computer Science and Engineering

University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame, Indiana - Abstract: With the prevalence of multi-user environments, it has become an increasingly challenging task to precisely identify who is doing what on an enterprise network. Current management systems that rely on inferring user identity and application usage via log files from routers and switches are not capable of accurately reporting and managing a large-scale network due to the coarseness of the collected data. We propose a system that utilizes finer-grained data in the form of local context, i.e. the precise user and application associated with a network connection. Through the use of dynamic correlation and graph modeling, we developed a visualization tool called ENAVis (Enterprise Network Activities Visualization). ENAVis aids a real-world administrator in allowing them to more efficiently manage and gain insight about the connectivity between hosts, users, and applications that is otherwise obfuscated, lost or not collected in systems currently deployed in an enterprise setting.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**November 6, 2008**

- Title: A Voting Theory Approach to Golf Scoring
- Speaker: Michael A. Jones

Mathematical Reviews

Ann Arbor, Michigan - Abstract: The Professional Golfer’s Association (PGA) is the only professional sports league in the U.S. that changes the method of scoring depending on the event. Even without including match play or team play, PGA tournaments can be scored under stroke play or the modified Stableford scoring system; these two methods of scoring are equivalent to using voting vectors to tally an election. This equivalence is discussed and data from the 2004 Masters and International Tournaments are used to examine the effect of changing the scoring method on the results of the tournament.

With as few as 3 candidates, elementary linear algebra and convexity can be used to show that changing how votes are tallied by a voting vector can result in up to 7 different election outcomes (ranking all 3 candidates and including ties) even if all of the voters do not change the way they vote! Sometimes, regardless of the voting vector the same outcome would have occurred, as in the 1992 US Presidential election. I relate this to the question: Can we design a scoring vector to defeat Tiger Woods? And answer it, retrospectively, for his record-breaking 1997 Masters performance. - Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**November 13, 2008**

- Title: Having a BLAST with Biology in Computer Science
- Speaker: Pamela A. Cutter

Assistant Professor

Department of Mathematics and Computer Science

Kalamazoo College

Kalamazoo, Michigan - Abstract: DNA analysis is a subject that is in the news almost every day, whether it be a new advance in medical research, a criminal trial, or some other application. BLAST (Basic Local Alignment Search Tool) is an important program used by biologists worldwide to compare DNA and protein sequences and to infer functional and evolutionary relationships between them. In this talk, we will examine several methods of aligning DNA sequences, and will look at the some of the algorithmic details underlying the implementation of BLAST.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**November 20, 2008**

- Title: A Smarter Way to Bet
- Speaker: Bobby Clouse

Senior Mathematics Major

Mathematics and Computer Science

Albion College

Albion, Michigan - Abstract: In Las Vegas, betting lines are conducted daily on various sports events. The goal of creating these projections is to bait fans into betting for one team or the other. The college bowl season is a huge part of the year for line makers. In this talk, we will look at a couple of ways these betting lines are calculated. Then our goal is to collect data of various years of college football bowl games. In the end, our goal is to examine a couple of rating systems and find a general answer for a proper way to bet on these games.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:35 PM

**November 20, 2008**

- Title: The Atomic Enigma
- Speaker: Jarrett Dunn

Senior Mathematics Major

Mathematics and Computer Science

Albion College

Albion, Michigan - Abstract: The basic idea of my presentation is that I will be telling the story of the atom and how our ideas of the atom have changed over time. Our view of the atom provides a good reflection on how physics has evolved and what we understand about nature at any given point in time. I also plan on handing out a paper that represents some of the work done by Niels Bohr. I want the audience to know that there is math involved in our understanding of the atom. So my presentation is mostly historical, but I plan to stress at the end that the story of the atom continues to evolve as it is always changing. I will be providing a gateway into quantum physics, but I will also highlight the fact that quantum physics cannot be the final say in physics.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**December 4, 2008**

- Title: Summer and Off-Campus Programs
- Speaker: David A. Reimann

Associate Professor

Department of Mathematics and Computer Science

Albion College

Albion, Michigan - Abstract: Have you ever wondered if you can study mathematics and/or computer science off-campus? Either during the summer or during the academic year? Each year a number of high-quality academic opportunities are available to Albion College students. Options include research/study internships at:

– academic institutions both within the United States and abroad,

– numerous federal government agencies, and

– a number of government scientific laboratories

In this presentation we will tour a new portion of the Albion College Math/CS website that illustrates these various opportunities as well as provide advice on how to apply, deadlines, any other pertinent information. - Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**January 29, 2009**

- Title: The Superbowl Box Pool
- Speaker: Michael A. Jones

Mathematical Reviews

Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA - Abstract: Each year approximately 45% of U.S. households watch the Superbowl and approximately $90 million is bet on the game. A common office pool, the Superbowl box pool, sells each square of a 10×10 grid for the same price. After all squares have been sold, the row and column headings are revealed to indicate the units’ digits of the scores of the two teams. At the end of each quarter, a percentage of the collected money is returned to the person who bought the square that matches the teams’ scores modulo 10. Although the pool is fair because each square is equally likely to be purchased for the same price and the expected value is zero, certain scores are clearly better, e.g., (7,0), than others, e.g., (5,8).

After years of running a Superbowl box pool at a neighbor’s house, I thought about how to create odds for the different scores. I develop both 200-state and 100-state Markov chain models of Superbowl play to determine the likelihood of end-of-quarter scores. Touchdown, extra point, field goal, safety, and two-point conversion data from the 2008 NFL season are parameters for the model. The outcomes are compared with end-of-quarter data from both the 2008 NFL season and past Superbowls. I also discuss the assumptions and limitations of the model. - Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**February 5, 2009**

- Title: The Evolution of Cooperation on Random Networks
- Speaker: Thomas I. Treloar

Assistant Professor

Mathematics

Hillsdale College

Hillsdale, Michigan, USA - Abstract: Understanding the mechanisms behind the emergence and perseverance of cooperation in complex systems is a problem of interest in varied disciplines including biology, physics, economics, the social sciences, and mathematics. The prisoner’s dilemma in the setting of evolutionary game theory has become an important framework in which to study this cooperation phenomena. In the past several years, it has been well-documented that models of ‘realistic’ populations are very favorable to the sustainability of cooperation. In this talk, we will discuss the effect certain population structures (modeled by a graph) have on the success of cooperation in the population. A surprisingly simple relationship between cooperation levels in a population and a graph coefficient which relates the ‘connectedness’ of an average person to the ‘connectedness’ of the average neighbor will also be given. This connection will give us a new insight into the ‘local’ mechanisms which aid cooperation. A natural link to models of the spread of a disease in a population is also provided through this connection.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**February 12, 2009**

- Title: Spherical geometry: The oldest example of a non-Euclidean geometry
- Speaker: Celso Melchiades Doria

Professor

Departamento de Matemática

Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina

Florianópolis – Santa Catarina, Brazil - Abstract: It will be introduced some historical aspects of Geometry, the formula for Pythagoras’ Theorem on the surface of a sphere and also some metric relations (cosine and sine laws). As a by product, the well known Pythagoras’ Theorem from Euclidean geometry will be obtained. Spherical geometry has been part of humankind since the rest beginning of navigations through the seas. Thus, since then, the measurement of distances and the description of positions on the surface of Earth have been essential. The GPS at those old years were the stars, the geographical points and later the lighthouses (Alexandria Lighthouse was the most famous one). The Pythagoras’ Theorem, on the surface of a plane, has been known for a very long time as one of the most important tools to measure distances and angles, but unfortunately it could not be applied to measure distances and angles for the purpose of navigation. So, how much Geometry was used for the purposes of navigation? Answer: A LOT. Although the question concerning the 5th-Euclidean postulate took around 2000 years to be settled, it could had been settled centuries before if sailors and mathematician were acquainted with the fact that over the surface of a sphere the concepts of Geometry could also be defined and further developed. The main problem was, until 1820, nobody knew how to define a Geometry, it was wrongly thought that Geometry meant Euclidean Geometry (Kant argued that the truths of geometry were synthetic a priori truths, and not analytic).
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 pm

**February 19, 2009**

- Title: When is the Pen Mightier Than the Keyboard?
- Speaker: Andries van Dam (Virtual)

Thomas J. Watson, Jr. University Professor of Technology and Education and Professor of Computer Science

Department of Computer Science

Brown University

Providence, Rhode Island - Abstract: User interface design is an important component of modern computer systems. An overview of new pen-based software is given. Examples are shown of pen-based applications in mathematics and chemistry. This video is available online from Purdue’s Computer Science Videos.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 pm

**February 26, 2009**

- Title: Careers in Mathematics and Computer Science
- Speaker: David A. Reimann

Associate Professor and Chair

Mathematics and Computer Science

Albion College

Albion, MI, USA - Abstract: A degree in mathematics or computer science is excellent preparation for employment in areas such as teaching, actuarial science, software development, engineering, and finance. Come learn about career opportunities awaiting you after graduation.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**March 5, 2009**

- Speaker: David L. Anderson

Visiting Assistant Professor

Mathematics and Computer Science Department

Albion College

Albion, Michigan - Abstract: In this talk, an overview of the physical problems faced by fire-control systems, including relative ship motion, wind velocity, the Coriolis effect, projectile drift due to rifling, and ship pitch and roll due to wave action. As continual advancements were made to control-fire systems, such as gyroscopic and gear-based computers, the practical firing range increased from several hundred yards to over 20 miles.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 pm

**March 26, 2009**

- Title: Finding the Best Way from Here to There
- Speaker: Darren E. Mason

Associate Professor

Mathematics and Computer Science Department

Albion College

Albion, Michigan - Abstract: Given a task to accomplish, it is natural to ask what is the best way to achieve your goal? Maybe you are flying from Beijing to London and need the shortest flight path. Or you are selling fuel and you want to find a function P(t) that gives you the optimal price at time t to maximize your profit. Or you are crossing a river with a strong current and want to determine a propeller direction (as a function of time) so that you cross the river in the least amount of time. The number of possible questions like those above seems endless. During this lecture will discuss some of the above problems, a famous brain-teaser called the brachistochrone problem, and illustrate how to find solutions to these problems using a version of calculus that makes sense in infinite dimensions â€” the interesting field of variational calculus!
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 pm

**April 2, 2009**

- Title: A Novel Approach to 3D Facial Imaging for Biometric Security
- Speaker: Robert McKeon

Graduate Student

Computer Science and Engineering

University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame, Indiana, USA - Abstract: Biometrics have become increasingly important in the field of security as related to national security and securing a person’s identity from identity theft. 3D face recognition is one of the many biometric techniques currently researched because each person’s face is unique. Many commercially available 3D sensors suitable for face image capture employ passive or texture-assisted stereo imaging or structured illumination with a moving light stripe. These techniques require a stationary subject. We describe an initial design and evaluation of a fixed-stripe, moving object 3D scanner designed for human faces. Our method of acquisition requires the subject to walk through a light screen generated by two laser line projectors. Triangulation and tracking applied to the video sequences captured during subject motion yield a 3D image of the subject’s face from multiple images. To demonstrate the accuracy of our initial design, a small-scale facial recognition experiment was executed that showed the faces for this proof of concept are viable for facial recognition.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**April 9, 2009**

- Title: Scientific Cyberinfrastructure and the Qualities of Lay Science
- Speaker: Archer L. Batcheller

Graduate Student

School of Information

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA - Abstract: Scientific cyberinfrastructure consists of organizations, technologies, and practices that support science work at a distance. This research advances the stream of work on public engagement in science by focusing on a particular type of public engagement, lay research, as mediated by computing technologies. We investigate how lay scientistsâ€™ needs are represented in cyberinfrastructure, and how that impacts their engagement in science activities. In particular, cyberinfrastructure designs – social and technical – have the potential to help or hinder laity involvement in research. This work looks at active cyberinfrastructure-building efforts in several domains, including limnology and climate science, to see how lay scientists are affecting and affected by the growing cyberinfrastructure. The active cyberinfrastructure design work has surfaced relevant issues, providing a good opportunity to talk with those involved. Surveys and interviews with both professional and lay scientists, and technology-builders yield data about the background and goals of the scientists, and how those goals are being addressed as technical and social cyberinfrastructure grows.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**April 16, 2009**

- Title: Code Rush
- Abstract: This documentary film shows the final days of Netscape in 1998 as they are taken over by AOL in response to fierce competition by Microsoft. The film also depicts life in a software company in Silicon Valley during the .com boom of the late 20th century.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10

**April 30, 2009**

- Title: Student Presentations
- Speaker

Students

Mathematics and Computer Science

Albion College

Albion, Michigan, USA - Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

## 2007-08 Academic Year Colloquium Schedule

**August 30, 2007**

- Title: An Introduction to Parallel Computing
- Speaker: David A. Reimann

Associate Professor and Chair

Mathematics and Computer Science

Albion College

Albion, MI - Abstract: Parallel computing employs the use of multiple processors and specialized algorithms to solve problems. Using multiple processors has the potential to improve performance by dividing a task among several processors, thus reducing the amount of work each a processor, in turn reducing the time required to solve a problem. An overview of historical and modern parallel computer architectures will be given. Parallel computers are classified by their connection topology and control mechanisms. The recent development of multi-core machines has the potential to deliver inexpensive parallel computing. However, special algorithms must be developed that break a task into independent components. Because the number and speed of communication channels between processors influences performance, understanding how an algorithm affects communication of information among processors is critical in overall performance. Examples of sequential and parallel algorithms to solve several tasks will be presented to help illustrate these concepts.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**September 6, 2007**

- Title: Planning for Graduate Study in Mathematics and Computer Science
- Speaker: David A. Reimann

Associate Professor and Chair

Mathematics and Computer Science

Albion College

Albion, MI - Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**September 13, 2007**

- Title: Decoding Nazi Secrets – Part 1
- Speaker: NOVA Video
- Abstract: Most historians agree that by enabling Allied commanders to eavesdrop on German plans, Station X shortened the war by 2 or 3 years. Its decoded messages played a vital role in defeating the U-boat menace, cutting off Rommel’s supplies in North Africa, and launching the D-Day landings. Now, for the first time on television, a 2-hour NOVA Special tells the full story of Station X, drawing on vivid interviews with many of the colorful geniuses and eccentrics who attacked the Enigma. Wartime survivors recall such vivid episodes as the British capture of the German submarine U-110; one of its officers describes how he saved a book of love poems inscribed to his sweetheart but failed to destroy vital Enigma documents on board. Decoding Nazi Secrets also features meticulous period reenactments shot inside the original buildings at Station X, including recreations of the world’s first computing devices that aided codebreakers with their breakthroughs. Station X not only helped reverse the onslaught of the Third Reich, but also laid the groundwork for the invention of the digital computer that continues to transform all our lives. See http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/decoding/ for the companion website.

One important note: Cayley Rice has an ongoing research project related to codebreaking at Bletchly Park, the subject of this video. She is looking for students who might be interesting in working with her. Please come to the video and talk to her afterwards for more information. - Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**September 20, 2007**

- Title: Decoding Nazi Secrets – Part 2
- Speaker: NOVA Video
- Abstract: Most historians agree that by enabling Allied commanders to eavesdrop on German plans, Station X shortened the war by 2 or 3 years. Its decoded messages played a vital role in defeating the U-boat menace, cutting off Rommel’s supplies in North Africa, and launching the D-Day landings. Now, for the first time on television, a 2-hour NOVA Special tells the full story of Station X, drawing on vivid interviews with many of the colorful geniuses and eccentrics who attacked the Enigma. Wartime survivors recall such vivid episodes as the British capture of the German submarine U-110; one of its officers describes how he saved a book of love poems inscribed to his sweetheart but failed to destroy vital Enigma documents on board. Decoding Nazi Secrets also features meticulous period reenactments shot inside the original buildings at Station X, including recreations of the world’s first computing devices that aided codebreakers with their breakthroughs. Station X not only helped reverse the onslaught of the Third Reich, but also laid the groundwork for the invention of the digital computer that continues to transform all our lives. See http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/decoding/ for the companion website.

One important note: Cayley Rice has an ongoing research project related to codebreaking at Bletchly Park, the subject of this video. She is looking for students who might be interesting in working with her. Please come to the video and talk to her afterwards for more information. - Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**September 27, 2007**

- Title: An introduction to Harmonic Analysis and Dispersive Estimates for Schrodinger Operators
- Speaker: William Green, Class of ’05

Graduate Student

Mathematics

University of Illinois

Urbana-Champaign, IL - Abstract: Harmonic Analysis can be defined as roughly the branch of analysis that arose from the study of Fourier Series and the Fourier Transform. An overview of necessary concepts in analysis, harmonic analysis and spectral theory will be given with an eye towards discussing estimates of certain Schrodinger operators. We will discuss certain estimates of the solution operator to the Schrodinger equation, generally concentrating on results in dimensions 3 and higher. We will end with a discussion of some open questions in the field.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**October 11, 2007**

- Title: Exploring the Best Joke of the 19th Century: The History of Mathematics in Action
- Speaker: Deborah A. Kent

Assistant Professor of Mathematics

Mathematics and Computer Science

Hillsdale College

Hillsdale, Michigan - Abstract: The story surrounding of Neptune’s discovery provides an exciting illustration of what historians of mathematics do. Neptune was first sighted as a new planet on 23 September 1846 at the Berlin observatory. The sensational news reached London a week later and the ensuing dispute created one of the great (and ongoing) priority debates in the history of science. About a month after the initial observation, word of the new planet also arrived in America where the controversy captured both popular interest and scientific attention. A handful of nineteenth-century scientists who shared a vision for professionalizing science in America viewed the Neptune affair as an opportunity to establish the legitimacy of American science in response to perceived European scientific superiority. While European administrators of science quibbled over the priority question, the Harvard mathematician Benjamin Peirce — considered an upstart American scientist — dared to question the mathematical particulars of the discovery. Recent twentieth-century events and manuscript discoveries further illuminate the story of planetary controversy.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**October 25, 2007**

- Title: Image reconstruction in multi-channel model under Gaussian noise
- Speaker: Veera Holdai

Doctoral Student

Mathematics

Wayne State University

Detroit, Michigan - Abstract: We will consider the problem of image reconstruction. Starting from some classical problems, we will gradually add some features to them. The main problem of image boundary reconstruction is double nonparametric due to multi-channel model and due to the object of estimation. The large sample asymptotics of the minimax risk will be discussed and asymptotically optimal estimator will be suggested.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**November 1, 2007**

- Title: Abel’s Impossibility Theorem
- Speaker: Susan J. Sierra

Graduate Student

Mathematics

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, Michigan - Abstract: You know the quadratic formula, but what about the cubic formula

There’s also a quartic formula for fourth degree equations. You may have heard, however, that there is no formula to solve a quintic polynomial by adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing, and taking roots of the coefficients. This was proved by the great Norwegian mathematician Niels Henrik Abel in 1824.

We’ll talk about the elegant algebraic structures that encode information about solving polynomials, do a bit of basic group theory and Galois theory, and prove Abel’s “impossibility theorem.” Time permitting, we’ll end with some intriguing mathematical puzzles. - Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**November 8, 2007**

- Title: How the DFA (deterministic finite automaton) is not
- Speaker: Thomas F. Piatkowski

Professor of Computer Science and Electrical and Computer Engineering

Department of Computer Science

Western Michigan University

Kalamazoo, Michigan - Abstract: Automata theory is one of the most mathematical areas of computer science. Two of the important uses of automata are:

to assist in the study and categorization of formal (computer) languages, and

to specify system behavior standards for implementable discrete systems.

One of the simplest types of automaton is the deterministic finite automaton (DFA) — the type used to recognize “regular” languages. Interestingly enough, the classical DFA is

not deterministic,

not finite, and

not an automaton.

The details of this paradoxical contention will be explored using concepts of state-system specification. - Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**November 15, 2007**

- Title: The Fractal Calculus Project
- Speaker: Mark M. Meerschaert

Professor and Chairperson

Department of Statistics and Probability

Michigan State University

East Lansing, Michigan - Abstract: Fractional derivatives are almost as old as their integer-order cousins. Recently, fractional derivatives have found new applications in engineering, physics, finance, and hydrology. In physics, fractional derivatives are used to model anomalous diffusion, where a cloud of particles spreads differently than the classical Brownian motion model predicts. A probability model for anomalous diffusion is based on particle jumps with power law tails. The probability of a jump length larger than $r$ falls off like $r^{-\alpha}$ as $r\to\infty$. For $0<\alpha<2$ these particle jumps have infinite variance, indicating a faster than usual spreading rate. Particle traces are random fractals whose dimension $\alpha$ equals the power law tail exponent. A fractional diffusion equation for the concentration of particles $c(x,t)$ at time $t$ and location $x$ takes a form

that can be solved via Fourier transforms. Fractional time derivatives model particle sticking or trapping in a porous medium. In finance, price jumps replace particle jumps, and the same models apply. In this talk, we give an introduction to this new area, starting from the beginning and ending with a look at ongoing research. - Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**November 29, 2007**

- Title: Summer and Off-Campus Programs
- Speaker: David A. Reimann

Associate Professor

Department of Mathematics and Computer Science

Albion College - Abstract: Have you ever wondered if you can study mathematics and/or computer science off-campus? Either during the summer or during the academic year? Each year a number of high-quality academic opportunities are available to Albion College students. Options include research/study internships at

academic institutions both within the United States and abroad,

numerous federal government agencies, and

a number of government scientific laboratories.

In this presentation we will tour a new portion of the Albion College Math/CS website that illustrates these various opportunities as well as provide advice on how to apply, deadlines, any other pertinent information. - Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**January 31, 2008**

- Title: Non-Inferiority: the Basics, a Saga, and Maybe an Opportunity
- Speaker

Tom C. Venable, Ph.D.

Lecturer

Department of Statistics

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, Michigan - Abstract: In clinical trials, using placebo is unethical in many therapeutic areas. In turn, non-inferiority studies are common. An experimental drug is compared against an active-control, that is, a gold standard. Simply said, we move from hypothesis testing to demonstrate that a new drug is superior to placebo to the use of confidence intervals to demonstrate that a new drug is not-inferior to the standard. However, these studies are challenging, especially in the necessary sample size, the choice of the standard and the margin itself, plus doing so in an extremely regulated environment.

This non-technical presentation includes the basics of superiority and non-inferiority study designs, their pros and cons, their methodologies, a non-inferiority story, plus an opportunity for continued research. - Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**February 7, 2008**

- Title: Computer Generated Effects for Film
- Speaker: Joseph Cavanaugh

Visual Effects Technical Director

Sony Imageworks

Los Angeles,, CA - Abstract: The speaker will give an overview of how a blend of art and technology is used to create computer generated effects for film. These effects range from elemental effects such as fire and water to dynamics effects such as crumbling and breaking objects. He will touch on the basic application of the mathematics used to create computer generated effects. He will show examples from recent movies such as Beowulf and Spiderman 3.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**February 14, 2008**

- Title: A Brief Introduction to Monte Carlo Simulations
- Speaker: Fatih Celiker

Assistant Professor

Mathematics

Wayne State University

Detroit, Michigan, USA - Abstract: In this talk I will give a brief introduction to Monte Carlos imulations. A short overview of some theoretical considerations will be followed by numerous examples coming from various areas of math, science, engineering, and finance. In their basic form, these simulations are extremely easy to generate, and for that matter they have found numerous applications in areas where randomness play a crucial role. Some examples are, simulation of Bernoulli’s experiments(coin flip), the birthday problem, traffic flow, random walk, Brownian motion, neutron shielding, financial option pricing, and insurance pricing. Moreover, applications generalize to deterministic problems such as computation of areas and volumes, approximating solutions of partial differential equations, approximating the value of the number mathematical constants such as pi and e, and optimization problems are only some of these.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**February 21, 2008**

- Title: What is an Actuary?
- Speaker: Dustin Turner, ’06

Actuarial Analyst

Actuarial Department

North Pointe Holdings Corporation

Southfield, MI - Abstract: In this talk I will give a broad overview of the actuarial profession. Many math majors have heard of the actuarial profession, but few are quite sure of what it entails. I will discuss the process of becoming a credentialed Actuary, while focusing on the responsibilities and perks of entry-level Actuarial Analyst positions. I will also be presenting examples of some fundamental actuarial exercises, including insurance pricing and loss reserving.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**February 28, 2008**

- Title: Careers in Mathematics and Computer Science
- Speaker: David A. Reimann

Associate Professor and Chair

Mathematics and Computer Science

Albion College

Albion, MI - Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**March 6, 2008**

- Title: Conjecture and Proof
- Speaker: Dennis Ross, ’08

Senior Mathematics Major

Mathematics and Computer Science

Albion College

Albion,, MI - Abstract: Problem solving is a fundamental skill in mathematics. However, not all problems are created equally. In this interactive colloquium we will explore several seemingly innocuous problems and discover the underlying combinatorial or number theoretic structures. We will also explore the concept of Grundy Numbers (Nimbers) and their relation to bizarre combinatorial games.

This is an accessible talk to mathematicians and computer scientists of all levels, and remember to bring a pencil. - Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**March 27, 2008**

- Title: Markov Processes: Markov Chains, Poisson Processes, Brownian Motion
- Speaker: Nadiya Fink

Visiting Assistant Professor

Mathematics and Computer Science

Albion College

Albion,, MI - Abstract: The Markov property indicates that, with knowledge of the current state, previous trajectories are irrelevant for predicting the probability of the future of a process. A Markov chain is a discrete-time stochastic (i.e. random) process possessing the Markov property. Probabilities and expected values on a Markov chain can be evaluated by a technique called First Step Analysis. An analogous technique can be applied to continuous-time processes. We will discuss an elementary introduction to Markov chains and First Step Analysis, followed by a broader description and discussion of the long-term behavior of Markov chains. Further, we will get acquainted with the Poisson Processes which are continuous-time processes with finite number of states, and, finally, will overview the continuous processes and their applications.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**April 3, 2008**

- Title: Arctangent Identities for Pi
- Speaker: Jack Calcut

Research Scientist

Interactic Holdings

Austin, TX - Abstract: Is there a better identity for pi than pi=4arctan(1)? Are the degree angle measures ever rational in a triangle whose side lengths form a Pythagorean triple? Which regular polygons may be built on a geoboard? The answers to these questions are intimately related to arctangent identities for pi, which we will explore using the number theory of the Gaussian integers. We will present some of the historical context as well as some directions for further research.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**April 17, 2008**

- Title: Life isn’t Fair: A Mathematical Argument in Favor of Benevolent Dictatorships
- Speaker: Cayley Rice

Assistant Professor

Mathematics and Computer Science

Albion College

Albion, Michigan, USA - Abstract: Arrow’s theorem, proved in the ’50s, suggests that under very reasonable restrictions, the only sensible method of societal decision making is dictatorial. In this talk we’ll explore a few different models of voting, how theoretical math can be applied to models of voting, and just how un-sensible voting models can get. A part of the talk will develop notation to discuss voting scenarios in mathematical notation. We’ll see how the language of abstract mathematics can be deftly applied to problems like this and, while the notation may be quite complicated, the subsequent mathematics is often already understood. This talk is in recognition of Math Awareness Month (as determined by the AMS, MAA, and SIAM to be April), whose theme this year is math and voting.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**May 1, 2008**

- Title: How the 2007 LMMC Albion Math Team captured the infamous Klein Cup
- Speaker: Jeremy Troisi, ’08

Student, Mathematics Major and Economics and Management Major

Albion College

Albion, Michigan, USA - Abstract: The test administered for the Lower Michigan Mathematics Competition (LMMC) in the Spring of 2007 contained a very strong focus on Proof by Mathematical Induction, often dubbed ‘Induction’, compared to past LMMC examinations. Being able to solve such problems quickly as well as a simple combinatorics problem, a simple bounding problem, and a college geometry problem within three hours assured victory. I will go over a complete solution process through a few of these problems and describe a few other problems time permitting.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

## 2006-07 Academic Year Colloquium Schedule

**August 24, 2006**

- Title: A Hierarchy of Graph Search Algorithms
- Speaker: Richard Krueger, Ph.D.

Department of Computer Science

University of Toronto - Abstract

Graph search algorithms, such as breadth-first search or depth-first search, are widely used for problems ranging from solving mazes, to traversing graphs, to evaluating artificial intelligence search trees. Graph search algorithms visit the vertices of a graph in a particular order, which can reveal structure in the graphs. Despite the wide-spread use of these algorithms, many structural properties of these vertex orderings have not been studied.

In this work, we consider the answer to a simple question: in the various types of graph search vertex orderings, how can a nonneighbouring vertex be visited before a neighbouring vertex? The surprising answers turn out to characterize a variety of known search algorithms, and leads to the identification of two new types of graph searches, completing our graph search hierarchy.

We will show how this new view of graph search vertex orderings lead to applications, such as recognition of classes of graphs, finding orderings of powers of graphs, and computing minimal triangulations of graphs.

Portions of this work is joint with Derek Corneil, Anne Berry and Genevieve Simonet. - Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**August 31, 2006**

- Title: Generating Hypothetical Explanations of Genetic Linkage Observations
- Speaker: Ben Keller

Assistant Professor

Department of Computer Science

Eastern Michigan University - Abstract: Several human diseases are thought to have complex genetic causes, where mutations of several genes are necessary to lead to the occurrence of the disease. Unfortunately, the affected genes are difficult to detect using clinical studies alone. I will discuss an approach we are developing at the National Center for Integrative Biomedical Informatics (U. Michigan) that allows us to generate possible molecular interactions that could explain the clinical results. We will look especially at Bipolar Disorder as a motivating example.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**September 7, 2006**

- Title: Planning for Graduate Study in Mathematics and Computer Science
- Speaker: David Reimann

Associate Professor and Chair

Department of Mathematics and Computer Science

Albion College - Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**September 14, 2006**

- Title: The Sound of Algebra
- Speaker: Michele Intermont

Associate Professor

Department of Mathematics and Computer Science

Kalamazoo College - Abstract: Can you really hear algebra? One place to try is in a bell tower. Change ringing uses permutation groups to give order to the ringing of the bells. This talk will give a little background on change ringing and use algebra to ease the task of composing for the bells by answering the question of whether or not understanding falseness for one method (aka song) translates to understanding it for other methods. This talk grew out of an undergraduate senior thesis.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**September 21, 2006**

- Title: The Fundamental Theorem of Algebra: History, Proofs, and Applications
- Speaker: Ryan Higginbottom

Visiting Assistant Professor

Department of Mathematics and Computer Science

Kalamazoo College - Abstract: The Fundamental Theorem of Algebra dates back to the mid-17th century, and it can be stated quite easily: every polynomial with complex coefficients has a complex number as a root. There are numerous modern proofs of this theorem, drawing on such diverse fields as complex analysis, abstract algebra, and topology. In this talk, we will discuss at least two of these proofs, and we will touch on some of the theoretical applications. This presentation should be accessible to anyone who has completed Calculus I.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**September 28, 2006**

- Title: Opportunites and Challenges of Wireless Sensor Networks: A Systems Perspective
- Speaker: Weisong Shi

Assistant Professor

Department of Computer Science

Wayne State University - Abstract: As new fabrication and integration technologies reduce the cost and size of wireless sensors, the observation and control of our physical world will expand dramatically using the temporally and spatially dense monitoring afforded by wireless sensor networks technology. Several applications such as habitat monitoring, counter-sniper system, environment sampling, and structure monitoring, have been launched, showing the promising future of wide range of applications of networked wireless sensors. In this talk, I will discuss both the opportunities and remaining challenges we are facing from the perspective of computer systems, including hardware design, operating systems, cross-layer design, topology/network management, security and privacy, reliability, and programmability. Finally, I will present some ongoing sensors-related projects at Wayne State University.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**October 5, 2006**

- Title: Geometric Sculpture
- Speaker: George Hart

Professor

Department of Computer Science

SUNY Stony Brook - Abstract: George W. Hart will show slides of some of his mathematically informed sculptures. These include works made of metal, wood, acrylic, or found objects, and often use laser-cutting or rapid prototyping technologies intheir realization. Also shown will be brief videos of the assembly of three large commissions: a six-foot sculpture constructed from 642 CDROMsin the Computer Science building at U.C. Berkeley, a five-foot sculpture constructed at a community “barn raising” event, and a “Salamanders “sculpture assembled by students when he was artist in residence at MIT. Mathematical and computer science aspects of these designs will be discussed. For examples of Hart’s work, see www.georgehart.com.
- Location: Norris 101
- Time: 3:10 PM

**October 19, 2006**

- Title: Mathematical Typesetting with TEX
- Speaker: Robert Messer

Associate Professor

Department of Mathematics and Computer Science

Albion College - Abstract: You can create beautiful documents with the TEX type setting system. This was developed by Donald Knuth to utilize the power of computers in handling the details of fine typesetting. In particular, TEX knows the rules for choosing the correct font sizes and spacing between characters in typesetting mathematical formulas. Bring the solution to one of your homework assignments, and we will go to the computer lab to see how easy this is.
- Location: Palenske 251
- Time: 3:10 pm

**October 26, 2006**

- Title: Combinatorial Identities
- Speaker: George Grossman

Associate Professor

Department of Mathematics

Central Michigan University - Abstract: Combinatorial identities have a fascinating history in mathematics many of which involve binomial coefficients which are recursive in nature. Numerous identities are derived from generating functions or proven by recurrence equations. We examine a certain interesting combinatorial identity found in a text of Polya and Szego, 1924. We show a derivation and proof of this identity. We also show a generalization of the identity.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**November 2, 2006**

- Title: The Role of Computer Science in Geoinformatics
- Speaker: Patrick Kinnicutt

Assistant Professor

Department of Computer Science / Geology

Central Michigan University - Abstract: The geosciences have made significant advances during the past few decades, with the aid of computer technologies in such areas as scientific computing and visualization, telemetry and data acquisition, massively parallel supercomputer simulations, large-scale databases and the cyberinfrastructure in general. Immersive environments enable geoscientists to visualize geologic formations in 3D, virtual reality environments enable things like real-time geosteering of deep boreholes, and real-time telemetry enable the ability to transmit data acquired from downhole data acquisition sensors. The use of this and other computer technology to solve real-world problems in the geosciences is part of a discipline called geoinformatics.

This talk describes what geoinformatics is and how information and computer technology are used in the geosciences. A general overview of geoinformatics will be given, followed by specific examples via source code and case studies. The use of geographic information systems (GIS), web services, knowledge representation, and geostatistical modeling and simulation will be presented. In particular, a case study examining the use of non-Euclidean distance metrics to model surficial dioxin distributions near Midland, MI will be presented. Current developments in cyberinfrastructure development for the geosciences will be presented as well, with a focus on the technologies used to build the cyberinfrastructure. Lastly, the use of asset teams will be discussed at oilfield software companies like Schlumberger and Halliburton, highlighting the importance of teamwork and communication in the solution of domain-specific problems. - Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**November 9, 2006**

- Title: Exaggerating Data
- Speaker: Jack Kalbfleisch

Professor and Chair

Department of Biostatistics

University of Michigan

Abstract: We will look at a number of examples where the way in which the data arise is biased so that care must be exercised in drawing conclusions. These examples include the famous bus paradox of Feller and some more practical situations which arise, for example, in the analysis of early detection programs for disease, or in the analysis of data on patient survival in studies of organ transplants. Some elementary statistical aspects will be considered and developed with a view to finding ways to carry out a correct analysis of the data. - Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**November 16, 2006**

- Title: When Does Inversion Preserve Convexity?
- Speaker: David E. Blair

Professor Emeritus

Department of Mathematics

Michigan State University - Abstract: Given a smooth closed convex curve in the plane, what is the setof points in the plane as centers of inversion for which the image of thegiven curve will again be a convex curve? This question has an attractive answer. After reviewing the geometry of curve theory and of inversion theory (reflection in circles), we will give a proof of the answer. If time permits, we will discuss the corresponding question for convex bodies in 3-space.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**November 30, 2006**

- Title: Summer and Off-Campus Programs
- Speaker: Darren E. Mason

Associate Professor

Department of Mathematics and Computer Science

Albion College - Abstract: Have you ever wondered if you can study mathematics and/or computer science off-campus? Either during the summer or during the academic year? Each year a number of high-quality academic opportunities are availableto Albion College students. Options include research/study internships at
- academic institutions both within the United States and abroad,
- numerous federal government agencies, and
- a number of government scientific laboratories.
- In this presentation we will tour a new portion of the Albion College Math/CS website that illustrates these various opportunities as well as provide advice on how to apply, deadlines, any other pertinent information.

- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**February 1, 2007**

- Title: The Classical Problems of the Calculus of Variations
- Speaker: Charles R. MacCluer

Professor

Department of Mathematics

Michigan State University - Abstract: One of the earliest uses of the calculus was to attack “variational problems,” where the objective is to minimize certain path integrals. These first problems were proposed by Johann Bernoulli, Newton, von Leibniz, and others — in certain cases as challenges to smoke out their competition. We will tour (but not solve) a collection of these early problems on least time, geodesics, bluff bodies, isoperimetric problems, hanging cable, etc, as well as the modern Nobel-winning Mirrlees formulation of optimal tax structure.

If time permits, we will also sketch the derivation of the Euler-Lagrange equation for solving variational problems and its application to conservative mechanical systems. Finally, we will formulate a representative optimal control problem. - Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**February 8, 2007**

- Title: A Combinatorial Gauss-Bonnet Theorem
- Speaker: Robert W. Bell

Assistant Professor

Department of Mathematics and

Lyman Briggs School of Science

Michigan State University - Abstract: The classical Gauss – Bonnet theorem for a closed surface S says that integral of the curvature over S depends only on the topological type ofS. For instance, although the unit sphere x2 + y2 + z2 = 1 and the ellipsoid 3×2 + 5y2 + 7z2 = 1 are curved differently, if we integrate their curvatures, we obtain the same value in both cases because the sphere and the ellipsoid are topologically the same surface.

We will prove a combinatorial generalization of the Gauss – Bonnet theorem for two dimensional polyhedral. As a corollary, we will deduce the classical theorem. No background is required for core of the talk; however, relating the combinatorial theorem to the classical one requires some acquaintance with vector calculus. - Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**February 15, 2007**

- Title: When Good Rings Go Bad, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Non-commutativity
- Speaker: Cayley Pendergrass

Assistant Professor

Department of Mathematics and Computer Science

Albion College - Abstract: Despite overwhelmingly popular knowledge, there are worlds in which ab is not equal to ba and, sometimes, (ab)c is not equal to a(bc). It’s fascinating what can or cannot happen when we relax the rules for multiplication, and I hope to share a little about this aspect of algebra and why I find it interesting.

This peculiar behavior is described by mathematicians in terms of axioms; we begin by assuming particular conditions to be true and use only these to build an elaborate structure of theorems and properties. Despite the esoteric idea of stating some properties and studying what happens, these sets, called algebras, turn up in (arguably) real life. Even though these are certainly interesting and entertaining ideas in their own right, mathematicians aren’t just making them up for fun; these types of structures are used model to specific physical applications, particularly in particle and quantum physics.

This talk will begin in the integers and end up in sets where our standard notions of multiplication do not work. We’ll discuss the axioms required for rings and algebras, see some examples of rings with elements that behave badly, and discuss how these rings differ from our familiar ideas of numbers. Because I’ll focus on examples, very little prerequisite knowledge will be required. - Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**February 22, 2007**

- Title: Is my Smartcard Secure? Side Channel Attacks on the Advanced Encryption Standard
- Speaker: Kevin Compton

Associate Professor

Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

University of Michigan - Abstract: In 2001 the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) selected the block cipher Rijndael as the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), making it the standard for symmetric key encryption. One of the NIST selection criteria was that the cipher should be easy to implement on inexpensive computational devices such smartcards. This raises the question of how secure these devices are. A smartcard leaks information through voltage fluctuations and electromagnetic signals. Is this enough information to break the cipher? We will describe a Simple Power Analysis attack on an 8-bit implementation of AES that finds the encryption key using an optimized search strategy. This improves on previous work in terms of speed, flexibility, and handling of data error. We can find a 128-bit cipher key in 16ms on average, with similar results for 192- and 256-bit cipher keys. The attack almost always produces a unique cipher key and performs well even in the presence of substantial measurement error. The talk will be self contained: no previous knowledge of cryptography or smartcards will be assumed.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**March 1, 2007**

- Title: Droplet Evaporation in a Quiescent, Micro-Gravity Atmosphere
- Speaker: Indrek Wichman

Professor

Mechanical Engineering

Michigan State University - Abstract: Droplet evaporation spans numerous research fields ranging from the analysis of rocket fuels to crystal growth. In this talk [1] a detailed examination is conducted of the sensitivity of the droplet surface temperature and the droplet radius-squared to physical parameters characteristic of hydrocarbon fuels. An optimization analysis is conducted in which the physical parameters are determined to minimize the droplet evaporation time. The nonlinearity of the governing equations requires a numerical solution. An asymptotic analysis is also carried out and the predictions are compared with the numerical simulations. The applicability of the asymptotic analysis is more restricted than is commonly believed. Interestingly, some pseudo-fixed points arise in one of the solutions. The meaning of these points is not clear and their appearance suggests further mathematical analysis of these equations might be profitable.

Based largely on the recent M.S. thesis of Mr. Paul R. Cole. - Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**March 8, 2007**

- Title: Planck’s Unphysical Assumption: The Discretization that Began the Quantum Revolution
- Speaker: Aaron Miller

Assistant Professor

Physics

Albion College - Abstract: In this talk I will present a portion of the monumental work of Max Planck in his study of the thermal equilibrium between physical solids and radiation fields. In his work, Planck turned a single integral into a summation in order to get his model to match laboratory measurements. This mathematical assumption was profoundly unsatisfying (from a physical point of view) and Planck only intended it to stay in physics until a more satisfactory theory was developed. However, his assumption has born the test of experiment and spawned the field of “quantum mechanics,” easily argued as the most successful physical theory in the history of physics.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**March 29, 2007**

- Title: Wirtinger Inequality and the Theorems of Sturm
- Speaker: P.K. Wong

Associate Dean and Professor, Emeritus

College of Natural Science

Michigan State University - Abstract: Colloquium Abstract
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**April 5, 2007**

- Title: Imaging the Human Brain
- Speaker: David Reimann

Associate Professor and Chair

Department of Mathematics and Computer Science

Albion College - Abstract: Imaging techniques commonly used to assess brain structure and function such as radiography, CT, PET, SPECT will be discussed. An emphasis will be placed on the physics, mathematics, and computer science behind these techniques. This talk is part of the national celebration of April as Mathematics Awareness Month
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**April 12, 2007**

- Title: The Naked Truth About The Baire Category Theorem
- Speaker: Clifford Weil

Professor

Department of Mathematics

Michigan State University - Abstract: The talk will begin with a narrow discussion of the notion of a metric space. Examples presented will be those used later. Then the Baire Category Theorem will be stated and discussed. Finally the theorem wil be applied to prove the existence of a certain difficult to construct examples such as an everywhere continuous, but no where differentiable function. All will be connected to familiar concepts from calculus and will require theorems from advanced calculus.
- Location: Palenske 227

Time: 3:10 PM

**May 3, 2007**

- Title: Analysis of Volumetric Data Sets
- Speaker: Paul Albee

Assistant Professor

Department of Computer Science

Central Michigan University - Abstract: Volumetric analysis is the process of extracting useful information from three-dimensional data sets. Two areas of interest are volumetric segmentation and interest detection. Volumetric segmentation can be a difficult problem, particularly when type of structures to expect is unknown. A computationally inexpensive algorithm for segmenting large volumes with minimal a priori knowledge is presented. Interest detection is an essential step for identifying salient regions an a volume. A transform for characterizing potentially interesting regions is presented, along with a larger interest detection framework.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

## 2005-06 Academic Year Colloquium Schedule

**August 25, 2005**

- Title: Fixed Points & Maps from Here to Here.
- Speaker: Robert Messer

Associate Professor

Department of Mathematics and Computer Science

Albion College - Abstract: If you stir a cup of coffee carefully with a circular motion, the point at the center remains fixed under this motion.What happens if you stir in a more complicated pattern?Will there always be a point that returns to its original location? We will prove a two-dimensional version of atheorem that guarantees a fixed point for a continuous deformation of the surface of the coffee. The proof uses a clever counting argument known as Sperner’s Lemma. The simplest version of this lemma says if your cat is inside when you go to bed and outside when you wake up in the morning, it must have gone through its little cat door an odd number of times.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**September 1, 2005**

- Title: Combinatorial Combat: The Mathematics of Games
- Speaker: Mort Brown

Professor Emeritus

Department of Mathematics

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, MI - Abstract: We will study the strategy of several games where mathematics can play a role. Some are “solvable” games, some are “unsolved”, and in some it is known who wins but nobody knows how it is done. The rules of the games are all simple, but the games may not be.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**September 8, 2005**

- Title: Career Planning in Mathematics and Computer Science
- Speaker: David Reimann

Associate Professor and Chair

Department of Mathematics and Computer Science

Albion College - Abstract: There has long been a demand in both industry and government for people with training in mathematics, statistics, and computer science. Even in a weak economy, the job market remains strong for mathematics and computer science majors. A recent government report indicated “computer occupations account for 5 out of the 20 fastest growing occupations in the economy”. 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 some exciting career and graduate school options you will have after graduation.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**September 15, 2005**

- Title: Seeing lines with Differential Equations
- Speaker: Melinda Koelling

Assistant Professor

Department of Mathematics

Western Michigan University

Kalamazoo, MI - Abstract: The approximately 100 billion neurons in your brain communicate by electrical signals. In this talk, we will look at how about half a billion of them might work together to make it possible for you to see lines. I will discuss known physical properties of these neurons and how to model them. The model will involve some equations involving the rate of change of the voltage across the cell membrane of the neurons –differential equations. I will then talk about how to solve these equations. This talk is intended for people who may not be familiar with differential equations, neuroscience, and mathematical modeling, but who want to know more.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**September 22, 2005**

- Title: Industrial Mathematics at MSU
- Speaker: Charles MacCluer

Professor

Department of Mathematics

Michigan State University - Abstract: In this talk we will discuss various aspects of the MSU Industrial Mathematics Program, including various real-world industrial products completed by former graduates, such as modeling the future emergency services needs of the Sparrow Hospital System.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**September 29, 2005**

- Title: Steady streaming in bubble microfluidics, and other assorted things I learned at Albion
- Speaker: David Hansen

Doctoral Candidate

Department of Engineering Sciences and Applied Mathematics

Northwestern University - Abstract: Oscillating microbubbles exhibit several interesting behaviors, including light emission, penetration of cell walls, and efficient transport of microscopic objects. To accurately model such bubbles, we employ a combination of mathematical techniques to solve the vorticity equation. The result is an easy-to-use Â”toolboxÂ” for simulating complex flows relevant to lab-on-a-chip and bioengineering applications.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**October 6, 2005**

- Title: An Introduction to Genetic Algorithms
- Speaker: Rama Chidambaram

Assistant Professor

Department of Mathematics and Statistics

University of Michigan – Dearborn - Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**October 20, 2005**

- Title: Mathematical Models of Physical Phenomena in Science, Engineering, and Medicine
- Speaker: Anna Maria Spagnuolo

Associate Professor

Department of Mathematics Sciences

Oakland University

Rochester, MI - Abstract: Mathematical models involving ordinary and partial differential equations and corresponding convergent numerical algorithms for computing their solutions can be used to create simulation packages to study physical phenomena. The mathematical approach can offer guidance for running laboratory experiments, creating specific drugs, and developing tools. In this talk, I will focus on models and numerical simulations used to study the following problems: the colonization of Vibrio cholerae in a human host, the detection of recurrent brain tumors, the development of medical devices, tracking nuclear transport in porous media, and more.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**October 27, 2005**

- Title: Mathematics, Computer Science, Scientific Modeling, and a Long, Fun-Filled Ninety-Six Hours in the Cold of February
- Speaker: Mr. Brian Dick

Mr. Benjamin Johns

Mr. Brian Dick

Ms. Kate Walton

Undergraduate Students in Mathematics and Science

Albion College - Abstract: Every February the Consortium for Mathematics and its Applications conducts a world-wide competition in applied mathematics. This competition begins with the posting of two real-world word problems to an official website. Then, over the next four days, teams of two or three students at schools around the world select a problem, develop a solution, and type up a fully cited research paper detailing their solution. These papers are then submitted by the team advisors to a judging committee for review.

In 2005, five Albion College students formed two teams and respectively tackled two challenging problems. The first addressed the failure of the Rawls Creek dam in South Carolina and the resulting impact of the flood waters, while the second problem dealt with the problem of determining the optimal number of tollbooths to deploy in a barrier-toll plaza. During this talk, representatives from both teams will discuss the ups and downs of team-based mathematical modeling, including presentation of their solutions and anecdotes relating their experiences during this grueling competition. - Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**November 3, 2005**

- Title: Mathematics and National Security
- Speaker: Ms. Sandra Speiser

Cryptologic Mathematician

The National Security Agency - Abstract: The National Security Agency (NSA) makes and breaks codes in order to protect U.S. government information systems and produce foreign signals intelligence. The speaker will present an overview of the Agency and the work performed by NSA mathematicians. An example from public key cryptography will illustrate an application of math in securing communications.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**November 10, 2005**

- Title: Multisource network broadcasting: explorations in theory rather than practice, an open problem, and the dark side of research.
- Speaker: Harold Connamacher

Assistant Professor

Department of Mathematics and Computer Science

Albion College - Abstract: Imagine that you are the head of development for a media company that is going to broadcast a show on the internet. You have a large number of subscribers that need to receive the broadcast, and both to speed the data transmission and to protect yourself in the event of network or machine problems, you have multiple broadcast sources at different locations on the internet. Your goal is to get the broadcast to the subscribers as quickly as possible. One solution is to flood the network. While this solves the problem, other internet users may not appreciate your hogging the bandwidth. Another possibility is to compute a tree that spans the portion of the network containing the sources and subscribers and to send the transmission along the edges of the tree. It turns out that how we define “as quickly as possible” has a huge effect on both the type of tree we need to compute and how easy or hard it is to compute the tree. This talk will explore these differences, demonstrate techniques used in theoretical computer science, present a possible research problem for interested students, and on the way we will expose a bit of the dark side of research.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**November 17, 2005**

- Title: Andy Lake’s Talk: Detectives, Squirrels and BRUW: My Summer At Internet2

and Dustin Turner’s Talk: Brainstorming, Barnstorming, and what the heck is there to do in Kansas? - Speaker: Mr. Andrew Lake

Computer Science Senior

Department of Mathematics and Computer Science

Albion College

Mr. Dustin Turner

Applied Mathematics and History Junior

Department of Mathematics and Computer Science

Albion College - Abstract: Andy Lake’s Presentation: I will discuss my summer internship at Internet2 in Ann Arbor. Internet2 is a consortium of universities and organizations dedicated to building and testing next generation network applications. During my time with Internet2 I worked on a number of projects including the Internet2 Detective, Black Squirrel, and BRUW. I will discuss the projects in detail in addition to what Internet2 is and how I got started with them.

and Dustin Turner’s Presentation: In this talk I will discuss research I did over the summer regarding the implementation of an algorithm for stable differentiation of noisy piecewise smooth data. In addition I will be discussing the REU experience and why students should consider one! - Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**December 1, 2005**

- Title: Some Clever Proofs using Advanced Mathematics
- Speaker: Mr. Giovanni DiMatteo

Pure Mathematics Senior

Department of Mathematics and Computer Science

Albion College - Abstract: We’ll examine three smart applications of topics from undergraduate math, including Cauchy sequences, topological spaces, and finite fields. I created one of these problems, read another in a book, and saw the third at the Budapest Semester in Mathematics (BSM). All of them yield(comparatively) neat solutions to the problems chosen; this serves partly as advertising for the problem solving seminar I will be running again in the spring and also as an opportunity to talk a little about my experience at the BSM program.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**December 8, 2005**

- Title: Summer Programs and other Off-Campus Opportunities
- Speaker: Darren E. Mason

Assistant Professor

Department of Mathematics and Computer Science

Albion College - Abstract: Have you ever wondered if you can study mathematics and/or computer science off-campus? Either during the summer or during the academic year? Each year a number of high-quality academic opportunities are available to Albion College students. Options include research/study internships at

academic institutions both within the United States and abroad,

numerous federal government agencies, and

a number of government scientific laboratories.

In this presentation we will tour a new portion of the Albion College Math/CS website that illustrates these various opportunities as well as provide advice on how to apply, deadlines, any other pertinent information. - Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**January 26, 2006**

- Title: Is the whole really greater than the sum of its parts? Exploring partitions of numbers
- Speaker: Stephanie Treneer

Graduate Student

Department of Mathematics

Univeristy of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Abstract: A partition of a positive integer n is a sequence of positive integers that sum to n. The partition function p(n) counts the partitions of n without regard to order. This deceptively simple function has led to a rich theory. We’ll look at two elementary methods for analyzing partitions: Ferrers graphs and generating functions, and then briefly discuss how the theory of modular forms has led to some recent surprising results about p(n).
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**February 1, 2006**

- Title: Writing -680 as a “Product of Threes”: The power of τ-factorization
- Speaker: Andrea M. Frazier

Graduate Student

Department of Mathematics

Univeristy of Iowa - Abstract: Download Here
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**February 9, 2006**

- Title: Data Conversion and State Management for Heterogeneous Thread Migration
- Speaker: John P. Walters

Graduate Student

Department of Computer Science

Wayne State University - Abstract: In long running parallel computations it may sometimes be helpful to migrate individual threads from one machine to another. This has applications in fault tolerance as well as runtime performance. However, a typical parallel application will rely on a certain global state that may no longer exist once migration has occurred. Furthermore, it may be advantageous to migrate a thread to a heterogeneous architecture. How can a consistent global state be maintained in such a situation? Here we discuss the data conversion and consistency issues surrounding heterogeneous thread migration. We show that this can be accomplished in a method that is completely transparent to the user/programmer.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**February 16, 2006**

- Title: The Importance of Mathematics
- Speaker: Timothy Gowers ( virtual )

Professor of Mathematics

University of Cambridge

Fields Medal Recipient - Abstract: The Importance of Mathematics is a lucid, dynamic presentation of the deep and important question of the relevance of mathematics to society, delivered by one of the best mathematicians of the modern age. Timothy Gowers is Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambirdge (UK) and a recipient of the prestigious Fields Medal.

Professor Gowers gave the Keynote Address at the historic Millennium Meeting of the Clay Mathematics Institute Â— the very same meeting at which the Millennium Prize Problems were announced. Gowers spoke about the relevance of mathematics to diverse applications citing examples in computer science, finance, and engineering. His theme underscores the unity of different apparently diverse sub-fields of mathematics. His exposition is exceptionally clear and easy to follow, making mathematics accessible to non-experts.

This lecture is a treasure trove of mathematical intuition and insight into the relationship between mathematics and its applications. Using historical and present-day examples, the speaker makes a convincing argument that mathematics plays a crucial role in the advancement of science.

Gowers is known throughout the world for his proficiency as a speaker, and he leads us on a journey through arithmetic progressions, distributions of primes, and the political implications and real-world applications of mathematics, in a way that promises to delight and inspire experts and non-experts alike.

Abstract quoted from here. - Location: Palenske 227

**February 23, 2006**

- Title: Trying to Find Order in Nature: Mapping Plants Using Multivariate Statistics
- Speaker: Christopher Van de Ven

Assistant Professor

Department of Geological Sciences

Albion College - Abstract: The geographic distributions of plants are functions of their local environments. Each plant species has a unique set of environmental tolerances that determine where a plant is able to grow. Using a multivariate statistical technique called canonical correspondence analysis (CCA), I estimate the tolerances of plant species to topographic and geologic parameters. Once the tolerances of those plant species are known, or at least approximated, the distribution of the plant can be mapped everywhere the environmental variables are known. These models are calibrated and evaluated based on data collected in numerous field sites. An interesting application of this technique is to predict how species would respond to climate change, by modifying the environmental variables and re-mapping the plant distributions. By predicting the consequences of local environmental change on plant species, I have identified which plants are at risk of local extinction, and estimated the magnitude of change to force them to go extinct.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**March 2, 2006**

- Title: Groups and Symmetry
- Speaker: Ruth Favro

Professor

Department of Mathematics and Computer Science

Lawrence Technological University - Abstract: In this talk we will discuss how to use rigid motions and regular polygons to develop multiplication tables for symmetry groups.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**March 23, 2006**

- Title: Connecting the Dots: Linear Algebra and Graph Theory
- Speaker: Sylvia Hobart

Associate Professor

Department Mathematics

University of Wyoming - Abstract: Draw some dots and connect them with lines; this is a graph. Not a graph of a function as in calculus, but a combinatorial graph. Such graphs are defined purely structurally, and many things can be proved using that point of view. But bigger and better things can be done when we bring in other parts of mathematics. I will introduce some basic linear algebra and show how it codifies some properties of graphs. I will focus on a class called strongly regular graphs which are particularly appropriate for this approach.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**March 28, 2006**

- Title: Life Isn’t Fair: Social Choice Theory and Arrow’s Theorem
- Speaker: Cayley Pendergrass

Doctoral Candidate

Department Mathematics

University of California – San Diego - Abstract: Kenneth Arrow proved in 1950 that, given a precise notion of reasonable, the only reasonable social choice function is dictatorship. As this is unsatisfying, recent work has begun to analyze which alternative voting scheme is best. This talk will discuss Arrow’s theorem, what “best” might mean for a social choice procedure, and a geometric analysis of one particular family of social choice procedures.

The talk will be accessible to anyone comfortable with (high school) algebra, basic properties of triangles, and logical reasoning. - Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 4:10 PM

**April 6, 2006**

- Title: Exploiting Finger Surface As a Biometric Identifier
- Speaker: Damon Woodard

Post-Doctoral Research Associate

Department of Computer Science

University of Notre Dame - Abstract: Biometrics, the discipline of establishing an individual’s identity based upon physical or behavioral characteristics, has become of major research area mainly due to the numerous applications for reliable personal identification. The performance of a biometric system is highly dependent on the chosen biometric identifier. We present a novel approach for personal identification which utilizes 3D finger surface features as a biometric identifier. Using 3D range images of the hand, a surface representation for the index, middle, and ring finger is calculated and used for comparison to determine subject similarity. We use the curvature based shape index to represent the fingers’ surface. A large unique database of hand images supports the research. We use data sets obtained over time to examine the performance of each individual finger surface as a biometric identifier as well as the recognition performance obtained when combining them. The probe and gallery sets sizes are varied to determine their affect on overall system performance. We present performance results for both authentication and identification tasks which suggest that 3D finger surface is a viable choice as a biometric identifier.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**April 13, 2006**

- Title: Ants Can Pick Stocks: A Heuristic for Constructing Equity Index Funds
- Speaker: Danny Myers

Professor

Department of Applied Statistics and Operations Research

Bowling Green State University - Abstract: An equity index fund attempts to duplicate the performance of a selected benchmark as closely as possible. For practical reasons, it is often desirable to achieve this with a designated number of securities. In the operations research literature the selection of securities for index fund construction can be formulated as a quadratic 0-1 programming problem. Since such models are NP hard, heuristic methods are usually required to produce (approximate) solutions in a reasonable time. This article reports on an Ant Colony Optimization approach to selecting securities for inclusion in an S&P 500Â® index fund.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**April 13, 2006**

- Title: Statistics Science, Career, Passion, and Beyond
- Speaker: Arthur Yeh

Associate Professor

Department of Applied Statistics and Operations Research

Bowling Green State University - Abstract: In this talk, a general introduction of statistics will be the main focus. Topics include statistics as a science, its applications in diverse fields, the job prospects, and what it takes to become a statistician. Drawing my own experience as an undergraduate majoring in mathematics, I hope to share with you my personal journey into statistics. I will also discuss the Master of Science in Applied Statistics program at Bowling Green State University.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**April 20, 2006**

- Title: Web-Based Translation for Documenting and Preserving Languages
- Speaker: Martha O’Kennon

Professor Emeritus

Department Mathematics and Computer Science

Albion College - Abstract: In this talk we will demonstrate how to develop translators in a 3-step process: parsing from source sentence to source diagram, translating from source diagram to target diagram, then finally formatting the target diagram into a target sentence.
- Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

**May 4, 2006**

- Title: The Collapse of The Tacoma Narrows Bridge
- Speaker: Kristen Moore

Assistant Professor

Department of Mathematics

University of Michigan - Abstract: For decades, scientists in many disciplines have worked to explain the dramatic torsional oscillations that preceded the collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in 1940, as well as the puzzling behavior of suspension bridges such as the Golden Gate, the Bronx-Whitestone, and Deer Isle. The forty-year effort to control the behavior of the Deer Isle Bridge in Maine, and the recent closing of London’s Millennium Bridge testify to the fact that the problem of controlling suspension bridge oscillations remains unsolved.

I will discuss some popular explanations for the collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. In addition, I will describe models for the motion of suspension bridges that yield rich and surprising numerical and theoretical results that explain the phenomena observed at Tacoma Narrows on the day of its collapse. - Location: Palenske 227
- Time: 3:10 PM

## 2004-05 Academic Year Colloquium Schedule

**August 26, 2004**

- Title: Hippocrates and the Quadrature of the Lune
- Speaker: John Stoughton

Professor of Mathematics

Hope College

Holland, MI - Abstract: The problem of squaring the circle (i.e., given a circle, can we construct, with straightedge and compass alone, a square with EXACTLY the same area?) is one of the oldest in mathematics. It was proposed sometime before 440 BC (the time of Hippocrates) and was not solved until 1882. Hippocrates came very close to showing that it could be done and his work led some of the world’s best mathematicians to believe that it could. (It can’t.) In this talk, we examine Hippocrates’ work and discuss why it took over 2300 years from his time for the problem to be solved.
- Location: Norris 109
- Time: 4:10 PM

**September 2, 2004**

- Title: Time’s Arrows
- Speaker: Ronald Fintushel

University Distinguished Professor of Mathematics

Michigan State University

Lansing, MI - Abstract: I will discuss a simple combinatorial problem related to clocks and describe how to solve it by using the topology of Riemann surfaces. This talk should be accessible to any student who has had calculus.
- Location: Norris 109
- Time: 4:10 PM

**September 9, 2004**

- Title: Do Dogs Know Calculus?
- Speaker: Tim Pennings

Professor of Mathematics

Hope College

Holland, MI - Abstract: A standard calculus modeling problem is to find the quickest path from a point on shore to a point in a lake, given that running speed is greater than swimming speed. Elvis, my Welsh Corgi, has never had a calculus course. But when we play “fetch” on the shore of Lake Michigan, he appears to choose paths close to the optimal one. In this talk we reveal what was found when we experimentally tested this ability. Elvis will be available for follow-up questions.
- Location: Norris 109
- Time: 4:10 PM

**September 16, 2004**

- Title: Study Abroad Opportunities in Russia
- Speaker: Darren E. Mason

Assistant Professor of Mathematics

Albion College

Albion, MI - Location: Norris 109
- Time: 4:10 PM

**September 23, 2004**

- Title: Mathematics and Materials Science
- Speaker: Peter Bates

Professor and Chair of Mathematics

Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI - Abstract: Starting with some fundamental assumptions about the nature of materials, we will formulate laws governing the evolution of material states (such as differing phases, local magnetic orientation, etc.). These laws become equations of evolution. We will then try to determine the qualitative behavior of solutionsor look at special wave-like solutions and in so doing generate good mathematics and (I hope) good science.
- Location: Norris 109
- Time: 4:10 PM

**September 30, 2004**

- Title: .3The Oak Ridge Science Semester Program
- Speaker: Daniel Gibson

Professor of Physics and

Director of the Oak Ridge Science Semester

Denison University

Granville, OH - Abstract: The Oak Ridge Science Semester is an undergraduate study and research program based at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, TN. This nationally recognized fall-semester program directly involves undergraduate students in the ongoing research projects of practicing biologists, chemists, computer scientists, mathematicians, and physicists. Recent student research areas include complex biological systems, engineering, environmental science, high performance computing, physical and chemical sciences, and national security. Participating students receive academic credit in their field. To offset costs, students also receive a monthly stipend and housing allowance.
- Location: Norris 109
- Time: 4:10 PM

**October 7, 2004**

- Title: It’s my party, and I’ll cry if I want to (you would cry too if you missed this introduction to Ramsey Theory…)
- Speaker: Giovanni Dimatteo

Junior Mathematics Major – Track I

Department of Mathematics and Computer Science

Albion College

Albion, MI - Abstract: Ramsey theory is the study of the structures on a mathematical object that are preserved under partitions. In this talk, we’ll examine the Party problem, solve it, and discuss generalizations, closing up with Ramsey’s theorem. An example of the party problem asks, ‘how many people must you invite to your party to ensure that there exists a group of 4 mutual friends or a group of 4 mutual strangers.’ Applications to computer science and other fields will be discussed, along with the statement of several research problems on which undergraduates are capable of making progress.
- Location: Norris 109
- Time: 4:10 PM

**October 15, 2004**

- Title: Phosphorus Contamination in Lake Sediments: Model and Solution
- Speaker: Gilbert N. Lewis

Associate Professor

Department of Mathematics

Michigan Technological University

Houghton, MI - Abstract: Phosphorus is a contaminant that can enter a lake due to natural or human activity (effluent from a wastewater treatment plant, non-point runoff from farmlands, etc.). Once in the lake, it may enter the sediments at the bottom of the lake, where it is stored and becomes available as a further source of contamination to the lake waters. In this study, we model the deposition of phosphorus in the solid phase to lake sediments, the subsequent conversion (diagenesis) to a liquid form, and the diffusion of the liquid phase phosphorus back into the lake water. We develop a system of two partial differential equations involving two dependent variables (solid and liquid phosphorus concentrations) and two independent variables (time and depth in the sediment). We then show the numerical solution of the system and compare it with observed data. The ultimate goal is to be able to accurately predict future rates of release of phosphorus from the lake sediments if restrictions are placed on the level of human input to the system.
- Location: Norris 109
- Time: 4:10 PM

**October 21, 2004**

- Title: Transformations in Software Development
- Speaker: Erik Eid

Systems Architect

NSF International

B.A. in Computational Mathematics – 1995

Albion College - Abstract: An Albion College alum returns to present an overview of his almost-nine-year career in software development and how both his concept of programming and he as a whole has been changed. He will then discuss two challenges encountered during that career, one regarding rewriting an application for multiple languages and platforms, and one regarding the conversion of data from legacy systems.
- Location: Norris 109
- Time: 4:10 PM

**October 28, 2004**

- Title: Beauty at the Extreme: The Hunt for Extremal Graphs
- Speaker: Jason Williford

Visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematics

Albion College - Abstract: In this talk we will explore the relatively young field of Extremal Graph Theory. One of the first results in this field answers the following question: how many edges can a graph with n vertices have if it has no complete graph of size k as a subgraph? Since the solution of this problem in the 1940’s there have been many generalizations; however overall little is known. One of the main reasons for the lack of knowledge stems from the fact that graphs with certain properties are often hard to construct. Examples of certain known constructions will be given, and possibilities for undergraduate research projects will be discussed.
- Location: Norris 109
- Time: 4:10 PM

**November 4, 2004**

- Title: Eine Kleine Bottle Musing
- Speaker: Robert Messer

Associate Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science

Albion College

Albion, Michigan - Location: Norris 109
- Time: 4:10 PM

**November 11, 2004**

- Title: Face Detection / Recognition
- Speaker: George Stockman

Professor of Computer Science

Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI - Location: Norris 109
- Time: 4:10 PM

**November 18, 2004**

- Title: Material Surface Energy and the Kaczmarz Algorithm
- Speaker: Darren E. Mason

Assistant Professor of Mathematics

Albion College

Albion, MI - Location: Norris 109
- Time: 4:10 PM

**December 2, 2004**

- Title: Three Cool Linear Algebra Applications from the Sciences
- Speaker: Mark Hanisch

Associate Professor of Mathematics

Calvin College

Grand Rapids, MI - Abstract: Polling recent mathematics graduates might lead one to conclude that Markov processes, curve fitting, and systems of ODEs are the main applications for linear algebra. But thanks to the simplicity of linear models, one does not have to look hard to find solutions to many other applied problems that employ linear algebra in a significant way. In this talk I will outline three more science problems, the physics of spinning objects, “dimensional analysis”, and the spectroscopic examination of chemical solutions, for which fundamental ideas from linear algebra provide amazing clarity.
- Location: Norris 109
- Time: 4:10 PM

**December 9, 2004**

- Title: Sharing Work is a Full-Time Job
- Speaker: Quentin F. Stout

Professor of Computer Science and Engineering

Director – Center for Parallel Computing

Co-Director – Center for Space Environment Modeling

The University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, MI - Location: Norris 109
- Time: 4:10 PM

**January 11, 2005**

- Title: 1, 2, 3… Counting Integer Partitions
- Speaker: Tina Garrett

Visiting Assistant Professor

Department of Mathematics and Computer Science

Carleton College

Northfield, MN - Abstract: Everyone knows how to factor a positive integer into primes. But how many ways can we break up a positive integer into a sum of smaller integers? This is one of the most basic questions in Partition Theory. In this talk we will cover the basics of partition theory, examine some of the classical theorems and proofs using ferrers shapes and generating functions and discuss some interesting open problems.
- Location: Norris 109
- Time: 4:10 PM

**January 13, 2005**

- Title: Group Actions on Curves
- Speaker

Darren B. Glass

VIGRE/Ritt Assistant Professor

Department of Mathematics

Columbia University

New York, NY - Abstract: Algebraic Geometry is the study of curves which are defined by polynomial equations. Some of these curves have special properties, such as the existence of a group action on the curve. These group actions correspond to nice symmetries in the curve, and are useful in calculating certain invariants. This talk will define all of these terms, and give many examples of such actions. In particular, we will look at the elliptic curves which were recently made famous in the proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem, and generalizations such as the hyperelliptic and superelliptic curves.
- Location: Norris 109
- Time: 4:10 PM

**January 14, 2005**

- Title: Partitions of Graphs by Complete Bipartite Subgraphs

**January 20, 2005**

- Title: Anonymous Credentials with Biometrically-Enforced Non-Transferability: Designing Hand Stamps for the Digital World
- Speaker: Sara Miner More

Faculty Fellow Professor

School of Computer Science and Engineering

University of California – San Diego - Abstract: Digital non-transferable anonymous credentials allow individuals in a particular group to remain anonymous while demonstrating group membership. An analogous credential in the real world is a hand stamp one might obtain upon entering an establishment that serves alcohol, after demonstrating that he is of legal drinking age. The individual later uses his stamp to prove to the bartender that he is old enough to purchase alcohol, but the stamp alone does not reveal the individual’s identity. Furthermore, this credential cannot be transferred to a different individual. In this talk, we address the challenges of achieving this type of credential in the digital world, and present a solution based on cryptography and secure hardware. No prior knowledge of cryptography or security is required. This talk describes joint work with Russell Impagliazzo from UCSD.
- Location: Norris 109
- Time: 4:10 PM

**January 31, 2005**

- Title: The Physics of Hard Problems
- Speaker: Harold Connamacher

Doctoral Candidate

Department of Computer Science

University of Toronto - Abstract: A large number of problems we deal with in computer science are considered hard. One such problem is the Satisfiability Problem (SAT). Despite years of work, no one has developed algorithms for SAT that can solve all possible instances in a reasonable amount of time. In fact, most researchers do not believe any such algorithm exists. In practice, SAT-solvers are either complete solvers that always solve the problem and sometimes run in a reasonable amount of time or incomplete solvers that always run in a reasonable amount of time and sometimes solve the problem.

Recently, a group of physicists have applied techniques of statistical mechanics to problems such as SAT to gain more insight into why the problems are hard. As part of their work, they have proposed a new algorithm called Survey Propagation that seems to work better than other current incomplete solvers.

This talk will highlight the current state of the research and expose reasons why this new algorithm works well and reasons why it may fail in some important situations. - Location: Norris 109
- Time: 5:10 PM

**February 3, 2005**

- Title: Off-Campus Programs in Mathematics and Computer Science
- Speaker: David Reimann

Associate Professor

and Darren E. Mason

Assistant Professor

and Mr. William Green

Senior Mathematics and Physics Major

Department of Mathematics and Computer Science

Albion College

Albion, MI - Abstract: Have you ever wondered if you can study mathematics and/or computer science off-campus? Either during the summer or during the academic year? Each year a number of high-quality academic opportunities are available to Albion College students. Options include research/study internships at

academic institutions both within the United States (Mount Holyoke College, Williams College, University of Minnesota – Duluth, etc.) and abroad (England, Hungary, etc.)

numerous federal government agencies (NASA, NSA, etc.)

a number of government scientific laboratories (Oak Ridge, Los Alamos, etc.).

In this presentation we will tour a new portion of the Albion College Math/CS website that illustrates these various opportunities as well as provide advice on how to apply, deadlines, etc. Our own Will Green will also talk about his recent off-campus experience at Argonne National Laboratory as well as his experience in applying for graduate school. - Location: Norris 109
- Time: 4:10 PM

**February 10, 2005**

- Title: Sums-of-Squares Formulas
- Speaker: Daniel Isaksen

Assistant Professor

Department of Mathematics

Wayne State University

Detroit, MI - Abstract: Consider the polynomial identity

(x12 +x22 )(y12 + y22) = (x1y1 – x2y2)2+ (x1y2 + x2y1)2

This formula might be generalized as

(x12 + … + xr2)(y12 + … + ys2) = z12 + … + zn2

where each zi is “bilinear” in the x’s and y’s in the sense that it is a sum of monomials of the form c (xi yk). These identities are relevant to questions about normed algebras, embeddings of topological spaces, and linear algebra.

We’ll find a few examples of such identities, but the problem of finding this type of identity is extremely difficult. It turns out to be easier to show that identities cannot exist under certain circumstances. - Location: Norris 109
- Time: 4:10 PM

**February 17, 2005**

- Title: The Millennium Problems – Part I
- Speaker: John Torrence Tate, Jr. (Virtual)

Sid W. Richardson Foundation Regents Chair

Department of Mathematics

University of Texas

Austin, TX - Abstract: At the beginning of the new millennium the Clay Mathematics Institute (CMI) of Cambridge, Massachusetts, named seven Millennium Prize Problems which, if solved, would earn the solver $1,000,000! To officially present these problems to the world, on May 24, 2000, the CMI held the Millennium Meeting at the College de France in Paris. The timing and location of this conference was influenced by David Hilbert’s address on August 8, 1900, to the 2nd International Congress of Mathematicians in Paris, which resulted in the now famous Hilbert Problems.

In this colloquium we will show a video presentation of a lecture given by Professor John Torrence Tate, Jr., (a student of the famous algebraist Emil Artin) at the Millennium Meeting. The problems discussed by Dr. Tate are the Riemann Hypothesis, the Birch and Swinnerton-Dyer Conjecture, and the P vs. NP problem.

A question and answer period with Albion College faculty will follow the video presentation. - Location: Norris 109
- Time: 4:10 PM

**February 24, 2005**

- Title: The Millennium Problems – Part II
- Speaker: Sir Michael Atiyah (Virtual)

Honorary Professor of Mathematics

University of Edinburgh

Edinburgh, Scotland - Abstract: At the beginning of the new millennium the Clay Mathematics Institute (CMI) of Cambridge, Massachusetts, named seven Millennium Prize Problems which, if solved, would earn the solver $1,000,000! To officially present these problems to the world, on May 24, 2000, the CMI held the Millennium Meeting at the College de France in Paris. The timing and location of this conference was influenced by David Hilbert’s address on August 8, 1900, to the 2nd International Congress of Mathematicians in Paris, which resulted in the now famous Hilbert Problems.

In this colloquium we will show a video presentation of a lecture given by Sir Michael Atiyah (a recipient of the Fields Medal in 1966) at the Millennium Meeting. The problems discussed by Professor Atiyah are the Poincare Conjecture, the Hodge Conjecture, the Quantum Yang-Mills Problem, and the Navier-Stokes Problem.

A question and answer period with Albion College faculty will follow the video presentation. - Location: Norris 109
- Time: 4:10 PM

**March 3, 2005**

- Title: Game Theory: The Nobel Prizes
- Speaker: Daniel Christiansen

Professor and Chair of Economics and Management

Albion College

Albion, MI - Abstract: An outline of the study of game theory, focusing on the contributions of the winners of the 1994 Nobel Prize in Economics — John Nash, Reinhard Selton, and John Harsanyi. In particular, we look at the concepts of Nash equilibrium, subgame-perfect Nash equilbrium, and Bayesian Nash equilibrium.

Location: Norris 109 - Time: 4:10 PM

**March 17, 2005**

- Title: Using Electronic Textbooks to Foster Active Reading Habits
- Speaker: Ryan McFall

Assistant Professor of Computer Science

Hope College

Holland, MI - Abstract: Electronic textbooks are an enticing idea. Most publishers tout digital media as a cheaper and more portable textbook. Unfortunately, the electronic textbook models that have been proposed too often seek to mimic the paper textbook, perhaps adding search capabilities or touting the possibility of interactive animations and activities. These electronic textbooks fail to take full advantage of the pedagogical opportunities that a digital medium provides.

This talk will outline the design goals and features of an electronic textbook application designed at Hope College with the goal of extending, rather than simply mimicking, a traditional textbook. In particular, we will discuss how an electronic textbook can be used to bring the idea of collaborative learning into the textbook reading experience, and how such a textbook can be used to facilitate change in the way the classroom experience is conducted. - Location: Norris 109
- Time: 4:10 PM

**March 24, 2005**

- Title: Patent Citation Networks
- Speaker: Jan Tobochnik

Professor of Physics and Computer Science

Dow Distinguished Professor of Natural Science

Kalamazoo College

Kalamazoo, MI - Abstract: Patent applications contain citations which are similar to but different from those found in published scientific papers. In particular, patent citations are governed by legal rules. Moreover, a large fraction of citations are made not by the patent inventor, but by a patent examiner during the application procedure. Using a patent database which contains the patent citations, assignees and inventors, we have applied network analysis and built network models. After giving a brief overview of recent developments in network theory, I will discuss our latest results on patent citation networks.
- Location: Norris 109
- Time: 4:10 PM

**March 31, 2005**

- Title: Bioinformatics at Hope College
- Speaker: Matt DeJongh

Assistant Professor of Computer Science

and Aaron Best

Assistant Professor of Biology

Hope College

Holland, MI - Abstract: Bioinformatics is an emerging field that seeks to apply the tools and techniques of computer science to the management and analysis of biological data. Because of the explosive growth in this field and related careers over the last decade, many undergraduate institutions have recognized the need for incorporating bioinformatics into the undergraduate curriculum. Getting started on this task is difficult because of the requirement of interdisciplinary cooperation among computer scientists, biologists, chemists and other scientists.

In this talk we will give an introduction to bioinformatics from our perspectives as a computer scientist and a microbiologist. We will describe an introductory course in bioinformatics that we have developed for computer science and biology students. Finally, we will discuss an interdisciplinary research project that we are conducting with undergraduate students at Hope College. - Location: Olin 232
- Time: 4:10 PM

**April 7, 2005**

- Title: Fuzzy Logic Control Systems
- Speaker: Mr. William Green

Mathematics and Physics Major

Albion College

Albion, MI - Abstract: This past summer I worked at the Division of Mathematics and Computer Science at Argonne National Lab. on the NEESGrid Project. NEESGrid is an attempt to connect the work of earthquake engineers to allow large scale, remote simulations and calculations. My specific work focused on designing control systems for instrumentation using Fuzzy Logic. The basics of Fuzzy Logic as well as its uses will be discussed.
- Location: Norris 109
- Time: 4:10 PM

**April 28, 2005**

- Title: Simulating and Visualizing Supercell Thunderstorms
- Speaker: Leigh Orf

Assistant Professor Of Atmospheric Science

Department of Geography

Central Michigan University - Abstract: Supercell thunderstorms are intense, long-lived rotating thunderstorms which rumble across the heartland of the United States every spring. Because supercells produce the strongest tornadoes, their behavior is a focus of active research. Meteorologists have yet to answer such fundamental questions such as: How do tornadoes form within a supercell? Why do some supercells produce devastating tornadoes while other do not produce a tornado at all? The two primary approaches to this problem are observation (including storm chasing) and numerical modeling. I am taking the modeling approach to investigate the internal workings of supercells. In this talk I will present an overview of the predictive mathematical equations which describe the behavior of the atmosphere, how 3D atmospheric models work (with some discussion of parallel processing), and the challenges of taking terabytes of binary model data and visualizing it in a human-intuitive way.
- Location: Norris 109
- Time: 4:10 PM

## Format

Ideally, talks will be 40 to 45 minutes, allowing 5-10 minutes for discussion. Mathematician Paul Halmos suggested presenting a general introduction and motivation, followed by technical background material, and finishing with a selection of remarkable, beautiful, intruiging points (Notices of the American Mathematical Society, vol. 21, 1974, pp 155-158).

## Biography

To help provide a proper introduction to the audience, please provide a simple biography including your current affiliation, places of degrees, and areas of expertise. Consider sharing personal interests such as hobbies or some unique characteristics. We try to have students introduce our speakers, giving them some additional public speaking experience and some additional incentive to engage in the talks. A student might contact you about biographical information or additional details about your talk.

## Audiovisual Equipment

Please supply us with a list of resources you will require during your talk. Our colloquium room has chalkboards. It also has a projection system (up to 1280×1024 resolution) with a computer, VCR, DVD, and overhead projector. The projection system has integrated audio. A combination wireless mouse and laser pointer is available for the console computer. A wireless keyboard is also available if you choose to have audience members participate in typing. This system can also accomodate your own computer, including audio. Let us know if you need to need a 35 mm slide projector, a document camera, or other special AV needs.

## Resource List

Please consider providing students with a few resources related to your talk. Students are required to write a short paper on one of the talks. Your resource list can be a starting point for the students.

## Further Explorations

Please consider providing a some additional explorations suitable for undergraduate students. These might range from simple homework problems to challenging unsolved problems.

## Maps and Directions

The Mathematics and Computer Science department is located in the Albion College Science Complex. The street address of the Science Complex is 908 E. Michigan Avenue. Free and convenient parking is available on Michigan Avenue or one of the nearby side streets. See the campus map (#37) or Google Maps. Albion College will reimburse speakers for their round-trip mileage at the IRS Mileage Rate of $0.555 per mile (as of 2011). Our accounting office needs a Google direction map printout or equivalent for their documentation.

## Dinner

Schedules permitting, we also enjoy hosting an early dinner with the speaker and a small group of Albion faculty and students. This is typically ad hoc.

## Additional Information about Careers and Graduate Programs

Consider providing stduents with information on your institution. For academics, this may include information about graduate programs and research opportunities. Speakers working in the business world, information about internships and careers would be appropriate.