The Mathematics & Computer Science Colloquium is a series of talks during the school year meant to enrich the mathematical knowledge of the community, independent of any courses attenders may be taking. Although many talks are on upper-level mathematical topics, the main ideas should be intelligible to students who have had calculus. In addition to talks by members of the mathematics department, students give some of the talks, and we have several outside speakers each year. Upcoming colloquia and a list of the colloquium talks for the last several years follow.
Apr. 9 - Prof. Marcela Perlwitz (Education) & Prof. Michael Axtell (Math & CS), "Linguistic Activity & Cognitive Development of Mathematical Concepts." Abstract: Consideration of linguistic activity, cognitive development, and mathematics as psychological and social activities help us explain the nature of students' understanding of mathematics in relation to classroom discursive practices.
Jan. 22 - Prof. William Turner, "Black Box Linear Algebra." Prof. Turner is from North Carolina State University and is a candidate for a computational science position in the department.
Jan 15 - Prof. Dennis Krause, Wabash Physics Department. "Quantum Game Theory: How to Win Big with Quantum Mechanics."
Nov 6 - Prof. David Maharry, Wabash Math & CS Department. "If You Think You Have Big Problems, Try a Parallel Computer."
Oct 16 - Prof. John George, Wabash Math & CS Department. "The Catalan Numbers" Abstract: Given a polygon of n+2 sides, in how many ways can we dissect it into triangles by drawing non-intersecting diagonals? Given a product of n+1 letters, in how many ways can we parenthesize the product so that there are two factors inside each pair of parentheses? Given an election with two candidates A and B, where each candidate receives n votes, how many ways can the votes come in so that candidate A is never behind candidate B? It is somewhat surprising that all of these questions have the same answers, and even more surprising that the same answers also apply to many dozens of other problems in pure mathematics and computer science, all apparently different. This lecture is aimed to be comprehensible to those who know little or no mathematics.
Oct 2 - Prof. Walter D. Wallis, Southern Illinois University, "Latin Squares for Those That Know No Latin."
Abstract: A Latin square is a square array, each of whose rows and columns is an arrangement of the same set. We shall discuss the existence of these arrays, their origins in puzzles, and their applications in Pure Mathematics and in Experimental Design. Althought the listener will require no further background than knowing the definition of a matrix, we shall be able to describe some current mathematical research problems.
Sep 18 - Professor Bert Barreto, Wabash Economics Department, "PROGRESS to Regress via LMS is a Mess?"Sep 4 - Professor Robert Foote (with Anand Jha, '02), "PoincareDraw II: An Interactive Program for Teaching and Learning Hyperbolic Geometry."
May 9 - Dr. Farid O. Farid, Pacific Lutheran University, "Topics on the Eigenvalue Problem." Dr. Farid is a candidate for a one year position in Mathematics.
Apr 17 - Dr. J.D. Phillips, St. Mary's College-California, will give a presentation titled, "Loops and Groups, the Latest Scoop." Dr. Phillips is a tenure track candidate for Chair of the Math & CS Department.
Apr 12 - Dr. Dan Coroian, Indiana-Purdue University -Ft.Wayne, "Click This! - A Survey of Mathematical Software". Prof. Coroian is a candidate for a tenure track position in Computer Science.
Apr 10 - CANCELLED! John Marden, Professor of Statistics, University of Illinois, Spatial RanksPositioning Multivariate Data.
Mar 13 - Nathan Risk, Wabash Class of '92, An Introduction to Neural Networks.Feb 20 - Professor Humberto Barreto, Wabash College, Is A-Rod Worth a Quarter Billion, or, a Random Number Generator, Visual Basic, and Monte Carlo Simulation Meet Baseball. Download the Excel/Visual Basic program he used in his talk!Feb 1 - Professor George Exner, Bucknell University, "How Many Ways Are There to be Deranged? or The Bernoulli Letter Problem" Jan 24 - Professor Peter Hamburger, Indiana-Purcue University - Fort Wayne, and a candidate for a position in Math & CS "Coded Secrets Behind Doodles & Doilies." Abstract:If you are a compulsive doodler, or if you crochet doilies, then you will enjoy this presentation; if not, you can still appreciate it. In this talk, we will learn how to create pretty symmetrical drawings from doodles. In this journey, there will be some geometry, number theory, group theory, and some graph theory and combinatorics topics such as codes, dual graphs, symmetrical and maximal chains, and others. This also will answer a conjecture of B. Grunnbaum, which goes back to D.W. Henderson, and even further back to Euler and Venn.
Jan 23 - Professor Maynard Thompson, Indiana University, Why is it Difficult for a Group to Make a Decision?
Nov 14 - Professor Scott Feller, Wabash College, Building a Supercomputer for Computational Chemistry.
Oct 31 - Professor Kerry Smith, Franklin College. The Mathematics of Huffman Codes.
Oct 17 - Professor Damon Scott, Wabash College, Transformations of Sonorities: What Happens Between the Chords.
Oct 3 - Professor Michael Axtell, Wabash College, Teaching Calculus With Projects.
Sept 19 - Professor Charles S. Holmes, Miami University, Rubiks Cube: An Invertible Function Factory
Sept 5 - Professor Robert L. Foote, Wabash College, "Circumferences of Convex Regions: C = 2pr Isn't Just for Circles Anymore!"
April 18 - Gary J. Sherman, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, "What's a 'Closed with a Twist' Set (cwatset)?"
ABSTRACT: A cwatset is a subset of binary n-space that is 'nearly' a subgroup. The development---indeed the undergraduate driven development--- of cwatsets from their roots in statistics through their combinatorial and group-theoretic properties will be traced to open questions suitable for undergraduate research.
Apr 11 - Robert Dirks, Wabash '00, "The Probabilistic Method: A Useful Tool for Proofs of Existence."
Mar 21 - Peter Thompson, Mathematics & Computer Science Department, Wabash College, "How Many 1's Should You Get in 2 and 1/2 Rolls of a Die? Binomial's with Non-Integer-n's and Their Applications."
Feb 24 - David Weinreich, The University of Memphis, "The Speed & Structure of Hereditary Graph Properties"
ABSTRACT: A hereditary graph property is a set of labeled graphs with certain closure conditions. The speed of a property P is |P^n|, the number of graphs in the property on n labeled vertices. Surprisingly, speeds of hereditary properties fall into a hierarchy of functional ranges, in many cases asymptotically following a "nice" function. Furthermore, the structure of graphs in the property is described by the property's speed, and vice-versa. In this talk we give an overview of what is known about hereditary graph properties and suggest directions for future research. No background in graph theory is required for this talk.
Feb 15 - Michael Axtell, The University of Iowa, "Secret Life Behind Bars."
Feb 1 - Dan Singer, Mathematics & Computer Science Department, Wabash College, "On Catalan Trees and Formal Power Series Inversion"
Jan 18 - Thomas Sellke, '76, Statistics Department, Purdue University, "P-Values Don't Mean What You Think They Do"
Dec 8 - Dennis Krause, Physics Department Wabash College, "Looking Beyond 3-D: How to Understand and Search for New Compact Dimensions"
Nov 16 - Jeffrey Z. Anderson, '92, Industrial Engineer for the Commonwealth Aluminum Corporation in Lewisport, KY, "Applying Operations Research in the Aluminum Industry."
Nov 2 - Gregory Galperin, Eastern Illinois University, "Billiards Compute all Decimal Digits of p!"
ABSTRACT: A very simple dynamical system will be considered at the talk: two elastically colliding balls and one reflecting wall. It turns out that this system "counts" p with any accuracy you wish!
To explain this amazing phenomenon, one needs to look at the given dynamical system from the purely geometric point of view. The geometry originates from the concept of the configuration and the phase space of a system and allows one to investigate a related billiard system. These spaces help to investigate various difficult problems in the theory of billiards, in particular, a problem on periodic billiard trajectories in a polygon.
Professor Galperin will speak again in the geometry class (Math 21) on Wednesday, Nov 3, at 11:20 in D 220
on "A Tale of Three Circles."
ABSTRACT: Three circles in the plane form a curvilinear triangle. What is the sum of its interior angles? The answer to the question depends on the circles' positions in the plane and is connected with the three famous geometries: Euclidean, spherical, and hyperbolic. The speaker will demonstrate different models of the three geometries based on the three circles problem.
Mathematics and Computer Science Colloquia 1999-2000
"A Relationship between the shape of a surface and the vector fields that can be defined on it:
The Poincare-Hopf Theorem"
"Tessellations - The Reason Bob Vila Should have been a Mathematician!"
"Two Statistical Problems for Stochastic Processes with Hysteresis"
"Automatic Differentiation: Computing Derivative Values without Derivative Formulas"
"Reducing the Effect of the Initial Matchups in Double Elimination Tournaments"
"Genetic algorithms and the Extended GCD problem"
Mathematics and Computer Science Colloquia 1996-97
Mathematics and Computer Science Colloquia 1995-96
Mathematics and Computer Science Colloquia 1994-95