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# Math & CS Chats - Fall 2010

The "Math/CS Chats" is a series of colloquia where students and faculty have a chance to hear about interesting mathematics and computer science. Typically these chats occur at noon on Tuesdays in Tome 115.

## This semester's chats

### 9/14: Rush Hour Talk - Is Stress a Good Thing or Bad? It's Both!

Professor Teresa Barber
Dickinson College
Rector Stafford Auditorum - Stuart 1104
12:00-1:00 p.m.
Free Pizza

### 10/12: Rush Hour Talk - Ocean Acidification: The Other CO2 Problem Then and Now

Professors Thomas Arnold & Marcus Key
Dickinson College
Rector Stafford Auditorium - Stuart 1104
Time: 12:00-1:00 p.m.
Free Pizza

### 10/28: Rush Hour Talk - Exploring the Nature Light

Abstract: Light and its interactions with matter lie at the heart of much of modern science, with applications such as spectroscopy in chemistry and astronomy, photosynthesis in biology, photonics in solar energy, and imaging in the medical sciences.  Although the nature of light has been discussed for centuries, it is still not completely understood.  In fact, different experiments seem to point toward either a classical (wave-like) or quantum-mechanical (particle-like) description.  Fortunately recent advances in technology have decreased the complexity of tests probing the nature of light, and we describe a set of experiments whose primary motivation is bringing undergraduate students face to face with some of the fascinating and subtle aspects of quantum mechanics in a hands-on setting.

Professor Brett Pearson
Dickinson College
Rector Stafford Auditorium - Stuart 1104
12:00-1:00 p.m.
Free Pizza

### 11/2: Dynamics of Maps of the Unit Interval

Abstract: Suppose that f is a continuous function from the closed unit interval [0,1] to itself. If we choose any x0 in [0,1], we can then define the sequence x1 = f(x0), x2 = f(x1), x3 = f(x2), and so on. Such a sequence is called an orbit for f. It turns out that, if there are three distinct numbers a, b, c such that a, b, c, a, b, c, a, b, c,... is an orbit, the other orbits for f exhibit a very wide range of behaviors. We will see what some of these behaviors are and why they occur.

Dr. Benjamin Kennedy
Gettysburg College
Tome 115
12:00-12:50 p.m.

### 11/4: Where Do I Go From Here?

In this chat we will discuss a wide variety of careers and opportunities for students majoring in mathematics and computer science.  In addition, we will talk about graduate school options, internships, and REUs (Research Experience for Undergraduates).  Specific information about our recent graduates will be provided.

Dick Forrester, Associate Professor of Mathematics, Dickinson College & Laura Kilko, Associate Director of Dickinson College Career Center
Rector's Stafford Lecture Room - Stuart 1104
12:00-12:50 p.m.
Lunch provided

### 11/9: Sums of Squares and Unique Factorization

Can you solve the following problem?  Find the smallest natural number n > 1 that can be represented in the form    n = x2 + y2     (x > y > 0)   two different ways.  This was a problem of the week when I was an undergraduate.  Find out how this recreational problem is related to deeper mathematics and why it has stuck with me over the years.

Professor Lance Bryant
Shippensburg University
Tome 115
12:00-12:50 p.m.
Lunch provided

### 11/16: Connections between Mathematics & Music: Sound Waves - PLEASE NOTE: This talk has been cancelled.

If the same pitch is played on two different instruments, why is the sound of the note different?  In this talk we will explore the mathematics behind the varying timbres of musical instruments.  Bring your musical instrument if you'd like to see what its sound spectrum looks like!

Ann Stewart
Hood College
Tome 115
12:00-12:50 p.m.
Lunch provided

### 11/16: Rush Hour Talk - Investigating Watershed Health Along a Land-Use Gradient using Chemical, Spatial, & Statistical Tools

Professors Amy Witter & Pete Sak
Dickinson College
Rector Stafford Auditorium - Stuart 1104
12:00-1:00 p.m.
Free Pizza

### 11/30: Using Mathematical Models to Study the Aging Brain

Abstract: Neurons in the brain are responsible for everything we think, do and remember.  Mathematical models of neurons can be used to explore hypotheses about how real neurons function, and to make predictions that can be tested experimentally.  We will discuss the steps needed to build these "virtual cells", in order to simulate data recorded from neurons in the laboratory.  We can use our methods to predict how to counteract the kinds of neuronal changes that occur with injury, aging or disease.

Dr. Christina Weaver
Franklin & Marshall College
Tome 115
12:00-12:50 p.m.
Lunch provided