Fall 2009

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
[9/15] [9/22] [9/29] [10/6] [10/27] [11/3] [11/10] [11/17] [12/8]


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12/8: The Drunkard's Walk to the Dirichlet Problem
Sarah Bryant
Gettysburg College

Abstract: From how successful a movie will be, to how the stock market will fluctuate, to how the World Series will end, many events in our lives are ruled by randomness. I want to talk about the connections between probability and analysis by discussing random walks. We will use examples and pictures to gain an understanding of how random walks can be useful, emphasizing connections to the Dirichlet problem. We will conclude with a discussion of Brownian motion, the continuous extension of random walks.

Date: 12/8
Location: Tome 117
Time: 12:00-12:50
Lunch provided

11/17: Research Experiences for Undergraduates
Prof. Jennifer Froelich, Dickinson College
Kristen Jensen ('11)
Zach Carson ('10)

Abstract: In this presentation we discuss the Research Experiences for Undergraduate (REU) program, which provides undergraduate students with hands-on experience participating in research or related scholarly activity. Dickinson students Kristen Jensen ('11) and Zach Carson ('10) will also discuss their experiences with participating in an REU last summer.

Date: 11/17
Location: Tome 115
Time: 12:00-12:50
Lunch provided

11/10: Military Cyberspace Operations
Richard Zoller
Lieutenant Colonel, US Army

Abstract: Cyberspace has become a new common for the United States military. Much like sea, air and space, cyberspace has become the new common for conducting military operations. In light of the fact of our reliance on cyberspace, the US has stood up a new Unified Combatant Command, US Cyberspace Command, to conduct operations in this new common. Case studies of the Russian cyber attacks on Estonia and Georgia and China's cyber attacks against the US will be analyzed and discussed. This is an open forum for discussion and deliberation.

Date: 11/10
Location: Tome 115
Time: 12:00-12:50
Lunch provided

11/3: Where do I go from here?
Dick Forrester, Associate Professor of Mathematics, Dickinson College
Jennifer Froelich, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Dickinson College
Pat Mullane, Executive Director of Dickinson College Career Center

Abstract: In this chat we discuss a wide variety of careers 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.

Date: 11/3
Location: Tome 115
Time: 12:00-12:50
Lunch provided

10/27: Optimization and Some Applications
Luis Melara
Shippensburg University

Abstract In this talk, we present two types of optimization problems: unconstrained and equality constrained optimization problems. The first type is commonly studied in single variable calculus while the second type is covered in calculus III. We generalize to functions with 3 or more variables and describe the role of linear algebra in determining solutions to these optimization problems. Applications to both types are described and presented.

Date: 10/27
Location: Tome 117
Time: 12:00-12:50
Lunch provided

10/6: In the Actuarial World
Hiro Arai ('08)
Associate Actuarial Analyst
Coventry Health Care

Abstract: An insight to the work of an Actuary, both in the traditional sense and in how the career has evolved with the modern world. We'll talk about the Math, Data Analysis, and the Financials that are involved in the career, as well as the challenges Actuaries face, and how the numbers may not always mean what they seem.

Date: 10/6
Location: Tome 115
Time: 12:00-12:50
Lunch provided

9/29: Resource-Oriented Computing and NetKernel
Hans Royer
Air Force Research Lab

Abstract: The collection of principles and properties described in chapter 5 of Fielding’s Ph.D. thesis, Architectural Styles and the Design of Network-based Software Architectures, is commonly referred to as Resource-Oriented Computing, Resource-Oriented Architecture, or Representational State Transfer (REST). These principles and properties were first given concrete form in RESTful Web Services by Leonard Richardson and Sam Ruby. These principles and properties attempt to capture qualities that made the Web successful, such as scalability and flexibility. NetKernel, a Resource-Oriented microkernel and RESTful application server, demonstrates that these principles and properties can be applied to enterprise scale information systems. This presentation will provide an overview of Resource-Oriented Computing with an emphasis on its principles and properties and introduce NetKernel.

Date: 9/29
Location: Tome 115
Time: 12:00-12:50
Lunch provided

9/22: Should You Trust the Computer To Do Your Math Homework?
Dick Forrester
Associate Professor of Mathematics
Dickinson College

Abstract: In this talk we discuss the issues associated with using a computer to solve problems from continuous mathematics. Specifically, we introduce the main concepts of numerical analysis, which is the branch of mathematics that is concerned with the design and analysis of algorithms for solving mathematical problems. We will discuss how many of the solution techniques learned in calculus and linear algebra are not as straightforward and reliable as they seem.

Date: 9/22
Location: Tome 117
Time: 12:00-12:50
Lunch provided

9/15: The PathFinder Superpixel Algorithm
Fabio Drucker ('11)

Abstract: A superpixel algorithm seeks to divide an image into regions that are perceptually similar. That is, roughly speaking, it divides the image in such a way that each region contains parts of only one of the real world objects in the image. In this talk I will go over my summer research with Prof. MacCormick, in which I investigated the performance, both in terms of time efficiency and accuracy, of the PathFinder superpixel algorithm, compared to the performance of other leading superpixel and image segmentation algorithms. I also consider a few different edge detection methods and their impact on the performance of PathFinder, and consider some possibilities for extending PathFinder for use in motion estimation in video.

Date: 9/15
Location: Tome 115
Time: 12:00-12:50
Lunch provided