Fall 2003

[ 12/11 | 12/4 | 11/20 | 11/13 | 10/16 | 10/3 | 9/18 ]

12/11: Complexity Classes and Intractability: Identifying, Proving and Coping with NP-Complete Problems
John Butler
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
Dickinson College

John will provide some insight into the following questions: Are there computable problems that, even using the fastest computers and the best known algorithms, take so long that they are impractical to solve? How do we identify such problems? If we can't solve these problems both efficiently and accurately, how do we deal with them in practice?

12/24: Motivating Students to Learn Mathematics: An Interactive Presentation of Activities for Students in High School Mathematics
Melissa Heinrich
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
Dickinson College

Melissa Heinrich is a senior mathematics major who is currently doing an independent study on Topics in High School Mathematics Education. She has found that a primary problem in high school math class is the lack of motivation of the students. Being interesting in teaching, she then located some fun activities to help motivate and arouse interest in mathematics. Come participate in a fun filled "class" where you become the discoverer.

11/20: Network Security: You need to know this!
Michael Hoeschele & Justin Parsley
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
Dickinson College

We will discuss some of the hazards involved in networking today, along with countermeasures. Our presentation will begin with a brief overview of TCP/IP network theory to enable a discussion of network security. We will then touch on sniffing, spoofing, packet crafting, network intrusion detection systems, and firewalls. There will be a demonstration of network vulnerabilities.

11/13: Buffon's Needle Problem
Dr. Masato Kimura
Assistant Professor of Computer Science
Hood College

Suppose you pattern the floor with a sequence of parallel lines, each one inch apart. Toss a one-inch needle in the air and have it land on the floor. What is the probability that the needle will cross one of the lines? The surprising answer is a journey into geometry and calculus.

10/16: Executable Formal Specifications
Dr. Timothy Wahls
Associate Professor of Computer Science
Dickinson College

Although formal specifications of software systems can greatly reduce ambiguities and misunderstandings in the software development process, they have not been widely used in practice. The ability to execute formal specifications makes developing such specifications significantly easier and increases the usefulness of specifications. In this talk, I will demonstrate a system for executing formal specifications, and will briefly describe the implementation and usefulness of this system.

10/3: Pictures from My Sabbatical
Dr. Lorelei Koss
Assistant Professor of Mathematics
Dickinson College

What exactly do professors do when they go on sabbatical? I spent my time researching topics in complex dynamical systems, a field with a rich history of investigations of beautiful, intricate objects called Julia sets. I'll show you pictures of the Julia sets I studied and describe some of the highlights and frustrations of my sabbatical research.

9/18: Exploiting Block Diagonal Structure in Solving Linear Formulations of 0-1 Quadratic Programs
Dr. Richard Forrester
Assistant Professor of Mathematics
Dickinson College

Operations Research (OR) is a scientific approach to analyzing problems and making decisions. OR can be applied in virtually every area of business and government, from capital budgeting to airline scheduling. In this talk we begin by reviewing the standard solution methodologies for linear and integer programs. We then show how these methods can be extended to solve 0-1 quadratic programs. In particular, we develop an algorithm that exploits the block-diagonal structure that arises from a linear reformulation of the 0-1 quadratic knapsack problem. Computational experience and relationships to published methods are also discussed.