Spring 2014

Tuesday, January 28th

Dr. Jason M. Graham, University of Scranton
"Applications of Mathematics to Inflammation and Osteoarthritis"

Inflammation is an important part of the innate immune response, and is a biological process of broad interest due to its complexity and to the fact that chronic inflammation is associated with a number of prevalent diseases.  Recently, the rapidly growing detailed biological information on inflammation has challenged researchers in the field to develop theoretical or conceptual models to formalize and organize the knowledge of the basic processes underpinning inflammation. This in turn has stimulated activity among applied mathematicians who have developed tools such as nonlinear dynamics and network theory that can be used to facilitate the development of such theoretical or conceptual models.

The first part of this talk will present a broad, accessible overview of the applications of mathematics to the study of inflammation. Next, we describe how the techniques discussed can be adapted to construct a theoretical foundation for the role of inflammation in the common degenerative joint disease osteoarthritis (OA). While OA has traditionally been viewed as primarily a result of aging and "wear and tear", recent research points out that this view is overly simplistic and new considerations must be taken into account in order to develop effective treatments for the disease. In particular, inflammation plays a major role in OA and the mathematical study of inflammation may aid in the study and understanding of the disease and its treatments.

Noon-1:00 p.m.
Tome 115
Lunch provided

Wednesday, February 5th

Dr. Holley Friedlander, Williams College
"The Riemann Hypothesis: Million Dollar Zeros"

In 1859 Bernhard Riemann proposed what is now considered one of the most important unsolved problems in pure mathematics. The Riemann hypothesis is one of the Clay Mathematics Institute Millennium Prize Problems --- a proof (or disproof) carries a one million dollar cash prize! At the heart of this famous conjecture is the Riemann zeta function. In this talk, we introduce the Riemann zeta function from a historical perspective before stating the Riemann hypothesis and exploring its number theoretic implications. At the end of the talk, we will discuss some generalizations of Riemann's zeta function.

2:00-3:00 p.m.
Stafford Lecture Room - Rector Science Complex
Refreshments provided

Friday, February 7th

Dr. Catherine Buell, Bates College
"Involutions and "Fixing" the World: Symmetric Spaces"

Symmetric spaces are studied in both mathematics (through algebraic and geometric theory) and physics (in the study of integrable systems and quantum theory).  These spaces have unique structure determined by an involution (an order-two automorphism) on a group. During the talk the audience will be introduced to involutions and fixed points through the lens of calculus and linear algebra, discover various symmetries in the plane and in matrix groups, and learn current results and open questions in the field.

3:00-4:00 p.m.
Stafford Lecture Room - Rector Science Complex
Refreshments provided

Monday, February 10th

Dr. Kristen Beck, University of Arizona
"A Gentle Introduction to Homological Algebra"

In linear algebra, you learned that every vector space over a field (e.g. the set of all real numbers) has a basis --- that is, a linearly independent generating set. What you probably didn't learn is that the questions of linear algebra become really interesting when studied in a broader context --- specifically, when the set of scalars is endowed with less structure. In this setting, vector spaces are referred to as modules, and it's often possible for one to cook up a module whose generating sets are always linearly dependent. Furthermore, each dependency relation among the generators of the module gives rise to a syzygy! In the talk, I will explain more about these gadgets and tell you how they form the foundation for an area of mathematics called homological algebra.

4:30-5:30 p.m.
Stafford Lecture Room - Rector Science Complex

Refreshments provided

Thursday, February 20th

Grace Hopper Celebration Information Session:
The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing is a conference dedicated to making the fields of computer science and technology more accessible to everyone, particularly women and minorities. Over the past 3 years, Dickinson has been able to help send 9 students to the Grace Hopper Celebration. This year's conference will be held October 8-11th in Phoenix, Arizona. If you are interested in attending, stop by this information session.


Math/CS Club Information Session:
Do you enjoy mathematics and/or computer science? Do you want to hang out with other students and faculty members who do too? Do you wish the Math/CS Department had more social activities? If you answered  yes to any or all of these questions, this information session is for you!

Noon-1:00 p.m.
Tome 115
Lunch provided

Thursday, February 27th

Catherine Kimmel
"Creative Tools Teach Computer Programming"

In this chat we will take a look at two tools that can be used to introduce computer programming skills to children, as well as older students. The Kodu Game Lab from Microsoft and Carnegie Mellon's Alice are interactive environments where students can create 3D worlds. By designing these worlds and defining how the things in a world will interact, students can visually discover concepts including problem solving, logic, and how to construct a computer program. Students can skim the surface, or they can dig deeper and learn about the specific programming code behind the worlds they create. These tools provide an engaging way to draw students into the realm of computer science.

Noon-1:00 p.m.
Tome 115
Lunch provided

Tuesday, March 25th

Dr. Sotirios Kentros
"Anonymity: Payments and Credentials"

We will introduce and discuss the concept of anonymity in computer security. We will discuss how electronic transactions comprise ones anonymity by leaving a trail of information that can be associated with a specific individual. Then we will introduce the notion of electronic cash and anonymous credentials. After presenting a cryptographic primitive called "blind signature", we will demonstrate how blind signatures can be used as building blocks for electronic cash and anonymous credential systems.

Noon-1:00 p.m.
Tome 115
Lunch provided

Thursday, April 10th

Dr. Jeremy Blum, Penn State Harrisburg
"An Intelligent Agent Optimization System for the Transit Route Network Design Problem"

The Transit Route Network Design (TRND) problem seeks a set of bus routes and schedules that is optimal in the sense that it maximizes the utility of the bus system for passengers while minimizing operator cost. Due to computational intractability, finding the optimal solution to the TRND problem is infeasible for all but the smallest of networks. This talk will describe an intelligent agent-based optimization system, which provides a multi-algorithmic search of the solution space, synthesizing previous solution techniques for the TRND problem. This optimization system performed well in a de facto benchmark problem in a Swiss transit system, improving on the best of the previously published solutions, both in terms of operator cost and passenger utility. The optimization system was then applied to the large urban transit system in New Delhi, India. This transit system is orders of magnitude larger than the Swiss network, and previous routing plans for this system were not able to find solutions capable of accommodating all passenger demand. The intelligent agent optimization system demonstrated its scalability by producing route networks capable of satisfying all passenger demand with significantly lower travel times and lower operator cost.

Noon-1:00 p.m.
Tome 115
Lunch provided

Tuesday, April 15th

James Cousins
"A Half-Year in Institutional Research"

What can you do with a degree in mathematics? As one answer to this question, James will discuss the day-to-day experiences working as a research analyst and what you may expect to be doing in the Institutional Research (IR) field. He will highlight how his experience as a math major prepared him for the various IR projects and analyses.  Mike Johnson, Director of Institutional Research, will be with us to provide additional details about the ongoing projects in the Office of IR.

Noon-1:00 p.m.
Tome 115
Lunch provided

Tuesday, April 22nd

Honors Defense - Simon Feeman
"Dynamics of a Family of Eighth-Degree Complex Polynomials"

Much work has been done on the dynamics of quadratics and other low degree polynomials. 
However, less is known about the dynamics of higher degree polynomials as the algebra is
much more difficult.  In this thesis we study a family of 8th degree polynomials,
P_(c ):C→C where, P_c (z)= z^2-cz^8 and c ∈C-{0}.  In particular we show that the Julia
set is either connected or disconnected but not Cantor.  Along with this, we investigate
interesting properties of the parameter space and its symmetry.

12:00 p.m.
Tome 115
Lunch provided

Thursday, April 24th

Honors Defense - Katy Schlechtweg
"On the Generalized Symmetric Spaces of the Semidihedral Groups"

Generalized symmetric spaces are important in the theoretical and physical sciences but are best known for
their role in representation theory, number theory, and group theory. Symmetric spaces have been studied
for a variety of groups, but little has been studied regarding symmetric spaces related to finite groups.
In this presentation, we study the symmetric spaces of the semidihedral group, SD2n.

We begin by determining the structure of the semidihedral group SD2n and the group's automorphisms. We
investigate the structure of the automorphism group and characterize the involutions of the automorphism group. Given an involution, θ, of SD2n, we determine the fixed-point group, the generalized symmetric space, and the extended symmetric space associated with θ.

12:00-1:00 p.m.
Rector Science Complex - Stafford Lecture Room
Lunch provided

Tuesday, April 29th

Mathematics & Computer Science Majors Dinner
Professor John Sigle will present "A Personal History of Computing: Presented By An Actual Relic From That History"

Upsilon Pi Epsilon Inductions
Pi Mu Epsilon Inductions
Prizes and Awards
6:00 p.m.
Social Hall West

*Must sign-up by April 24th in Tome 201 or email millert@dickinson.edu

Thursday, May 1st

Senior Presentations - Samuel Kelly
"AST Indexing: A Near-Constant Time Solution to the Get-Descendants-by-Type Problem"

As part of his honors thesis research, Sam Kelly '14 has developed two novel abstract syntax tree (AST) indexing algorithms that solve the get-descendants-by-type problem in near constant time. This work has
been implemented in the U.S. Department of Energy's ROSE compiler framework and will be officially integrated as an optimization library called "NodeFinder". ROSE is an open source software analysis platform and source-to-source compiler suited for large-scale C/C++, UPC, Java, Python, Fortran, OpenCL, CUDA, and OpenMP applications that has been actively developed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
for the last sixteen years. The get-descendants-by-type problem is the problem of efficiently answering queries of the form “given an arbitrary AST node A and an arbitrary node type T, return all descendants of A that are of type T". Sam's algorithms are generic in that they can also be applied to any tree that has a meaningful notion of node "type", so he also explores some potential applications in the fields of file systems and databases.

12:00-1:00 p.m.
Tome 115
Lunch provided

Wednesday, May 7th

Mathematics & Computer Science BBQ
The Mathematics & Computer Science professors will grill hamburgers, hot dogs & veggie burgers as well as provide side dishes. Come out & join the fun!

Noon-1:00 p.m.
Rector Courtyard (Rain Location: Rector Atrium)
Lunch provided

Wednesday, May 7th

Computer Science Presentations
2:00-2:20 pm - Robin Beck - "Writing Center Schedule Optimizer"
2:20-2:40 pm - Danielle Erickson and Dan Appello - "Multi-Cam Video Stitching: Panoramic Video Option During a Skype Call"
2:40-3:00 pm - Qingyu Wang - "Bill Payment Mobile Application on Android Platform"
3:00-3:20 pm - Alan Yao - "Using Constraint Programming to Assign Students to First-Year Seminars"
3:20-3:40 pm - Omar Hyjek - "iPeddler Mobile Application"
3:40-3:50 pm - Break
3:50-4:10 pm - Min-Ji Sophie Huh - "Human Economic Behavior and Simulation Systems"
4:10-4:30 pm - Chikako Kanamori - "Mobile Data Collection iOS Application for Trees on Campus"
4:30-4:50 pm - Justine Heritage - "A Hidden Markov Model Approach to Distinguishign Between Non-Prototypical Displays of Boredom and Interest"
4:50-5:10 pm - Cole Canning and Cooper Jackson - "JoinIn Mobile Application"

2:00-5:10 p.m.
Tome 115
Refreshments provided