Mathematics & Computer Science

Seminars and Colloquia

Other

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

12:00 pm - 01:00 pm

Sexy Primes (Wes' Undergrad Math Club) presents the movie "FLATLAND"

Free pizza to go with the animated movie "Flatland"!<br/><br/>All are welcome, to join the math club, you just need to show up!

ESC 184 (Woodhead Lounge)

Friday, April 13, 2012

12:00 pm - 01:00 pm

Hack 'n Tell: Computer Science Majors Discuss their Side Projects!

Join us for a pizza lunch to watch and hear: Julian Applebaum '13, Evan Carmi '13, Anastasis Germanidis '13, Erik Islo '15 and Sam Roth '13 discuss their work!

ESC 121

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

04:15 pm - 06:00 pm

Sherman Prize Exam for First Year Students

SHERMAN PRIZE EXAM!<br/>WEDNESDAY APRIL 11, 4:15 ' 6:30 PM<br/>Exley 113<br/><br/>The Sherman prize exam consists of challenging, but not impossible, math problems.<br/>All you'll need is the desire to have fun with math puzzlers, and a pencil.<br/>Contact Christopher Rasmussen (crasmussen@wesleyan.edu) if you have any questions. If you can't make the time, we can work something out.<br/><br/>To give you an idea of what this exam will be like, here are two sample problems suitable for the Sherman prize exam:<br/><br/>1.Define a neighbor of a square S on a standard 8x8 chessboard to be any square that shares an edge with S. In each square of the chessboard, a number is placed. Suppose that, for every square S, the number placed in S is equal to the average of the numbers placed in the neighbors of S. Prove that all of the numbers placed on the chessboard are equal.<br/><br/>2.A quadrilateral Q is inscribed in a rectangle R so that each side of R contains exactly one vertex of Q. Show that the length of the perimeter of Q is at least twice that of the diagonal of R.<br/>

ESC 113

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

12:00 pm - 01:00 pm

The Sexy Primes (Undergrad Math Club) present: Beth Malmskog, Wes: "The Futurama Theorem"

Abstract: In this talk I will present one of the many applications of pure mathematics to a real-world situation. We will discuss the proof of Keeler's theorem, a 2010 group theory result proven by Futurama writer Ken Keeler, the primary application of which is sorting out the mind-body mix-up created by a mind-swapping machine. This proof is constructive, providing an algorithm requiring only two additional helpers to return every mind to its proper body. Keeler's theorem is truly an essential result should one ever find oneself in such a situation. No mathematical background is assumed.

ESC 141

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

12:00 pm - 01:00 pm

The Sexy Primes (Undergrad Math Club): Reed Sarney, '12 "EhrenfeuchtFraossi Games and First-Order Expressibility"

A math major is admiring a sculpture of two graphs in Zilkha. Another math major passes by the sculpture and spits in disgust. "Vulgar and common! These two graphs are different!" The first math major, reluctant but ultimately willing to engage the clearly abrasive philistine, responds. "They look the same to me." The two go back and forth, pointing at different parts of the graph and shouting in math as the humanities majors look on in confusion. After a minute of this, they are asked to leave for creating a disturbance.<br/><br/>First-order logic provides a formal language with which to describe the properties of structures, but not every property is expressible using first-order logic. Amazingly, the question of whether certain properties of structures are expressible using first-order logic amounts, with a little bit of reframing, to the question of which math major as above has a winning argument. Using graphs as a simple jumping-off point, I will develop all of the theory necessary to understand and appreciate the talk. There will be Thai food. You should come.<br/>

ESC 141

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

12:00 pm - 01:00 pm

The Sexy Primes (Wesleyan's Undergrad Math Club): Professor Christopher Rasmussen, Algebraic Geometry and Figurative Numbers

Abstract: Solving polynomial equations seems to be squarely within the realm of algebra, but mathematicians have long known that geometry is a powerful tool for such problems. We'll introduce some methods of algebraic geometry to solve a problem first tackled by Euclid in 1730: Which integers are both square and triangular? <br/><br/>Lunch will be provided!

ESC 184 (Woodhead Lounge)

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

12:00 pm - 01:00 pm

The Sexy Primes: (Undergrad Math Club) Joins Forces with Wesleyan's Upward Bound Mat/Science Program to bring math to Middletown Youths!

The math club is joining forces with Wesleyan's Upward Bound Math/Science program. This means that on the second saturday of every month, a small group of students from the math club will join the Upward Bound program in the middletown high-school for a morning of academics made accessible and fun. It breaks down like this: there is a math section, a science section, and an english section. The math department, fittingly, is in charge of the math section. We will have 45 minutes with three groups each, and the goal is to provide them with some sort of math challenge or game that gets them thinking, motivated, and interested. What sort of challenges do we have prepared for them? Great question, that's up to you guys. Anyone who is interested in getting involved should email me (Ltemes@wesleyan.edu) or simply show up to our planning meeting November 8th at 12pm in the Woodhead lounge. Free food AND a cool new opportunity for us to get involved in our local community and share a passion for numbers! See you there!

ESC 184 (Woodhead Lounge)

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

12:00 pm - 01:00 pm

The Sexy Primes Present: Algebraic Geometry and Figurative Numbers

Speaker: Professor Christopher Rasmussen, Wes<br/><br/>Abstract: Solving polynomial equations seems to be squarely within the realm of algebra, but mathematicians have long known that geometry is a powerful tool for such problems. We'll introduce some methods of algebraic geometry to solve a problem first tackled by Euler in 1730: <br/>Which integers are both square and triangular?<br/><br/>Lunch will be provided.

ESC 184 (Woodhead Lounge)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

12:00 pm - 01:00 pm

Mathematics and Computer Science Open House

Interested in being a Mathematics or Computer Science Major? Come join us for our department Open House! Meet the faculty, graduate students, staff and The Sexy Primes (our undergraduate math club members)! <br/><br/>Lunch will be served.

ESC 601 (Math Lounge)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

12:00 pm - 01:00 pm

The Sexy Primes present: Knots and the Fourth Dimension

Speaker: Constance Leidy, Wes<br/><br/>Abstract: Take a piece of string, jumble it up, then seal the ends together. The result is a knot. Notice that you can't untie the knot because you've permanently sealed the ends together. (If we don't jumble at all, we'll just end up with a circle, which we call the unknot.) We call two knots equivalent if you can move one jumbled piece of string to look exactly like the other without cutting it open. Knots naturally live in 3-space. We'll discuss a different equivalence relation called concordance involving the fourth dimension. A knot that is concordant to the unknot is called a slice knot. I will discuss some joint work with T. Cochran, S. Harvey and myself that show that knots in a certain family whose slice status was previously unknown are in fact not slice.<br/><br/>Thai food for lunch!

ESC 184 (Woodhead Lounge)

Monday, October 10, 2011

12:00 pm - 01:00 pm

Hack 'n Tell

Computer Science talk about their side projects!<br/><br/>Anastasios Germanidis, '13<br/>Julian Applebaum, '13<br/>Micah Wylde, '12<br/>Jeff Ruberg, '12<br/><br/>Pizza will be served!!!!!!!!!

ESC 109

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

12:00 pm - 01:00 pm

Sexy Primes, Undergraduate Mathematics Club

For math majors, or just mathematically minded folk. Come eat, chat, and learn about our plans for this year.<br/> <br/> <br/> <br/>Join Us! For our first organizational meeting*<br/>*(pizza)<br/> <br/>Tuesday, October 4th <br/>12pm<br/>Woodhead Lounge<br/>

ESC 184 (Woodhead Lounge)

Friday, May 06, 2011

12:00 pm - 01:00 pm

Beauty in Numbers: Fibonacci Numbers and the Golden Ratio

Speaker: Eric Mandell, Wesleyan Undergraduate<br/><br/>Abstract: While the Fibonacci numbers are well known for their frequent<br/>appearance in nature, the reason for this is not as well known. In this talk, we<br/>will explore some patterns found in the Fibonacci sequence, and relate them<br/>to the golden ratio. Using this relationship, we will explain the signicant role<br/>that the sequence plays in nature.<br/><br/>No background knowledge is required for the talk, just an<br/>interest and appreciation of numbers and patterns.<br/><br/>All Are Invited.<br/>Lunch Will Be Served.<br/>T<br/>he Undergraduate Mathematics Colloquium is a weekly gathering for all those who are<br/>interested in mathematics. All students, irrespective of their mathematical background,<br/>are invited to attend and/or give a talk.<br/>For more information, please contact Karen L. Collins (kcollins@wesleyan.edu).

ESC 139

Thursday, April 28, 2011

12:00 pm - 01:00 pm

Polarized Partition Properties on ω_1

Speaker: Sarah Mullens, Hampshire Undergraduate<br/><br/>Abstract: Abstract: Budding from a paper written by Frank Ramsey in 1930, the field<br/>of infinitary combinatorics has become one of the most thought about areas<br/>in set theory. Of particular interest are properties of partitions F : α^β →<br/>2. A lot of work has been done when α,β are countable. This talk will<br/>explore possibilities regarding extending these well-known partition properties<br/>to uncountable ordinals, specifically ω_1.<br/><br/><br/>As for background knowledge, intellectual curiosity is all that's<br/>required; although, some familiarity with the aspects of set theory<br/>covered in discrete mathematics course may be helpful.<br/><br/>All Are Invited.<br/>Lunch Will Be Served.<br/>The Undergraduate Mathematics Colloquium is a weekly gathering for all those who are<br/>interested in mathematics. All students, irrespective of their mathematical background,<br/>are invited to attend and/or give a talk.<br/>For more information, please contact Karen L. Collins (kcollins@wesleyan.edu).<br/>

ESC 139

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

04:15 pm - 06:00 pm

The Spectral Theorem for Bounded Symmetric Operators

Speaker: Irinia Zaitseva, '10, MA Thesis Defense<br/><br/>Abstract: In this talk I will present a proof of the Spectral Theorem for<br/>bounded symmetric operators on a separable Hilbert space, which<br/>expresses each such operator as an integral with respect to a certain<br/>family of orthogonal projections. The proof I will present is an early<br/>one due to F. Riesz.<br/>

ESC 638

Friday, April 22, 2011

12:00 pm - 01:00 pm

The Global Positioning System: Quanitfying Measurement Uncertainty and Coverage Optimization

Speaker: David Puelz, '11<br/><br/>Abstract: How does your iphone's or TomTom's GPS work? Why is it sometimes inaccurate? Or better yet, how can we quantify and analyze these inaccuracies?<br/><br/>The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a space-based global navigation satellite system that provides reliable location and time information given an unobstructed line of sight to four or more GPS satellites. The configuration of the GPS satellites has evolved to provide the most functional system for the broadest class of users given a limited amount of resources. However, evaluation methods of the current GPS system utilize only four satellites in view, while increasing the number of satellites to determine position will always increase GPS accuracy.<br/><br/>In this talk, I'll develop intuitively meaningful expressions for a GPS performance metric that utilize information from all satellites in view. I'll also develop explicit expressions for the metric's first and second derivatives and construct efficient methods for analyzing GPS coverage.<br/><br/>All are invited. Lunch from Iguanas Ranas will be served.

ESC 139

Friday, April 15, 2011

12:00 pm - 01:00 pm

Constructible Numbers: An Introduction to Alegebraic Structures

Speaker: Reed Sarney, '12<br/><br/>Abstract: Greek geometers puzzled over the figures which they could construct using only a traditional compass and straightedge, but they puzzled even harder over the figures which seemed impossible to construct using those same tools. Given a circle, is it possible to construct a square with exactly the same area? Given a cube, is it possible to construct another one with exactly twice the volume? After two millennia, it turned out that these kinds of geometric questions could be answered in purely algebraic terms. This talk will introduce students to basic notions of algebraic structures via traditional compass and straightedge constructions in two dimensions.<br/><br/>The material presented in the talk will be entirely self-contained; no prior knowledge of or background in mathematics will be assumed.<br/><br/>All are invited, lunch will be served.

ESC 139

Friday, April 15, 2011

03:00 pm - 04:00 pm

An Ode to John Henry

Speaker: Joel Specter, '11<br/><br/>Abstract: <br/>John Henry hammered on the right-hand side. <br/>Steam drill kept driving on the left. <br/>John Henry beat that steam drill down. <br/>But he hammered his poor heart to death, <br/>Lord, Lord, He hammered his poor heart to death.<br/><br/>Join me this Friday as I pit myself against machine and race to prove the Chebotarev density theorem before a computer is able to provide reasonable evidence for the theorem's validity.<br/>

ESC 638

Friday, April 15, 2011

04:15 pm - 05:15 pm

Possible Orders of the elements of GL(n,Z)

Speaker: Bethany Berkowitz, '11<br/><br/>Senior Honors Talk

ESC 638

Thursday, April 14, 2011

10:30 am - 11:50 am

Dinosaurs, Strips, and Disks: All complex but equal

Speaker: David Puelz, '11<br/><br/>Senior Honors Talk

ESC 638

Thursday, April 14, 2011

12:00 pm - 02:30 pm

Comp. Sci. Hack 'n Tell (WesFest)

Computer Science students will present projects that they have been working on outside of classes. Open to students visiting during WesFest.

ESC 184 (Woodhead Lounge)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

04:15 pm - 05:15 pm

Why a Drunk Man Fares Better than a Drunk Bird

Speaker: Charles Puelz, '11<br/><br/>Senior Honors Talk

ESC 638

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

04:15 pm - 05:15 pm

Infinite Automata

Speaker: Nathaniel Rook, '11<br/><br/>Senior Honors Talk

ESC 638

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

12:00 pm - 01:00 pm

Oil Drilling and Mathematics

Speaker: Charles Puelz, '11<br/><br/>Abstract: Have you wondered how the gas in your car gets to the pump? First it has to be found in nature, and to do this the oil industry employs an imaging technique using reflected acoustic waves. This requires solving the following inverse problem: constructing an image of the subsurface (hopefully containing oil) given the data collected at receiver microphones.<br/><br/>In this talk we will give a general introduction to the subject of Inverse Theory, a topic of great current interest in applied mathematics. Then we will discuss inverse problems in the field of reflection seismology. This will begin with an explanation of the experimental setup and data collection, and will conclude with a derivation of the imaging operators used to find oil in the subsurface.<br/><br/>As for background knowledge, intellectual curiosity is all that's required; although, a basic understanding of linear algebra and analysis might be helpful.<br/><br/>All are Invited. Lunch will be served.

ESC 139

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

12:00 pm - 01:00 pm

Open House for Prospective Math and Computer Science Majors

Come join us to find out about being a Mathematics or Computer Science major. Meet the faculty, staff, graduate students and current majors.<br/><br/>Lunch from Lino's will be served.

ESC 601 (Math Lounge)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

12:00 pm - 01:00 pm

Introduction to Coding Theory and Quantum Error Correcting Codes

Speaker: Mike Chou<br/><br/>Abstract: Ever wonder why barcodes work? No? How about computers, satellites, cellphones and all those fancy gizmos you own.<br/>This talk will focus on introducing the topic of Coding Theory, the basis for the language in which modern appliances communicate, as well as touch upon the recent topic of applying coding theory in a quantum setting.<br/><br/>As for background knowledge, intellectual curiosity is all that's required; although a basic understanding of linear algebra might be helpful.<br/><br/>All are invited, lunch will be served.<br/><br/>(Due to a scheduling conflict, David Puelz's talk will be postponed to a later date.

ESC 139

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

12:00 pm - 01:00 pm

Math Club

Panel Discussion for undergraduate with information on summer opportunities in mathematics.

ESC 184 (Woodhead Lounge)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

04:00 pm - 06:00 pm

Thesis Defense, Nathan Fieldsteel

Speaker: Nathan Fieldsteel, Wesleyan University<br/><br/>Abstract: We will present a generalization of the Alexander module, which aims to distinguish knots by constructing modules corresponding to certain regular covering spaces of the knot complement. We will present a numerical invariant that can be extracted from these modules, and a procedure by which we can compute it in practice in the case of the first higher-order Alexander module.

ESC 638

Thursday, March 25, 2010

12:00 pm - 01:30 pm

Chi-Wang Shu, Brown University Dept of Applied Mathematics

Undergraduate Math Talk: Introduction to Scientific Computing and the Influence of Mathematics to Its Development

ESC 601 (Math Lounge)