2002-2003 Academic Year Colloquium Schedule

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(Faculty/Staff Only)

January 23, 2003

Title:Better Late Than Never: The Mathematics Of A Christmas Gift Exchange
Speaker:Mark Bollman
Assistant Professor
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
Albion College
Albion, MI

Abstract:TBA
Location:Norris 109
Time:4:10 PM
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January 30, 2003

Title:"What?": How computers understand human language
Speaker:Martha O'Kennon
Professor
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
Albion College
Albion, MI

Abstract:TBA
Location:Norris 109
Time:4:10 PM
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February 6, 2003

Title:Computer modeling and simulation of traffic flow through intersections
Speaker:Tom Maleck
Professor
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI

Abstract:
Location:Norris 109
Time:4:10 PM
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February 13, 2003

Title:Fibonacci:It's as easy as 1, 1, 2, 3, ...
Speaker:John Wenzel
Professor
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
Albion College
Albion, MI

Abstract:TBA
Location:Norris 109
Time:4:10 PM
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February 20, 2003

Title:Antoine's Necklace and the Amazing Cantor Set
Speaker:Robert Messer
Associate Professor
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
Albion College
Albion, MI

Abstract:The Cantor set appears in many disguises to illustrate the basic concepts of topology.The standard Cantor set in the unit interval is interesting enough, but topologist like to bend and stretch things. So we develop a way to recognize the Cantor set even if we were to meet it at night in a dark alley. We check out the Stonehenge of Cantor sets, enjoy the Cantor set on Broadway, and try on Antoine's necklace.Click here for exercises related to this talk.
Location:Norris 109
Time:4:10 PM
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February 27, 2003

Title:The Statistics Behind the Testing of Genetically Modified Organisms
Speaker:Ferit Kivanç
Associate Professor
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
Albion College
Albion, MI

Abstract:
Location:Norris 109
Time:4:10 PM
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March 6, 2003

Title:Computed Tomography: The technology behind the pictures
Speaker:David A. Reimann
Associate Professor
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
Albion College
Albion, MI

Abstract:Computed Tomography (CT) has revolutionized medicine in the last 30 years. Computers are an essential in performing the millions of computations required to generate cross-sectional images. New advances allow truly three-dimensional images to be acquired, displayed, and analyzed. Come learn about the technology behing the pictures!
Location:Norris 109
Time:4:10 PM
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March 20, 2003

Title:Online Algorithms and Competitive Analysis
Speaker:Ben Coleman
Graduate Student
Computer Science
College of William and Mary
Williamsburg, VA

Abstract:In online computation, an algorithm must decide how to handle incoming requests without knowledge of future requests. The quality of these algorithms is not evaluated as correct or incorrect, but instead is measured relative to the performance of an algorithm that has complete knowledge of the future. This technique, called competitive analysis, has been applied to numerous problems in Computer Science. In this talk, I will formally define online computation and introduce the study of online algorithms though competitive analysis. I will give representative examples of online algorithms and present the proof of the competitive ratio for a simple online scheduling algorithm.
Location:Norris 109
Time:4:10 PM
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March 27, 2003

Title:DNA Computing and Coding
Speaker:Vyacheslav Rykov
Associate Professor
Mathematics
Huntingdon College
Montgomery, AL

Abstract:Molecular computing is a field that focuses on manipulations with single molecules for computational purposes. The most powerful molecules that have been found for these purposes are deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and bacteriorhodopsin. Through the powers of biomolecular computing the extraordinary parallelism occurring in nature can be exploited and used to our advantage. Great parallelism at nanoscales has been discovered to be inherent in natural phenomena and we can now realistically imagine this power being used to solve computational problems. The formulation of evolutionary algorithms in biomolecules would present a very effective alternative for the growing demands of computational power in our world. This presentation will consist of a brief summary of major advances in biomolecular computing, both theoretical and experimental as well as the potentials of biomolecular computing. The focus will be on the algorithms for some NP Problems and on the Encoding Problem.
Location:Norris 109
Time:4:10 PM
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April 3, 2003

Title:How to optimize in infinite dimensions: A primer in variational calculus
Speaker:Darren Mason
Assistant Professor
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
Albion College
Albion, MI

Abstract:
Location:Norris 109
Time:4:10 PM
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April 10, 2003

Title:A design document for the construction of an interactiveentertainment experience entitled Paradox
Speaker:Matt Linden, '03
Mathematics Major and Computer Science Minor
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
Albion College
Albion, MI

Abstract:Video games, particularly role-playing games, have long held a fascination for me through their intense storylines, stirring themes, moving melodies, and cutting-edge graphics. I have always believed that video games can be used for more than mere entertainment; they can be effective tools also for education and moral instruction. For this reason, I see this project not just as a game but as an interactive entertainment experience. The first step in the production of any video game is the creation of a design document integrating all details relating to the game. Role-playing games in particular require their design documents to include story crafting, event flowcharting, character generation and interaction, world building, graphical design, set-up and layout design, musical composition, a great deal of creativity, and intense revision. Since my early childhood, I have taken special delight in creating such wondrous characters and plots taken out of the fantasy and science fiction genres. Paradox evolved from a collection of ideas developed over many years. Recently, there has been much refinement of these concepts and encouragement from loved ones to take the initial musings and evolve them into a dream. My design document describes the game Paradox as a fantastical world of heroes, magic, and monsters, and also as a collection of lives and events exploring themes of love, friendship, good, and evil. I am at the point where my dream has the potential to become a reality.
Location:Norris 109
Time:4:10 PM
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April 17, 2003

Title:Simple Program Generation for Tutoring Novice Computer Science
Speaker:Rick Straughen, '03
Mathematics Major and Computer Science Major
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
Albion College
Albion, MI

Abstract:A challenge in learning programming is understanding the syntax and semantics of computer languages. The syntax of a programming language is often represented by syntax diagrams, or equivalently, in Backus-Naur Form. In most cases, the syntactical structure of a language is recursively defined using non-terminal units, which ultimately lead to terminal units. The language syntax only specifies structure, but many structures have an implied meaning. A program is comprised of numerous syntactical units. The meaning of a program is derived from the relationship among all of the comprising syntactical units. A Java program was developed that randomly generates simple programs in Pascal. Java functions were created corresponding to each of the syntax diagrams defining Pascal. To generate a program, all non-terminal units need to be expressed as a collection of terminal units. The Java program combines these units randomly, following rules specified by the syntax. Many constraints are placed on the output, in order to assure programs relevant for novice computer science students are produced. A simple program occurs when terminals are reached in a few steps. Another issue is that syntactically correct programs can be created which have no real meaning. Variables have different types, so type matching within each expression is also critical. Further work includes providing a web-based user interface and testing in a classroom setting. This program can be generalized for other programming languages and subject areas such as mathematics.
Location:Norris 109
Time:4:10 PM
CitationClick for BibTeX citation


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