20192020 Academic Year Colloquium Schedule 

September 12, 2019
Title: 
A Travelogue of the Mathematical Universe

Speaker:  David A. Reimann
Professor
Mathematics and
Computer Science
Albion College
Albion, MI

Abstract: 
Mathematics is all around us, yet can be very abstract.
The goal of mathematical art is to create artistic examples of mathematical concepts that can inspire and inform us, or to
use mathematical concepts to artistically tell a story.
In this talk we will discuss a variety of mathematical concepts and view related mathematical artworks.
Hopefully you will leave knowing a little more mathematics,
and inspired to further explore the mathematical universe and create your own mathematical art travelogue!

Location: 
Palenske 227

Time: 
3:30 PM

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September 19, 2019
September 26, 2019
Title: 
Craps and Beyond: Casino Dice Games

Speaker:  Mark Bollman
Professor and Chair, Mathematics & Computer Science
Mathematics & Computer Science
Albion College
Albion, MI

Abstract: 
Dice of varying types have been found among the artifacts of many ancient civilizations, and games of chance played with dice have a history dating back many years. We will begin the craps, the most popular casino dice game, and then move on to consider game variations and other games played with dice from the mathematician's and the gambler's perspectives.

Location: 
Palenske 227

Time: 
3:30 PM

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October 3, 2019
Title: 
Cybersecurity Challenges and Solutions

Speaker:  Emily Massah
Consultant
Crisis and Security Consulting
Control Risks
Washington, D.C.

Abstract: 
Have you ever wondered what "hacking" really means? What is "GDPR"? Why shouldn't one use the same password for everything? This talk will focus on foundational cybersecurity knowledge and current challenges in the industry. Several recent case studies will be discussed.

Location: 
Palenske 227

Time: 
3:30 PM

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October 10, 2019
Title: 
Finding the Best Way From Here to There: A Primer on Variational Calculus

Speaker:  Darren Mason
Professor
Mathematics & Computer Science
Albion College
Albion, MI

Abstract: 
Given a task to accomplish, it is natural to ask what is the best way to achieve your goal? Maybe you are flying from Beijing to London and need the shortest flight path. Or you are selling fuel and you want to find the optimal time $t$ to sell it so that you can maximize your profit. Or you are crossing a river with a strong current and want to determine a propeller direction (as a function of time) so that you cross the river in the least amount of time. The number of possible questions of this type seems endless. During this lecture we will discuss some of the above problems, a famous brainteaser called the brachistochrone problem, and illustrate how to find solutions to these problems using a version of calculus that makes sense in infinite dimensions — the interesting field of variational calculus!

Location: 
Palenske 227

Time: 
3:30 PM

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October 24, 2019
Title: 
Finding Big O with My CompSci Degree

Speaker:  Matthew Seely
ELearning Services Assistant
Education
AAP
Itasca, IL

Abstract: 
Why do you want to be a computer scientist? What are some of the avenues for employment after graduation? Hear a recent graduate's tale of looking for a meaningful career with some misadventures along the way.

Location: 
Palenske 227

Time: 
3:30 PM

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October 31, 2019
Title: 
See Yourself as a Consulting Actuary

Speaker:  Judith A. Kermans, EA, FCA, MAAA
President & Senior Consultant
Kurt Dosson '09, ASA, MAAA
Consultant
Kenneth G. Alberts '87
Gabriel, Roeder, Smith & Company (GRS)
Southfield, Michigan

Abstract: 
President Kermans and her team will be discussing the actuarial science profession as well as the role of GRS within the actuarial science and benefits consulting profession.

Location: 
Palenske 227

Time: 
3:30 PM

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November 7, 2019
Title: 
Abstractions and Single Responsibility: Breaking Apart Problems

Speaker:  Culver GanemRedd '11
Software Engineer II
Camtasia team
TechSmith Corporation
Okemos, Michigan

Abstract: 
The ability to break apart a problem into smaller pieces is a key skill to learn when writing code, as well as in many other fields. In software engineering, we often think of this process in terms of "layers of abstraction" and "responsibilities". In this talk, I will explain why thinking in abstractions can be so important, introduce the Single Responsibility Principle, show some examples of how we tend to approach abstractions at TechSmith, and offer suggestions on how to apply this kind of thinking in other fields.

Location: 
Palenske 227

Time: 
3:30 PM

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November 14, 2019
Title: 
A Difference Equation Approach to Finite Differences of Polynomials

Speaker:  Michael A. Jones
Managing Editor, AMSMathematical Reviews
and Editor, MAA Mathematics Magazine
Ann Arbor, MI

Abstract: 
First, I will explain why the $\left(n+1\right)$st difference sequence is zero for sequence data generated by an $n$th degree polynomial. Then, I will use difference equations to show that if a sequence has its $(n+1)\text{st}$ difference sequence equal to zero, and $n+0$ is the smallest such integer, then a polynomial of degree $n$ can generate the sequential data. The difference equation approach is new. But, more can be said about the polynomial; I will review others' results on how to construct the polynomial.

Location: 
Palenske 227

Time: 
3:30 PM

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November 21, 2019
Title: 
My favorite theorem in fiction: the first incompleteness theorem.

Speaker:  AndrewDavid Bjork
Associate Professor
Mathematics
Siena Heights University
Adrian, Michigan

Abstract: 
Many authors have incorporated mathematics into their writings. Few have done so as intentionally as Neal Stephenson. His novel Cryptonomicon, published in 1999, holds one of my favorite narrations of GĂ¶del's celebrated result. This talk will follow and explain Stephenson's treatment of the first incompleteness theorem. I will also invite a conversation on the liberal arts today, and why we care so deeply about more than mathematics.

Location: 
Palenske 227

Time: 
3:30 pm

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January 30, 2020
Title:  Careers in Mathematics and Computer Science 
Speaker:  David A. Reimann
Associate Professor
Mathematics and Computer Science
Albion College
Albion, MI, USA

Abstract:  A degree in mathematics or computer science is excellent preparation for employment in areas such as teaching, actuarial science, software development, engineering, and finance. Come learn about career opportunities awaiting you after graduation. 
Location:  Palenske 227 
Time:  3:30 PM 
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February 6, 2020
Title: 
Qubits Versus Plinko: Two Approaches Toward Quantum Computational Supremacy

Speaker:  Dr. Tim Rambo `09
Quantum Opus LLC
Novi, MI

Abstract: 
Quantum Computing sits at the intersection of computer science, physics, and engineering and it's proponents promise a new, more powerful, class of computers. The field is being driven by research at a diverse array of universities, major corporations such as Google and IBM, and startup companies like ours, with the goal of demonstrating a computer that relies on the oddities of quantum physics to solve problems faster than a classical computer. I will discuss why quantum computers are thought to have such great potential, provide a brief introduction to how and why they function differently from classical computers, and look at two different approaches to proving "Quantum Supremacy".

Location: 
Palenske 227

Time: 
3:30 PM

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February 13, 2020
Title: 
Symmetry Groups: The mathematical connection between patterns in Moorish architecture and the artwork of M.C. Escher

Speaker:  David A. Reimann
Associate Professor
Mathematics and Computer Science
Albion College
Albion, Michigan

Abstract: 
The mathematical structure of symmetrical patterns can be studied using group theory. The Moors built many magnificent buildings richly decorated with geometric patterns during their rule of the Iberian peninsula (7111492). The graphic artist M.C. Escher visited southern Spain in 1922 and was captivated by the patterns that richly decorate the architecture of the Alhambra, Alcazar, and other Moorish buildings. After a second visit to Spain in 1935, Escher became obsessed with creating patterns of interlocking figures based on these elaborate tiling patterns. While Escher had no formal mathematical training, he used mathematical methods grounded in scientific literature to study these patterns. We will view these patterns through the lens of group theory, one of the great mathematical accomplishments of the 19th century. This talk will be highly visual with many pictures of Escher's works and Moorish architecture.

Location: 
Palenske 227

Time: 
3:30 PM

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February 20, 2020
Title: 
Stories in Mathematics: Mathematical journeys and what it means to do mathematics

Speaker:  Chris Creighton
Ph.D. Candidate
Department of Mathematics
Purdue University
West Lafayette, IN

Abstract: 
We all do mathematics, but questions arise about who are encouraged and what really is doing mathematics? My hope is to get you to think about the stories you are implicitly telling about mathematics and frame it in a positive light. I will begin with my story from Albion College to my Ph.D. at Purdue University and how I became interested in this work. We will then discuss how words and mathematics are used to encourage and discourage people from mathematics and other societal programs and ending on a discussion of doing mathematics using an example from differential equations. Mathematics is a cornerstone of the Liberal Arts education, bridging between science and the humanities, so we must do our best to encourage all to see the values of mathematics.

Location: 
Palenske 227

Time: 
3:30 PM

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February 27, 2020
Title: 
Computationally efficient order identification for models of big time series data

Speaker:  Brian Wu
PhD Candidate
Mathematics & Statistics
Oakland University
Rochester, Michigan

Abstract: 
Big time series data with tens of thousands of time points involve complex statistical modeling. Minimizing Information Criteria (IC), such as AIC, AICC or BIC, is used for model order identification. However, this identification process is computationally intensive for big time series because it depends on the repeated computation of the likelihood function. We propose a computationally efficient IC optimization method based on fast kriging surrogates. First, we apply the method to ARMA models with two orders, then we expand it to seasonal time series models of higher dimensional order space. To demonstrate this method, we analyze the results from both simulated and real big time series data related to appliances energy consumption. The method proposed can speed up the order identification process, but its accuracy and computing time depend on the number of fitted time series models needed for the IC optimization.

Location: 
Palenske 227

Time: 
3:30 PM

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March 19, 2020
March 26, 2020
April 2, 2020
April 9, 2020
April 16, 2020
April 23, 2020
