20222023 Academic Year Colloquium Schedule 

September 8, 2022
Title: 
Consulting careers and opportunities at EY

Speaker:  Jodie Bosheers '18, John Butler '20, Aaron Croad '12, and Paxton Pressprich '15
EY
Detroit, Michigan

Abstract: 
Come join us to learn more about EY Consulting careers and opportunities for this upcoming fall recruitment. This session will host four Albion alumni who will share their career paths at EY and discuss how their time at Albion helped prepare them for a Consulting career. Find out what skills are important to be a successful consultant and how you can strengthen your resume. We will also share details about how to apply for internships and full time positions this fall.

Location: 
Palenske 227

Time: 
3:30 PM

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September 15, 2022
Title: 
Technical Writing with LaTeX

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

Abstract: 
The document preparation system LaTeX is a powerful
program for typesetting based on TeX. LaTeX was developed over 30 years ago to aid in document preparation.
Like TeX, it is a markup language that takes control sequences and converts them into symbols and instructions
having no normal key.
It is particularly useful in
creating documents with mathematical text, such as formal papers, theses, and textbooks.
This talk will
be interactive, allowing students to work with LaTeX on simple exercises.

Location: 
Palenske 231

Time: 
3:30 PM

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September 22, 2022
September 29, 2022
Title: 
SoccerBall Symmetries: Exploring Symmetric Patterns on Spheres

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

Abstract: 
The goal of this talk is to introduce the general language of symmetry and explore the related mathematics. In this talk we will give a very visual and handson look at symmetric patterns, particularly patterns that can be made by threedimensional objects that can be enclosed within a sphere. This talk will assume only basic algebra skills and will be accessible to a general audience. Decorating objects with repeating symmetry patterns increases their visual appeal. Each of these symmetry patterns can be studied using the mathematics of group theory. On an infinite strip there are exactly seven types of repeating patterns, called frieze patterns. Similarly, there are exactly seventeen types of repeating patterns, called wallpaper patterns, that can be used to decorate the plane. On the sphere, there are 14 families of patterns, called soccerball symmetries, with seven related to frieze patterns and seven related to symmetries of platonic solids. We will explore thes!
e symmetry patterns, learn how to identify each pattern, and understand the underlying mathematical concepts.

Location: 
Palenske 227

Time: 
3:30 PM

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October 6, 2022
Title: 
Jokers Gone Wild: Inconsistencies In WildCard Poker

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

Abstract: 
Poker is a name given to a wide variety of card games where the objective is to obtain the best handhowever "best" might be described by the game's rules. Some variations on poker use one or more designated "wild" cards, which can be assigned any value that best benefits the player. From a mathematician's perspective, adding wild cards to the standard 52card deck changes the probabilities of some poker hands, in some cases so much so that the traditional ranking of hands is no longer correct. In this talk, we shall examine a few of the inconsistencies that have been identified with wild cards and look at the mathematical approaches to resolving them.

Location: 
Palenske 227

Time: 
3:30 PM

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October 20, 2022
Title: 
Using Eigenvalues to Classify Neuronal Networks

Speaker:  Paulina Volosov
Assistant Professor of Mathematics
Mathematics
Hillsdale College
Hillsdale, MI

Abstract: 
When neuroscientists reconstruct brain networks, they often do not know how to index the neurons in order reveal the underlying structure of the connections between neurons. How can a mathematician help in this case? It turns out that by studying the eigenvalues of the connectivity matrix, we can in fact derive a metric that classifies smallworld networks using information from the spectrum. This is yet one more case in which we see the beauty and usefulness of eigenvalues.

Location: 
Palenske 227

Time: 
3:30 PM

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October 27, 2022
Title: 
Playing Catch Up on The Chase and Bertrand's Ballot Problem

Speaker:  Michael A. Jones
Managing Editor/Associate Editor
Mathematical Reviews
American Mathematical Society
Ann Arbor, MI

Abstract: 
The Chase is a television game show (2009present in UK; from 20132015; 2021present in US) that consists of three rounds and three contestants. This presentation explores the probability of a contestant "being caught" by the chaser in the second round of the game. A solution will first come through the use of Markov chains. This result will be improved upon by a method that reveals a connection to a generalized version of Bertrand's Ballot Problem.

Location: 
Palenske 227

Time: 
3:30 PM

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November 3, 2022
Title: 
Insider Threats to Cybersecurity

Speaker:  Emily Reimann
Cybersecurity Insider Threat Program Manager
Cybersecurity
KLA
Ann Arbor, MI

Abstract: 
Have you ever wondered what a career in cybersecurity looks like? What does "cybersecurity" even mean? In this talk we'll discuss core principles in cybersecurity. We'll then apply these concepts to examine the challenge of insider threats. The talk will also cover career pathways and resources in cybersecurity.

Location: 
Palenske 227

Time: 
3:30 PM

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November 10, 2022
Title: 
Random Walks and Ito Calculus with Applications to Finance

Speaker:  Darren E. Mason
Professor
Mathematics & Computer Science
Albion Coollege
Albion, MI

Abstract: 
Rational pricing of many financial products rely on mathematical modeling of random phenomena (e.g. the time evolution of a stock price). In this talk I will discuss the fundamental ideas of random walks, Brownian motion, and Ito Calculus, with applications actuarial science and finance. This presentation also serves as a nice introduction to what students can expect in part of Math 313  Financial Mathematics for Actuaries (a.k.a. "Financial Derivative Pricing)  which is offered in Spring 2024.

Location: 
Palenske 227

Time: 
3:30 PM

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November 17, 2022
Title: 
Bibliographic Research in Mathematics and Computer Science

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

Abstract: 
This talk will discuss the process of academic writing,
finding appropriate sources, and citing them.
We will also discuss some challenges in authenticating materials.
Intellectual property, specifically copyright law, will also be discussed
along with its relationship to citing material in writing.

Location: 
Palenske 227

Time: 
3:30 PM

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December 1, 2022
Title: 
PrivacyPreserving Computation

Speaker:  Jonathan Takeshita
Doctoral Candidate
Computer Science and Engineering
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN

Abstract: 
In this talk, I will present an overview of several of my projects in the area of Data Security and Privacy, including my work at Notre Dame, Google, and Meta (formerly Facebook). I will also discuss my career arc from Albion's preengineering program to my current position, and the opportunities that students studying mathematics and computer science can take advantage of at and after Albion.

Location: 
Palenske 227

Time: 
3:30 PM

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December 8, 2022
January 26, 2023
Title:  Careers in Mathematics and Computer Science 
Speaker:  David A. Reimann
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 2, 2023
Title: 
Euler, Lambert, and Lagrange: Fun with Complex Exponents

Speaker:  Abe Edwards
Associate Teaching Professor
Lyman Briggs College
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI

Abstract: 
If you were like me as a kid, you probably punched some numbers in a calculator and wondered, what happens if I just keep pressing the equals sign? Leonard Euler asked himself a similar question: What happens if I keep raising a number to a power over and over again? One might think the result would simply tend toward infinity. However, Euler showed that there are some numbers which, under the operation of infinitely repeated exponentiation, produce very interesting results. In this talk we'll explore these numbers, and then use the work of Lambert and Lagrange to extend our ideas about infinite exponentiation into the world of complex numbers. Interesting math history, fun with calculators, and beautiful pictures are guaranteed.

Location: 
Palenske 227

Time: 
3:30 PM

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February 9, 2023
Title: 
Deploying Machine Learning Pipelines at Ford Motor Company

Speaker:  Austin Denha '17
Machine Learning Engineer, Ford Motor Company
Detroit, MI

Abstract: 
At Ford, machine learning touches every corner of the business—this includes banking, product development, manufacturing, customer experience, quality, and more. Since Ford's machine learning needs are widereaching, Ford deploys Machine Learning pipelines in a wide variety of applications—from computer vision and anomaly detection to natural language processing.
In this talk, Austin Denha, Machine Learning Engineer and Product Owner for Machine Learning Platforms at Ford, will demonstrate how he and his team built generalized pipelines to democratize the deployment of models across the company. He will walk through his views on what is necessary to succeed in this kind of project, from the importance of clean data to the requirements of model training and deployment tools.
Austin will also explain his philosophy and approach the teams at Ford have adopted to get machine learning pipelines into production. Importantly, he will discuss their production first mindset and how they enabled data scientists to manage their deployments and bring the timetodeploy from months to days.

Location: 
Palenske 227

Time: 
3:30 PM

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February 16, 2023
Title: 
Characterizing Winning Positions in Impartial Pebbling Games

Speaker:  Brittany Ohlinger
Associate Professor
Mathematics
Albright College
Reading, PA

Abstract: 
Graph pebbling is a game played on a graph with any number of pebbles on each vertex. A pebbling move consists of choosing a vertex
\(v\) that has at least two pebbles, removing two pebbles from \(v\), and placing one pebble on one of \(v\)'s neighbors (the other pebble is discarded). Before play begins, a target vertex is chosen. The object of the game is to move one pebble onto the target vertex through a sequence of pebbling moves.
This talk will focus on a variation in which graph pebbling is viewed as a twoplayer, impartial combinatorial game. Instead of moving to a target vertex, the objective is to be the last player to make a valid move. We will consider the game played on various classes of graphs, including cycles and complete graphs. We will also consider variations of the pebbling move. In each case, we are interested in which positions are winning positions in optimal play.

Location: 
Palenske 227

Time: 
3:30 PM

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February 23, 2023
Title: 
A Game Theoretic Approach to the PenneyAnte Game

Speaker:  Michael A. Jones
Associate and Managing Editor
Mathematical Reviews
American Mathematical Society
Ann Arbor, MI

Abstract: 
Martin Gardner popularized the PenneyAnte game in which player 1 chooses a lengththree string of heads/tails. Aware of player 1's choice, then player 2 also chooses such a string. A coin is then tossed repeatedly until one of the players' strings appears. The player's string that appears first wins the game. If you are player 2, what is your best response to a player 1's choice? The answer for a fair coin is known, but demonstrates some unusual behavior. What if the coin is not fair?
Using a treebased method and a Markov chain based method, I'll determine the bestresponse for player 2 for a pcoin (where the probability of the coin landing on heads is p). Consequently, this will also address how player 1 should choose a string, too. Finally, I will determine the optimal strategies for a simultaneousmove version of the PenneyAnte game.
This work is joint with Riley Dickinson and Stanley R. Huddy.

Location: 
Palenske 227

Time: 
3:30 PM

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March 16, 2023
Title: 
A Diagrammatic Approach to Invariant Theory and Steenrod Actions

Speaker:  Dana Hunter
Mathematics
Kalamazoo College
Kalamazoo, Michigan

Abstract: 
Algebraic topologists study geometric objects by associating to them algebraic structures which remain unchanged under deformation. One very powerful such algebraic structure is the cohomology ring, along with its Steenrod squaring operations. After a very brief introduction to these topological notions through pictures, the bulk of our talk will focus on examples of algebraic structures that show up as cohomology rings (or images of those rings).
Our first example will be symmetric polynomials. Given a polynomial ring in n variables over a field, we can define an action of the symmetric group by permuting variables. The polynomials which remain unchanged by such permutations are called symmetric polynomials and turn out to be a very similar looking polynomial ring! We will give a proof using diagrams, which are highly useful in further cases. We will also define and calculate the Steenrod squares in this setting.
We will next look at what happens when we replace permuting variables by sending each variable to a linear combination of other variables, and again look at what elements are left unchanged by all such coordinate changes. This will give us Dickson algebras, which, with their Steenrod squaring structure are an important building block in a new approach to the classic problem of studying families of maps between spheres.

Location: 
Palenske 227

Time: 
3:30 PM

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March 23, 2023
Title: 
A pigeonhole principle for linear orders

Speaker:  Andrés Eduardo Caicedo
Associate Editor
Mathematical Reviews
American Mathematical Society
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Abstract: 
The basic pigeonhole principle says that if more than n items are put into n containers, then some container has at least two items. We typically consider more quantitative versions: how many items do we need if we have 3 containers, and no matter how we distribute the items, at least one container ends with 3 items? (we need at least 7.) Or, how many items do we need if we have 2 containers, and no matter how we distribute the items, either the first container ends up with 3 items, or the second one ends up with 4? (we need at least 6.)
In this talk I consider a version of this principle where we look at infinite linear orders, and consider questions such as: how large should a linear order be, if whenever it is split into two pieces, one of them contains a monotone sequence? (it suffices that the order be infinite.) Or, how large should a linear order be, if whenever it is split into two pieces, either the first piece contains an increasing sequence, or the second one contains a decreasing sequence?

Location: 
Palenske 227

Time: 
3:30 PM

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March 30, 2023
April 6, 2023
Title: 
Fluid Simulation using Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) Technique

Speaker:  Yuming Zhang
Assistant Professor
Mathematics and Computer Science
Albion College
Albion, Michigan

Abstract: 
Fluid simulation aims to reproduce realistic fluid phenomena, which plays an important role in many applications, modern feature films, computer games, virtual reality, etc. However, simulating fluid is challenging due to its large deformation and complex interplay of various behaviors such as convection, diffusion, turbulence, and surface intension. The Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) technique is a popular particlebased Lagrangian approach to simulating complex fluid effects. In this method, a certain field quantity, including its gradient and Laplacian, can be efficiently interpolated by considering a finite set of neighboring particles. In this talk, I will introduce the fundamentals of the SPH method, such as its formulation, accuracy analysis, kernels, discretization, neighborhood search, and boundary handling. Realtime simulation will be presented to demonstrate the effectiveness of this method.

Location: 
Palenske 227

Time: 
3:30 PM

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