20232024 Academic Year Colloquium Schedule 

September 14, 2023
Title: 
Symmetry Groups: The mathematical connection between patterns in Moorish architecture and the artwork of M.C. Escher

Speaker:  David A. Reimann
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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September 21, 2023
September 28, 2023
October 5, 2023
Title: 
Patterns in Permutations

Speaker:  Lara K. Pudwell
Professor
Mathematics and Statistics
Valparaiso University
Valparaiso, Indiana, USA

Abstract: 
This engaging article takes the reader on a journey in which a graphical
representation of permutations provokes an interesting counting problem
with surprising results. The article begins with a clear definition and visualiza
tion of permutations. A wellchosen permutation of the digits 19 illustrates
patterns within permutations, prompting the question of how many permu
tations avoid a given pattern. The article continues with progressively more
complicated examples which prepare the reader for two surprising examples
and an unsolved problem.
There are unexpected connections made to famous landmarks as the
journey unfolds. A computer science problem from Donald Knuth motivates
the counting question. A nicely illustrated explanation of a recursive solution
of one counting problem leads directly to the Catalan numbers. A related
problem is solved with a familiar recurrence relation, the generator of the
Fibonacci numbers. The article concludes with some intriguing clues to send
the reader on a journey into more complicated and unsolved problems.
This video was recorded at the 2023 MAA MAthFest conference where the speaker recived the
Trevor Evans Award, established by the Board of Governors in 1992 and
first awarded in 1996. It is made to authors of expository articles accessible to
undergraduates and published in Math Horizons. The Award is named for
Trevor Evans, a distinguished mathematician, teacher, and writer at Emory
University.
video
slides

Location: 
Palenske 227

Time: 
3:30 PM

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October 12, 2023
Title: 
The Will Rogers Phenomenon and Sequential Migration

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

Abstract: 
The Will Rogers phenomenon describes when elements are moved or migrate from one set to another and the averages in both sets increase. We provide a mathematical condition for when the phenomenon occurs and when sequential migration results in the phenomenon occurring at each step of migration. We use an example to explore other questions including the likelihood of the phenomenon occurring and its relationship to Simpson's paradox.
This work is joint with Allison Mocny (undergraduate student at Case Western University) and Jennifer Wilson (New School University).

Location: 
Palenske 227

Time: 
3:30 PM

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October 26, 2023
Title: 
Between the Folds, a film by Vanessa Gould

Speaker: 

Abstract: 
Green Fuse Films'
awardwinning documentary Between the Folds chronicles the stories of ten fine artists and intrepid theoretical scientists who have abandoned careers and scoffed at hardearned graduate degrees—all to forge unconventional lives as modernday paperfolders.
As they converge on the unlikely medium of origami, these artists and scientists reinterpret the world in paper, and bring forth a bold mix of sensibilities towards art, expressiveness, creativity and meaning. And, together these offbeat and provocative minds demonstrate the innumerable ways that art and science come to bear as we struggle to understand and honor the world around us—as artists, scientists, creators, collaborators, preservers, and simply curious beings.
"Luminously photographed", with a "haunting" original score featuring the Budapest Symphony Orchestra, the film paints an arresting portrait of the mysterious creative threads that bind us all–fusing science and sculpture, form and function, ancient and new.
See www.greenfusefilms.com for more information.

Location: 
Palenske 227

Time: 
3:10 pm

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November 2, 2023
Title: 
Principles of Xray Computed Tomography

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

Abstract: 
The roots of xray computed tomography (CT) date back to several key developments roughly 100 years old. When introduced in 1972, xray CT revolutionized medicine and it was recognized in 1979 by the awarding of the Nobel Prize to the scientists credited for its invention. Xray CT is a technique for gaining knowledge of the internal structure and composition of an object using physical measurements, mathematical analysis, and computational methods. Xray CT is used today for many medical diagnostic tests. It is also used in manufacturing and engineering for nondestructive testing of objects. This talk will cover the history of the physics, mathematics, and computer science of xray CT, discuss the design of modern scanners, and give example applications of xray CT in both medicine and manufacturing.

Location: 
Palenske 227

Time: 
3:30 PM

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November 9, 2023
Title: 
Inside China's Tech Boom

Speaker:  NOVA Video

Abstract: 
In the span of just a few decades, China has transformed into a science and technology superpower. But how did it get here and where is it headed? Take an insider's tour of highprofile tech companies and labs that are driving China's meteoric rise to the forefront of global innovation. How does China innovate? What drives its bid for technological supremacy? And what does its rise mean for the future of the global economy?

Location: 
Palenske 227

Time: 
3:30 PM

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November 16, 2023
Title: 
Changing The Deck Changes The Game: Poker Without 52 Cards

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

Abstract: 
We will examine how changing the composition of a deck of playing cards from the standard 52card deck changes some 5card hand frequencies. Some examples will be drawn from decks that have been proposed and marketed; others will involve hypothetical decks that may offer new interesting possibilities in game design.

Location: 
Palenske 227

Time: 
3:30 PM

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November 28, 2023
Title: 
INNOVATE Albion

Speaker:  Caroline Hurteau and Elmer Lee
INNOVATE Albion
Albion, Michigan

Abstract: 
INNOVATE Albion is a teaching and training center for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), and robotics in Southwest Michigan. As a nonprofit organization, founded in collaboration with Caster Concepts, Inc. and Conceptual Innovations, we bring to students, educators, and professionals to build the next generation of skilled talent in our region.

Location: 
Palenske 227

Time: 
3:30 PM

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February 1, 2024
Title: 
Opportunities in Semi

Speaker:  Ramon Olavarria
Sr. IT Director
IT
KLA
Milpitas, CA

Abstract: 
KLA is a leader in Optical and Electron Beam Inspection.
Our customers, Samsung, Intel, Micron, Global Foundry, just to name a few partner with KLA to help drive the next generation of microchips
We're at the nexus of electron and photon optics, sensor technology and artificial intelligence. From raw wafer to nextgen chip to worldaltering idea, we help enable what's next.
KLA is proud to be part of the most significant technological breakthroughs. Virtually no laptop, smartphone, wearable device, voicecontrolled gadget, flexible screen, VR device or smart car would have made it into your hands without us.
I will discuss what KLA does and how Mathmatics and Computer Science graduates come and make a difference at KLA.

Location: 
Palenske 227

Time: 
3:30 PM

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February 8, 2024
Title: 
Function Field Arithmetic: Working with Analogues

Speaker:  Erik Davis
Mathematics
Texas A&M University
College Station, TX

Abstract: 
In studying arithmetic of various kinds, one is often faced with fairly abstract settings. In order to grapple with these settings, it is often useful to first understand a similar story that already has some development and then return to the new setting with an analogy in mind. In this talk, I will provide some examples of this from the setting of function fields.

Location: 
Palenske 227

Time: 
3:30 PM

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February 15, 2024
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 22, 2024
February 29, 2024
Title: 
Estimating Population Size using CaptureRecapture Data

Speaker:  Paul Anderson
Dr. Paul Anderson
Mathematics and Computer Science
Albion College
Albion, Michigan

Abstract: 
Capturerecapture is a sampling design that is used to estimate the size of animal populations in a wilderness. A random sample of $M$ animals is captured, and the animals are tagged and released.
At a later time, another random sample of $n$ animals will be recaptured and the number of tagged animals $X$ is recorded.
Given values of $M$, $n$, and $X$, we will estimate the population size $N$ using the hypergeometric probability distribution. We will then be able to approximate the hypergeometric distribution with the normal distribution. From the normal distribution, we derive a thirddegree polynomial that provides a confidence interval for the unknown $N$.
To illustrate our method, we will break into groups. Each group will estimate the number of black beans in a bowl. The estimate will be in the form of a confidence interval.

Location: 
Palenske 227

Time: 
3:30 PM

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March 14, 2024
Title: 
Pizza and Pamphlets plus Pi Day Extravaganza

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

Abstract: 
Pizza and Pamphlets is the event where the Mathematics and Computer Science Department provides information about spring courses in Mathematics and Computer Science. All Math majors/minors, Computer Science majors/minors, Math/Physics majors, Math/Econ majors, prospective majors, and friends of the department are invited to join us. The event will be held at 3:30 pm in Palenske 227/229. Bring your friends; bring your questions; bring your schedule. We will also provide pizza and pop!
We will also celebrate Pi Day with a selection of pie!

Location: 
Palenske 227

Time: 
3:30 PM

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March 15, 2024
Title: 
Mathematics, music, and metaphor

Speaker:  Timothy L. Clark
Associate Professor and Chair
Department of Mathematics
Adrian College
Adrian, Michigan

Abstract: 
How does one go about research in mathematics? More importantly, what is the point? In this talk, I will share my perspective on these questions, motivated by some examples from my own experience and research activities. In particular, I will attempt to articulate my thoughts on the use of metaphorical and figurative reasoning in the pursuit of mathematical understanding. Once established, we will put these ideas into practice by examining a result from mathematical music theory related to the study of musical gestures and their topological characterization in a convenient category of spaces.

Location: 
Palenske 227

Time: 
4:00 PM

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March 19, 2024
Title: 
Functional Regression in Estimating PostTraumatic Stress Symptoms Trajectories

Speaker:  Methsarani Premathilaka
Visiting Assistant Professor
Statistical Sciences Department
Wake Forest University
WinstonSalem, North Carolina

Abstract: 
We provide a new approach to analyzing sparse irregularly spaced longitudinal data to study the early development of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. In our study, we aimed to demonstrate that Functional Data Analysis is a potentially superior tool for analyzing longitudinal trajectories of PTSD symptoms. It has the flexibility to capture the changes in nonlinear patterns and can be used to examine the longitudinal interactions of PTSD symptoms with behavioral, brain structure changes, and other factors. We use data from two existing longitudinal studies and combine together to create a large database. The individual trajectories of PTSD symptoms, depression, and cortical thickness were estimated using Functional Principal component Analysis. Association among these measures was studied using functional regression analysis. Our findings show that the FDA is a powerful tool to study the longitudinal trajectories of the early development of PTSD.

Location: 
Palenske 227

Time: 
4:00 PM

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March 21, 2024
Title: 
Fake It Till You Make It: Circuits of Pseudoflow Polyhedra

Speaker:  Angela Morrison
Mrs.
Mathematical and Statistical Sciences
University of Colorado Denver
Denver, Colorado

Abstract: 
There is a wealth of combinatorial algorithms for classical mincost flow problems and their simpler variants like max flow or shortestpath problems. It is wellknown that several of these algorithms are intimately related to the Simplex method and the more general circuit augmentation schemes. Prime examples are the network Simplex method, a refinement of the primal Simplex method, and (minmean) cycle canceling, which corresponds to a (steepestdescent) circuit augmentation scheme over the underlying polyhedron.
We are interested in deepening and expanding the understanding of the close relationship between circuit augmentation and combinatorial network flows algorithms. To this end, we generalize from the consideration of primal or dual feasible flows to the socalled pseudoflows, which allow for a violation of flow balance. We introduce what are called 'pseudoflow polyhedra', in which slack variables are used to quantify this violation, and characterize their circuits. This enables us to study various network flows algorithms in view of the walks that they trace in these polyhedra, and in view of the pivot rules used to choose the steps.

Location: 
Palenske 227

Time: 
3:30 PM

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March 28, 2024
Title: 
Unraveling Hidden Patterns with Topological Data Analysis (TDA)

Speaker:  Elena Wang
PhD Candidate
Department of Computational Math, Science, and Engineering (CMSE)
Michigan State University
East Lansing, Michigan

Abstract: 
Topology, akin to geometry, delves into the study of the shapes and structures of mathematical spaces, ranging from simple surfaces to intricate collections of functions and objects. In recent years, these foundational concepts have extended beyond pure mathematics to address practical problems in data science, influencing diverse areas such as chemistry, neuroscience, and robotics. This talk aims to demystify the core techniques of Topological Data Analysis (TDA), such as persistent homology, and illustrate their significance through applications in machine learning, time series analysis, and computational biology. We will explore how TDA provides unique insights into data structuring and analysis, offering solutions to complex problems. Additionally, I will leave the audience with some current challenges and open questions within the field as food for thought.

Location: 
Palenske 227

Time: 
3:30 PM

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April 4, 2024
Title: 
Decoding UltrahighPower Lasers

Speaker:  Chengyong Feng
Laboratory for Laser Energetics
University of Rochester
Rochester, NY

Abstract: 
Lasers have applications in many areas, such as communication, manufacturing, and medicine, that are closely related to our daily lives. Lasers also become indispensable tools in scientific research, for example, in creating conditions with extreme temperature and pressure for studying Laboratory Astrophysics and Planetary Physics.
One of the forefronts in laser R&D is the development of ultrahighpower lasers with peak power exceeding 10 petawatts (PW) or 10×10^{15} watts. The backbone technology that enables such high laser power is the socalled chirped pulse amplification (CPA), which was originally demonstrated at the University of Rochester's Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE) in 1985 and garnered the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics.
In this talk, I will review the lasers as electromagnetic waves, construct lasers using fundamental mathematical functions — the sinusoidal functions, explain the necessity of using CPA technology in building highpower lasers, and decode CPA using coherent combination of sinusoidal functions with varying phases. I will then briefly show three recent highpower lasers at LLE with increasing peak power and physical scale. The latest is a laser project called NSFOPAL that was funded by the National Science Foundation in 2023 to design a 2×25 PW laser facility. Once built, NSFOPAL will become the most powerful laser in the world.

Location: 
Palenske 227

Time: 
3:30 PM

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April 11, 2024
Title: 
The Fundamentals of Finite Markov Chains through Applications

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

Abstract: 
A Markov chain is a probabilistic model that generates a sequence of outcomes such that the probability of the next term in the sequence only depends on the current term. Even though the study of finite Markov chains applies elementary ideas from linear algebra and probability theory, the topic is rarely taught in either class. This is a shame because the ideas are straightforward and the applications are varied, compelling, and accessible. In this talk, the fundamentals of Markov chains—including the fundamental matrix, regular chains, absorption times, etc.—will be introduced through applications including the Super Bowl box pool, the Penney Ante game (made popular by Martin Gardner), the television game show The Chase, and Chutes and Ladders.

Location: 
Palenske 227

Time: 
3:30 PM

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April 25, 2024
June 20, 2024
