That’s So Random! Presented by Keegan Kang, Assistant Professor of Statistics, Bucknell University
ABSTRACT: Think of a large number N. Now imagine you and your friends each picking a random number between 0 and N. Can these random numbers be used meaningfully? Surprisingly, yes! We will discuss how we can use statistics to get an approximation to computationally difficult problems, and show how such randomness can be used in web search and plagiarism detection.
The AfterMath of an Extreme Natural Event presented by Linda Smolka, Professor of Mathematics, Bucknell University
ABSTRACT: An astonishing thing happened on January 15, 2022. The Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai submarine volcano located in the South Pacific Ocean erupted, becoming the largest volcanic eruption in the modern satellite era on a scale not observed since Krakatoa erupted in 1883. The eruption was so powerful that among the shock waves it generated, the largest traversed the globe multiple times over several days. We’ll focus on the mathematics to model and understand this shock wave and also recount other extraordinary phenomena in the eruption’s aftermath. Curious where calculus is used in the real-world? Come see.
BUCKNELL MATHEMATICS STUDENT COLLOQUIUM SERIES Thurs, October 27 | Noon-12:50PM | Olin 268 What did you do last summer?
Moderated by Kelly Karpovich (2 internships: Complete Actuarial Solutions Company and The Talent Studios) with panelists
Lizzi Bianchine (internship @ Johnson and Johnson)
Georgia Corbett (research @Bucknell w/ Professor Bickel)
Jack Joseph (internship @ Pepsi)
Michael Perez Palapa (REU)
ABSTRACT: There are many exciting summer opportunities for students in the mathematical sciences! These range from internships in financial companies to research experiences at other universities to leadership development programs. In this week’s colloquium, a panel of your peers will tell you their experiences. What did they enjoy about their experiences? When did they apply? There will also be ample time for questions and answers. These varied opportunities, as well as being terrific fun, are also immensely valuable as you begin to think about your careers after Bucknell.
Andy Lee, Bucknell ’99, will speak on his path from a degree in Physics to a career in Finance and how his undergraduate training influences his current work, including: the analysis that he works on and how it relates to physics/math (the system and the methods like Monte Carlo simulations); and how he gets from the analytics to financial decisions (fairly high level).
Open to all students and faculty; pizza will be provided…please bring your own water.
Using Maths to Save The World presented by Helen Greatrex, Professor of Geography and Statistics, Penn State University
ABSTRACT: Droughts kill thousands of people each year, especially in countries like Somalia where there is conflict and very little water to start off with. Humanitarian experts often have to decide which places need the most help and alongside working with local communities, they also have to know how much rain has fallen. But how do you map rainfall in places where it’s too dangerous to gather data from weather-stations? Or in the vast spaces where we don’t have any weather stations at all? We turn to satellites! In this colloquium, we will chat about how simple mathematics can turn “space-photos” into useful weather information, and what happens when different satellites disagree… Arrive early for free pizza!
The Bucknell MLA will hold its first meeting on Monday 9/5 at at 5.45pm in the Traditional Reading Room (BERT 213), for members to get to know each other and share their passion for machine learning. Prof. Keegan Kang will give an introductory talk on LSH Schemes.
ABSTRACT: There are some challenges with traditional machine learning in a Big Data world. Locality Sensitive Hashing (LSH) schemes are able to mitigate some of these challenges. The idea of LSH schemes will be briefly introduced in this talk by looking at an example of them: sign random projections. This will be followed briefly by an illustration of how LSH schemes can be improved, before concluding with several fun research areas using these schemes.
You’re Gonna Need A Bigger Boat (or: How math & computation are changing professional game playing) presented by Peter Brooksbank, Professor of Mathematics, Bucknell University
ABSTRACT: Those of a mathematical bent have always been drawn to games in which their natural predilections give them an edge over their opponents. Pioneers of computation, such as Alan Turing and John von Neumann, pondered whether machines could compete with, or even outperform humans in games such as Chess, Go, and Poker… even before the first computer was built! In the present day, where almost everyone has hand-held access to more powerful computers than Turing and von Neumann could have possibly imagined, their questions have largely been answered.
In this talk I will give a brief history of the interplay between mathematics, computation, and games. Along the way, some cool math tools will be provided to use in games of chance! I will talk about the state of the art in computer-assisted Chess, Go, and Poker, and sketch the mathematical ideas upon which these programs are founded. Mostly what I want to do in this talk is convince you that blending mathematical reasoning with tools from modern computing makes a powerful cocktail. From playing games with your friends to looking for a job, you’ll be sailing in a bigger boat! Arrive early for free pizza!
The Mathematics Department’s Distinguished Visiting Professor
Dan Timotin, Institute of Mathematics of the Romanian Academy
Tuesday, April 26th 4:00 P.M. ROOM 372 in the Olin Science Building
Abstract: If A and B are self-adjoint matrices, what is the relation between the eigenvalues of A, those of B, and those of A+B? The talk will describe the unexpected ramifications in various areas of mathematics of this old problem. Some recent developments, mostly pertaining to operator theory, will also be presented.
2nd Reader: Ben Vollmayr-Lee Wednesday, April 20, at 4:00 PM OLIN 372
Everyone is welcome to attend.
Abstract: Tensors are natural generalizations of linear transformations to arbitrary “frames” of vector spaces. Just as how a linear transformation can be represented by a matrix, choosing a reference frame allows a tensor to be represented by a multiway array. A fundamental question is to decide when two multiway arrays represent the same tensor relative to different reference frames. This question is commonly known as the tensor isomorphism problem. In this Honors Thesis, we developed a new approach to testing (non)-isomorphism of tensors that uses detailed local information to detect differences in global tensor structure. The method assumes isomorphism invariant “labels” for lower valence tensors can be computed, and then compares two given tensors by computing their so-called “contraction labels.” We implemented this method in a computer algebra system called Magma and applied it to 4-qubit states in QIT as a proof of concept.