Student Talk Series: Shira Mitchell, October 29 @ 12 noon in Olin 268



Title: Causal inference for the Millennium Villages Project

Speaker: Dr. Shira Mitchell, Columbia University, Columbia Population Research Center

Abstract:  The Millennium Villages Project (MVP) is a ten-year integrated rural development project implemented in ten sub-Saharan African sites. We describe the design for causal inference about the MVP’s effect on a variety of development indicators. Causal inference for the MVP context presents many challenges: a nonrandomized design, limited baseline data for candidate control areas, and the assignment of treatment to only ten sites, limiting effective sample sizes. We develop and carry out a matching procedure tailored to small samples and designed to facilitate communication with subject-matter experts. Following the design, we propose hierarchical Bayesian causal models for multiple outcomes. This work provides a case study of the careful evaluation design of a non-randomized intervention, with clear pre-specification of the procedure and matches before outcome data are available.

Mathematics Alumni Career Panel Discussion on Thursday 10/22/15: reception @ 4, panel @ 4:30

The Mathematics Department and Career Development Center invite you to join us for a Mathematics Alumni Career Panel Discussion on Thursday October 22, 2015 in the Center Room of the ELC.


Peter Friedman ‘08
Mathematics Teacher at Ridgefield (CT) High School

Sarah (Thalhamer) Friedman‘11Senior associate in the Global Human Resource Solutions group at PricewaterhouseCoopers

Kim Rich ‘14
Consultant for Axtria (a data analytics consulting firm)


Dean Wise ‘13

Analyst at Annalect



Hear advice and perspectives from Bucknell alumni who will examine career paths that utilize the mathematics degree while discussing their work and available opportunities.  The conversation will include a question and answer period and an opportunity to meet (and network with!) the alumni panelists.

Light refreshments will be offered @ 4:00 followed by a panel presentation from 4:30-5:30.



Student Talk Series: Liz McMahon, October 15 @ 12 noon in Olin 268


Title:  Mathematics in the Game of SET

Abstract:  The card game SET is played with a special deck of 81 cards. There is quite a lot of mathematics that can be explored using the game.  We’ll look at questions in combinatorics, probability, linear algebra, and especially geometry.  The deck is an excellent model for a finite affine geometry and provides an entry to surprisingly beautiful structure theorems for that geometry.  If you’d like some practice before the talk, go to for the rules and a Daily Puzzle