Listening to Orbifolds and Orbigraphs at noon on Thursday 10/4 in Olin 268

Student Colloquium talk by Professor Liz Stanhope of Lewis and Clark College (Visiting Professor at Bucknell University)

Title: Listening to Orbifolds and Orbigraphs

Abstract: Spectral geometry is a lively area of mathematical research motivated by the question `Can you hear the shape of a drum?’ My work in spectral geometry has been to study the spectral properties of objects called orbifolds.  Questions in spectral geometry have useful analogs in graph theory.  Because of this we’ll discuss how to make sense of the concept of orbifold in the setting of spectral graph theory.

Bioinformatics and the Challenges of Visualizing Big Data at noon on Thursday 9/20 in Olin 268

Student Colloquium talk by Professor Ken Field of Bucknell University

Title: Bioinformatics and the Challenges of Visualizing Big Data

Abstract: Bioinformatics and next generation sequencing have revolutionized biology and medicine. The increasing affordability of next generation sequencing has made it possible to use whole-genome and whole-transcriptome approaches to answer questions in the lab, the field, and the clinic. However, working with these large datasets presents several computational and statistical challenges. As an example, we will discuss the importance of data exploration and multiple testing corrections. In addition, visualizing complex multi-dimensional data is also difficult and we will discuss approaches using interactive data displays and virtual reality.

Proofs Without Witnesses: Zero Knowledge Proofs at noon on Thursday 9/6 in Olin 268

Title:  Proofs Without Witnesses: Zero Knowledge Proofs

Abstract:  Peggy wants to convince Victor that she possesses a secret. Victor doesn’t believe that Peggy is telling the truth while Peggy doesn’t trust Victor enough to show him the secret. Zero knowledge proofs provide a method by which Peggy can convince Victor that she has the secret without giving Victor any information about the secret itself. In this talk we’ll construct and analyze several zero knowledge proofs, and discuss how they can be used in a wide array of areas including computer security and nuclear disarmament.