Dynamical Systems and Fixed Points at noon on April 12 in Olin 268

Student Colloquium talk by Professor Aimee Johnson of Swarthmore College

Abstract:  We all wish we could see into the future!  In dynamical systems, we formalize what this might mean and explore to what extent it might be done.  One useful tool in this task is to investigate the fixed points of the system.  In this talk, we will explore three different examples of dynamical systems, find the fixed points for each one, and then see how they can help us learn about other points in the system.  In this way, we can try to tell a little bit about the future (at least for these examples!).

Mathematics & Social Justice at noon on March 29 in Olin 268

Karen Saxe, Director of Government Relations for the American Mathematical Society and DeWitt Wallace Professor of Mathematics at Macalester College


Abstract:  Societal inequalities pose some of the biggest and most intractable challenges facing our nation today. Can mathematical concepts help us understand and analyze social inequality? What is the relationship between various imbalances in the U.S. today such as those we see in income distribution and political polarization? Many say that gerrymandering contributes to political polarization; can we use a quantitative strategy to determine the validity of this assertion? This talk will focus on quantitative approaches that mathematicians and political scientists use to measure social inequalities and fairness in redistricting. I will also discuss my advocacy work for the American Mathematical Society, and we’ll have plenty of time for Q & A. No mathematical background required.

“The Mathematics of Uncertainty” March 22 at 7pm in Trout Auditorium

Graciela Chichilnisky, lead architect of the carbon market of the Kyoto Protocol and a professor of economics and mathematical statistics at Columbia University, will give the keynote presentation for the 2018 Sustainability Symposium on Thursday, March 22, at 7 p.m. in Leanne Freas Trout Auditorium. Bucknell President John Bravman will introduce Chichilnisky, who also contributed to reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the organization that shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore, “for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change.”

Student talk: Meghan Harward at noon on March 8

Getting Started in Analytics

Meghan Kent Harward, Analytical Consultant, Advanced Analytics Lab, SAS Institute Inc.

Thursday, March 8, 12:00 p.m. Room 268 in the Olin Science Building.

Abstract: We hear buzz words like “big data” and “the internet of things” more and more in our media, but do we really know what analytics is? In this talk we will explore paths to jobs in data science, what it means to be an analyst, and some keys to success in the field.

Student talk: Torrey Gallagher, noon on February 22 in Olin 268

Iterates, invariance, and chaos

Thursday, January 25, 12:00 p.m. Room 268 in the Olin Science Building.

Abstract: We will consider what happens when we repeatedly compose a given function with itself, focusing particularly on where this repeated composition (known as iteration) sends individual inputs.  Various phenomena will be discussed, including the notions of invariance and what some might call chaos.


Student talk: Glenn Young from Penn State, at noon on February 8

Evolutionary game theory: the mathematics of cooperation

Thursday, February 8, 12:00 p.m. Room 268 in the Olin Science Building.

Why do we (or any living organisms) cooperate? Cooperation, the act of expending one’s own energy or resources for the good of the group, is a necessary part of life, but is also exploitable by so-called “defectors” who choose not to help out yet still reap the benefits that cooperation yields. In fact, under fairly general assumptions, every rational individual will (theoretically) choose to defect, thereby extinguishing cooperation and dooming society. Of course, cooperation has not been extinguished and is in fact quite common in the natural world. This observation brings us back to the question posed at the beginning of this abstract. In this talk, I will discuss a mathematical framework through which cooperation is often studied called evolutionary game theory, and present several classic and recent results from the field.

Student talk: Owais Gilani, noon on January 25 in Olin 268

Spatial interpolation of atmospheric pollutants using Kriging

Thursday, January 25, 12:00 p.m. Room 268 in the Olin Science Building.

Abstract: Have you ever wondered how meteorologists produce prediction maps of temperature and rainfall volume across large geographic regions? They surely can’t monitor temperature and rainfall in every neighborhood across the country, yet there is a prediction available for any location. This challenge of estimating a spatial process at unsampled locations based on known (sampled) values of the process at neighboring sites is called spatial interpolation, and has a number of applications in geosciences and elsewhere: atmospheric scientists estimate concentrations of pollutants across cities or states using concentrations monitored at select sites; oceanic scientists graph salinity across water basins using water tested in certain areas; and mining engineers determine the volume of oil, gas, or other minerals underground in a region based on samples collected at a few sites. In this talk, I will present a popular statistical approach used for spatial interpolation, called Kriging. Unlike deterministic interpolation techniques, such as Inverse Distance Weighting, Kriging provides both unbiased estimates at unsampled locations, and a measure of the uncertainty associated with the estimates. I will demonstrate an application of Kriging by estimating the concentration of nitrogen dioxide, an atmospheric pollutant, over the state of Connecticut using concentrations monitored at a few locations within the state.

Student Talk: Dr. Amanda Traud, November 16 at noon in Olin 268

From Academia to Data Science, One Woman’s Journey

Getting into data science seems to be a unique path for each data scientist.  This talk will chronicle the path Dr. Mandi Traud took from graduate school in North Carolina to Data Science Lead at Tuple Health and President of Data Community DC.  She will talk about her data science projects all along the way and how she moved from academia to working for a company and volunteering in the data science community.


Alumni Career Panel Thursday November 2

Trevor Adriaanse ’17 Math, Analyst, Department of Defense
Jeff Miller ’17 ECMA, Analyst, Axtria – Ingenious Insights
Jin On ’12, Math, Data Scientist, Geneia
Laura Papili ’17 Math, Actuarial Analyst at Willis Towers Watson

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.

12:00 P.M.  Olin 268, Panel with  PIZZA/CALZONES

4:00 PM  OLIN 383
And an informal MEET and GREET with the panel (refeshments)