Monday, March 18th, 2019

“Mathematics of Outbreaks: Exploring Infectious Disease Transmission and Control with Mathematical Models” at noon on Thursday 3/21 in Olin 268

Student Colloquium talk by Professor Michael A. Robert, University of the Sciences Title: Mathematics of Outbreaks: Exploring Infectious Disease Transmission and Control with Mathematical Models Abstract: Mathematical models have long been used to study the spread of infectious diseases. From smallpox to influenza to Zika virus, mathematical models help us understand how infectious diseases spread and how we can potentially control their spread. Models are also powerful tools for making predictions about how infectious diseases may emerge and spread in the future. In this talk, I will introduce mathematical models developed to study infectious diseases, and I will discuss my recent work […]

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Thursday, February 21st, 2019

“An Orchestra without a Conductor: The Mathematics of Synchronizing Fireflies” at noon on Thursday 2/28 in Olin 268

Student Colloquium talk by Professor Matthew Mizuhara ’12 of The College of New Jersey Title: An Orchestra without a Conductor: The Mathematics of Synchronizing Fireflies Abstract: In Amphawa, Thailand trees are lined with thousands of fireflies spontaneously flashing in near perfect unison. However, there is no “leader” driving this coordination. The Kuramoto model, a non-linear system of differential equations, describes the firefly flashes. Using numerical simulations, we can capture this spontaneous emergence of synchronization and explore other, new patterns which can arise. No background in differential equations is required to enjoy this talk!

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Thursday, February 7th, 2019

“Using Genetic Algorithms for U.S. Army Robot Design” at noon on Thursday 2/14 in Olin 268

Student Colloquium talk by Professor Lucas Waddell of Bucknell University Title: Using Genetic Algorithms for U.S. Army Robot Design Abstract: In recent years, Operations Research practitioners have increasingly utilized nature-inspired algorithms (NIAs) to solve real-world, large-scale optimization problems. One of the most popular NIAs is the Genetic Algorithm (GA), which is based on ideas from Darwin’s theory of evolution. This talk will provide an introduction to GAs through the lens of a project that Lucas worked on for the U.S. Army during his time as an Operations Research Analyst at Sandia National Laboratories.

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Monday, October 29th, 2018

“What Did You Do Last Summer?” at noon on Thursday 11/1 in Olin 268

Student Colloquium talk presented by Bucknell Students Moderator: Nate Mattis ’19 Presenters: Hannah Bokma ’20, Teaching Experience for Undergraduates, Brown University Nate Lesnevich ’19, Undergraduate Research (Pure Mathematics), Bucknell University Christina Sweeney ’19, Data Analytics, Slalom Consulting Xeniya Tsoktoyeva ’19, Finance, PNC Bank Yili Wang ’21, Undergraduate Research (Applied Mathematics), Bucknell University Abstract: There are many exciting summer opportunities for students in the mathematical sciences! These range from internships with 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? […]

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Monday, October 15th, 2018

Assigning Students to Schools to Minimize Socioeconomic Variation between Schools: An Introduction to Optimization Modeling at noon on Thursday 10/18 in Olin 268

Student Colloquium talk by Professor Dick Forrester of Dickinson College Title: Assigning Students to Schools to Minimize Socioeconomic Variation between Schools: An Introduction to Optimization Modeling Abstract: Numerous studies have found that a student’s academic achievement is as much determined by the socioeconomic composition of their school as their own socioeconomic status. In this talk we provide a methodology for assigning students to schools so as to balance the socioeconomic compositions of the schools while taking into consideration the total travel distance. Our technique utilizes a bi-objective general 0-1 fractional program that is linearized into a mixed 0-1 linear program which can […]

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Friday, September 28th, 2018

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.

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Friday, September 14th, 2018

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 […]

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Wednesday, September 5th, 2018

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.

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Friday, April 6th, 2018

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 […]

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Friday, March 23rd, 2018

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 […]

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