Category Archives: Uncategorized

4/23: Tobias Wilson, “History of Functions (subtitled: Putting the Fun in Functions)”

Abstract: Although functions are fundamental mathematical objects, they weren’t actually defined until 1673, by Leibniz. Since that time, the definition has evolved in a variety of directions- occasionally false, as when Fourier defined functions to be anything with a Fourier series. In this talk, … Continue reading

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4/2: Dan Nichols, “Public-key cryptography and the discrete logarithm problem”

Abstract: The problem of finding a discrete logarithm in a finite group is the basis for some widely-used cryptographic systems including Diffie-Helman key exchange (DHKE) and elliptic curve cryptography (ECC). You may not be familiar with these encryption methods, but … Continue reading

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3/26: Professor Rob Kusner, “Pi Day Redux”

Abstract: Because Pi Day fell on the Friday before break, many of you may have missed out on the festivities.  We’ll develop a bit of integral geometry (a.k.a. geometric probability) that lets us compute Pi by a random process – the Buffon … Continue reading

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3/12: Stephanie Reinders, “Splines on Cycles”

Abstract: Start with a graph whose edges are labeled by positive integers. Label each vertex with an integer so that if two vertices are joined by an edge the vertex labels are congruent modulo the edge label. A set of … Continue reading

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3/5: Allison Tanguay, “The Needle Problem”

Abstract: In 1917 a Japanese mathematician named Kakeya posed “the needle problem,” asking: what is the area of the smallest figure in the plane in which a unit line segment (a “needle”) can be rotated 180 degrees? It was conjectured … Continue reading

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2/26: Nico Aiello, “Chases and Escapes: Virtue or Vertigo for the Lady in the Lake?”

Chases and Escapes: Virtue or Vertigo for the Lady in the Lake? The ideas of pursuit and evasion pervade much of human existence and as a result have always been a huge part of human entertainment – it has been said that half of all … Continue reading

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2/19: Jon Judge (UConn), “Euler’s Constant”

Euler’s Constant Everyone has heard about the number π, everyone who has taken calculus has heard about the number e, but there’s a third important number in mathematics that fewer people have heard about: γ (called gamma, or Euler’s constant). … Continue reading

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2/12: Professor Michael Lavine, “Before You Analyze, Know Y”

“Before You Analyze, Know Y” Michael Lavine, Professor and Department Head, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, will discuss why choosing a statistical analysis or statistical model without seeing the data is dangerous.  He will present a few examples from linguistics, public policy, … Continue reading

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2/5: Professor Bill Meeks, “From soap films to minimal suraces”

***UPDATE*** Due to the weather, this talk has been cancelled. ——————————————————————————————- Please join us for Math Club this Wednesday, 5:30-6:30 in LGRT 1528. This week, Professor Bill Meeks will speak on, “From soap films to minimal surfaces” (abstract below). As always, pizza … Continue reading

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1/29: Professor Holley Friedlander, “The Riemann Hypothesis”

Please join us for the first Undergraduate Math Seminar of the semester!  We will be meeting Wednesday, 5:30-6:30 in LGRT 1528 (note the room change). This week, former PhD student, Professor Holley Friedlander (Williams College), will speak on, “The Riemann … Continue reading

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