The Lady in the Lake reference

Hi everyone,

For those of you interested in reading about The Lady in the Lake and other pursuit-evasion problems, I highly recommend Chases and Escapes: The Mathematics of Pursuit and Evasion, by Paul J. Nahin.  It is very readable and available at the UMass Science Library.

Polygons and Cluster Algebras of Finite Type

This week Jennifer Koonz will be speaking on “Polygons and Cluster Algebras of Finite Type.” Come enjoy pizza and a great talk this Wednesday, 5:30-6:30 in LGRT 1634. Hope to see you there!

Abstract: This will be an expository talk inspired by a graduate summer
school I attended at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in
Berkeley, CA. Cluster algebras are combinatorial objects which were
introduced in 2002 by Sergey Fomin and Andrei Zelevinsky. Although the
definition of a cluster algebra is rather involved, finite cluster algebras
can be described pictorially using triangulations of polygons. In this talk,
I will define cluster algebras, give some computational examples of cluster
algebras, and use those examples to illustrate the bijection between the
clusters of a cluster algebra and triangulations of a polygon.

The Lady in the Lake

Our first meeting of the semester is this Wednesday 9/21 from 5:30-6:30 in LGRT 1634. Nico Aiello will give a talk – “The Lady in the Lake”. As usual we will have pizza and soda with the talk. Hope to see you there!

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 fictional writing boils down to a
single conflict between the hunter and the hunted. But more than just
recreational, the study of chases and escapes is also mathematically
interesting and has applications to computer science, surveillance,
traffic control, and military strategy. After learning some
fundamental concepts from game theory, we will discuss the classic
pursuit-evasion problem, The Lady in the Lake, in which a woman finds
herself in a rowboat in the middle of a circular lake while a pursuer
waits for her along the shore. If the pursuer runs at four times the
woman’s rowing speed, can the woman reach a spot on the shore before
her purser does? We will uncover the woman’s optimal escape strategy
in order to answer this question and much further, find the minimum
speed relative to her pursuer’s that the woman must row to evade