Does this fittest always survive?

This Wednesday 2/29 our speaker is Konstantinos Gourgoulias. He will be talking about an application of game theory to a biological problem. Come join us for pizza and soda with the talk at 5:30 in LGRT 1634!


In this talk, I will present a very simple model of the interactions between four strains of the e. Coli bacterium. First of all, we will get to know the important difference between them and how that difference can be exploited in the construction of the model. Then we will see how we can use that model to get some results back and why those results could mean anything in the real world. By the end of the talk, you will have gained an idea of both the challenges and the usefulness of applied mathematics, hopefully without even realizing it.

I would really like this to be an interactive talk, so I won’t get into more specifics. Some tags for this talk could be : simulation, evolutionary game theory and (naive) Monte Carlo methods. Not familiar with those terms? Don’t worry cause I will explain anything needed.

Oh, and did I mention that we will have videos from simulations, too?

Self-Similarity: Geometric Series, Games with Checkers, and the Golden Ratio

This week our speaker is Daniel Briggs. He will talk about “Self-Similarity: Geometric Series, Games with Checkers, and the Golden Ratio.” Come listen and enjoy free pizza and soda this Wednesday at 5:30 in LGRT 1634.


A lot of great math has resulted from investigating interesting ways to compare a thing to itself. For example, crystals and fractals can be formulated mathematically and studied in terms of their self-similarity, and they have far-reaching impact on science. Our first focus will be to view infinite geometric series in terms of their relationship to themselves, and use them to investigate some self-similar games with checkers. The golden ratio shows up, which provides a good opportunity to talk about pentagons and Fibonacci numbers. At the end, there will be a brief discussion of how the idea of self-similarity plays a role in modern mathematics.


Working in the Symmetric Group

This week our speaker is Julie Rana. Her talk will be on “Working in the Symmetric Group or: How to talk about gift lists, spider webs, and the Rubik’s cube all at the same time.” As usual we will meet in LGRT 1634 at 5:30 PM. Pizza and soda will be served.

Groups are math objects that appear all over the place, from clocks to
calendars to snowflakes and of course, the Rubik’s cube. In this talk,
you’ll learn what a group is and we’ll describe a few fun examples.
We’ll then talk about my favorite example the symmetric group, and the
fact that it gives us a way to discuss all groups at once. Have a
Rubik’s cube? Bring it so we can play with it during the talk!

Movie Night 2/8/12

This Wednesday at 5:30 PM in LGRT 1634 we will be showing the documentary, “N is a Number: A Portrait of Paul Erdos.” The movie is about the life of Paul Erdos, the most prolific mathematician that ever lived. Come enjoy free pizza and soda while you watch. Talks will begin next week!