Index This week Schedule & abstracts Past talks Organizer notes Graduate page

  Fall 2011 schedule

Date Speaker Title
August 24
Shane Passon and Jordan Schettler
Organizational Meeting

We're seeking out speakers for this year's Graduate Student Colloquium.
August 31
Jordan Schettler
Slumdog Millionaire

Srinivasa Ramanujan was an Indian mathematician who at times lived in poverty
and, as paper was scarce, only recorded his final calculations. He filled up 
four 'notebooks' with line after line of results which launched whole new 
areas of math along with the careers of those who tried to verify the 
beautiful identities they found. We'll give a brief account of Ramanujan's 
life and of selected results.
September 7
Victor Piercey
Adventures in Calculus

I will present several experiments that I conducted while teaching our own 
Math 124 in 23 days this summer. I will discuss which were successes, which 
were failures, and which didn't work but still have potential. Faculty, 
applied math students, undergraduates, and anybody else who is interested is 
encouraged to attend.
September 14
Yaron Hadad
Gravitational solitons

In 1978 Belinskii and Zakharov developed a method (the Inverse Scattering Transform) 
for generating new solutions of Einstein's field equation from known solutions. 
These new solutions are gravitational solitons, namely, gravitational waves of the 
space continuum that are localized and maintain their shape even after interacting 
with other solitons. The method reveals a beautiful connection between the 
singularities of certain complex valued functions and the physical properties of the 
gravitational waves.

The talk will include a short introduction to Einstein's general relativity, followed by a discussion of the method. If time allows, I will demonstrate a new solution we recently obtained for the Einstein equation. No knowledge in physics is required. The talk will be math oriented, and will only assume basic complex analysis, calculus and linear algebra. In fact, if you don't understand a single word I wrote in the abstract, you should understand them after the talk.

This is a good opportunity to see one of the most profound results obtained by one of our faculty members.
September 21
Lee Schick
A Simple Spectral Counterexample

The spectra of operators, such as Hamiltonian operators in quantum mechanics,
are in general difficult to find explicitly.  Fortunately, for many problems there is no
need to look at the whole spectrum and one can simply use certain trace invariants to
solve these problems or find approximate solutions.  However, these invariants do not
retain all of the information about the spectrum.

In this talk, I will present two semiclassical Schrodinger operators based on the 1D harmonic oscillator which have all of the same trace invariants, but do not have the same spectrum. No background in quantum mechanics is needed, nor is an understanding of the vocabulary used here, as the physical and spectral theory terms used here well be defined in the talk. In addition, the only math required to understand the result is calculus.

Come and see some of the newest research in spectral theory, and, if there is time, some open questions raised by this result.
September 28
Martin Leslie
Entropy and Huffman Codes

Information theory was invented by Claude Shannon in 1948 and gives us 
fundamental limits on how we can store and communicate data. This talk will 
be an introduction to two basic ideas in the field. Entropy is a number 
which quantifies the amount of uncertainty involved in predicting a random 
variable. Huffman coding is a method of lossless data compression which is 
optimal in some sense to be revealed in the talk.

So come along and see a fundamental limit of how we can store data and then a 
clever idea that tells us how to get as close to that limit as possible. I 
won't use any mathematical tools beyond precalculus but I will prove a few 
small facts. Hopefully you will enjoy the proofs as much as I do.
October 5
Michael Bishop
Title To be determined

Abstract to be determined
October 12
Title To be determined

Abstract to be determined
October 19
Aaron Wooten
Title To be determined

Abstract to be determined
Oct 26
Title To be determined

Abstract to be determined
November 2
Jordan Schettler and Victor Piercey
Title To be determined

Abstract to be determined
November 9
Title To be determined

Abstract to be determined
November 16
Mandi Schaeffer
Title To be determined

Abstract to be determined
November 23
Angel Chavez
Title To be determined

Abstract to be determined
November 30
Dylan Murphy
Title To be determined

Abstract to be determined
December 7
Title To be determined

Abstract to be determined

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