Spring 2008


February 7 -- Welcome Back Tea Party
4:30 in King 203
Please join us, and please invite anyone having an interest in Mathematics!



March 13 -- Student/Faculty Luncheon
"Squooshing the Cube"
Kevin Woods -- Department of Mathematics
12:15 - Wilder 115
Challenge: take a cardboard box and squoosh it (please take the cereal out first, and glue the lid back closed). Okay, too easy -- a good stomp with a snow boot will flatten it.
A Harder Challenge: squoosh the cardboard box, but at the same time make its volume bigger. I'll talk about this and other topics related to folding cubes and other polyhedra.


April 2 -- Candidate Lecture
“Arctangent Identities for Pi”
Jack Calcut
4:30 in King 243

Is there a better identity for pi than pi=4arctan(1)? Are the degree angle measures ever rational in a triangle whose side lengths form a Pythagorean triple? Which regular polygons may be built on a geoboard? The answers to these questions are intimately related to arctangent identities for pi, which we will explore using the number theory of the Gaussian integers. We will present some of the historical context as well as some directions for further research.




April 7 -- Prospective Majors Meeting
4:30 in King 203

If you are interested in perhaps pursuing a mathematics major, you are invited to this meeting. Refreshments will be served and any questions you have about the majors will be answered.




April 9 -- Lecture
“ Dealing With Ups and Downs:  Functions of Bounded Variation ”
Pamela Pierce -- The College of Wooster
4:30 in King 241

Intuitively, the variation of a function f on [a,b] is a measure of how much the y-values of the function “vary” over the interval [a,b].  In effect, we are isolating the vertical component of arc length of the graph of f.  After providing a precise definition of the total variation of f on [a, b], we will consider those functions whose total variations finite on [a,b] and call this class of functions BV.  We will look at several examples of such functions, explore the properties of the class BV, and discuss some extensions of this concept.







April 10 -- Candidate Lecture
“Polynomials Built Using Fibonacci Numbers”
Donald Mills -- Illinois State University
12:20 in King 243






April 17 -- Student/Faculty Luncheon
"Sledge-Hammer Integration"
Michael Henle -- Department of Mathematics
12:15 - Wilder 115

Have you ever been so irritated with an integration problem that you wanted to hit it with a hammer? Come to the Mathematics Department's Pizza Lunch and learn how to do it right, how to crush unfriendly integrals using the trapezoid rule, and other numerical devices, as sledge-hammers.





April 18 -- Candidate Lecture
“Shift Operators ”
Michael Raney -- Georgetown University
4:30 in King 243

The theory of bounded linear operators may be viewed as a generalization of linear algebra (matrices and linear transformations) to the setting of infinite-dimensional vector spaces (in particular Hilbert spaces).   Shifts and backward shifts serve as crucial examples of bounded linear operators defined on Hilbert spaces.  In this talk fundamental properties shared by such operators will be presented.  We will see that, just as a matrix has a spectrum of eigenvalues, a shift operator also has a spectrum, albeit of a slightly different flavor.







April 24 -- Lecture
"A Whirlwind Tour of Fractional Graph Theory"
Daniel Ullman -- George Washington University
4:30 in King 239






April 28 -- Candidate Lecture
“Sparse Signal Representation Using Multiscale Analysis”
Wang-Q Lim -- Lehigh University
4:30 in King 243

In 1807, Joseph Fourier discovered that he could superpose sines and
cosines to represent periodic functions. Since then, there has been an
explosion of interest in alternatives to this traditional signal
representations. Instead of just representing signals as superpositions
of sinusoids, we now have available alternate
systems - collection of parametrized waveforms - of which the wavelet
system is the best known. In this talk, we will discuss basic
properties of wavelets and a new approach overcoming the drawbacks of wavelets will be presented.







May 1 -- Honors Lecture
“ Additive Combinatorics and Geometry:
Grade-School Math Revisited ”
Noah Forman
4:30 in King 239

A tour of the mathematics that you might have accomplished in grade school, if only you had been many times brighter. We will add numbers, sets of numbers, and shapes. This talk is unofficially sponsored by Milk and Cookies.





May 6 -- Honors Lecture
David Carlson
4:30 in King 243






May 7 -- Honors Lecture
Andrew Pike
4:30 in King 243









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Updated: May 1, 2008