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Shanahan B460, Harvey Mudd College

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301 Platt Blvd.
Claremont, CA 91711 United States

January 2019

CCMS Field Committee Meeting

January 23 @ 4:15 pm - 5:15 pm
Shanahan B460, Harvey Mudd College, 301 Platt Blvd.
Claremont, CA 91711 United States
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The Field Committee Meeting is our chance to socialize with our colleagues and coordinate our course offerings for the coming academic year (2019-2020). Please come to discuss course offerings and other synergistic items. Refreshments at 4:00, meeting at 4:15.

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Mathematics: Pure, Applied, A Liberal Art ( Al Erisman, Seattle Pacific University)

January 30 @ 4:15 pm - 5:15 pm
Shanahan B460, Harvey Mudd College, 301 Platt Blvd.
Claremont, CA 91711 United States
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From the view of a pure mathematician, those working in pure mathematics produce pure knowledge. Whether used or not, it has a great elegance and value in and of itself. Those in applied mathematics simply pick up what has been done and use it in designing or building things. Number theory is often used to illustrate this, where work done decades ago in pure mathematics is now central to encryption. However, the relationship between pure and applied mathematics is a…

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February 2019

Algebraic and Polyhedral Perspectives on Combinatorial Neural Codes (Robert Davis, Harvey Mudd)

February 6 @ 4:15 pm - 5:15 pm
Shanahan B460, Harvey Mudd College, 301 Platt Blvd.
Claremont, CA 91711 United States
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In the 1970s, James O’Keefe and his team observed that certain neurons in the brain, called place cells, spike in their firing rates when the animal is in a particular physical location within its arena. If a place cell is thought of as either “active” or “silent,” then one may represent the co-firing patterns of place cells by a combinatorial neural code: a set of 0/1 vectors whose coordinates represent that status of distinct place cells. From the code, we…

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Cracking the Code: Predicting Properties of Material Fracture Networks using Machine Learning (Allon Percus, CGU)

February 13 @ 4:15 pm - 5:15 pm
Shanahan B460, Harvey Mudd College, 301 Platt Blvd.
Claremont, CA 91711 United States
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Understanding how fluid flows through heterogeneous materials, and how it can make these materials fail, are among the hardest challenges in materials science.  Experiments and simulations show that flow through subsurface rock is mostly limited to a small subnetwork, or backbone, of fractures.  Identifying this backbone would allow for a large speedup in flow and transport simulations, but the process of identifying it can itself be computationally intensive.  I will discuss a machine learning approach, developed in a CGU Math…

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Personal Perspectives on m-ary Partitions (James Sellers, Penn State)

February 20 @ 4:15 pm - 5:15 pm
Shanahan B460, Harvey Mudd College, 301 Platt Blvd.
Claremont, CA 91711 United States
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Abstract:  A great deal of my research journey has involved the study of m-ary partitions.  These are integer partitions wherein each part must be a power of a fixed integer m > 1.  Beginning in the late 1960s, numerous mathematicians (including Churchhouse, Andrews, Gupta, and Rodseth) studied divisibility properties of m-ary partitions.  In this talk, I will discuss work I completed with Rodseth which generalizes the results of Andrews and Gupta from the 1970s.  Time permitting, I will then discuss several problems related to m-ary partitions, including…

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Pull Out All The Stops: Textual Analysis via Punctuation Sequences (Mason Porter, UCLA)

February 27 @ 4:15 pm - 5:15 pm
Shanahan B460, Harvey Mudd College, 301 Platt Blvd.
Claremont, CA 91711 United States
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Abstract: Whether enjoying the lucid prose of a favorite author or slogging through some other writer's cumbersome, heavy-set prattle (full of parentheses, em-dashes, compound adjectives, and Oxford commas), readers will notice stylistic signatures not only in word choice and grammar, but also in punctuation itself. Indeed, visual sequences of punctuation from different authors produce marvelously different (and visually striking) sequences. Punctuation is a largely overlooked stylistic feature in "stylometry", the quantitative analysis of written text. In this paper, we examine…

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March 2019

Accidental Mathematics (Matt Stamps, Yale-NUs College)

March 6 @ 4:15 pm - 5:15 pm
Shanahan B460, Harvey Mudd College, 301 Platt Blvd.
Claremont, CA 91711 United States
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Abstract:  Growing up, I always loved learning about world-changing scientific breakthroughs that were discovered by accident.  Penicillin, artificial sweeteners, X-rays, and synthetic dyes are just a few of the discoveries that were stumbled upon by scientists who had other goals in mind.  More recently, I have come to wonder why anecdotes about accidental discoveries in mathematics are not as commonplace.  Is it a fundamental difference in they way mathematicians and natural scientists view their work?  Are such stories too contrary…

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Some Unexpected Mathematics Arising From Research at NIST ( Hunt, NIST)

March 13 @ 4:15 pm - 5:15 pm
Shanahan B460, Harvey Mudd College, 301 Platt Blvd.
Claremont, CA 91711 United States
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A lot of the mathematics done at NIST supports the research on and measurement of advanced materials and technology. In this rather applied context. surprising mathematics makes an appearance. We present a few examples.

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Reasoning about Liability of Intelligent Agents ( Naumov, CMC)

March 27 @ 4:15 pm - 5:15 pm
Shanahan B460, Harvey Mudd College, 301 Platt Blvd.
Claremont, CA 91711 United States
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Abstract: As intelligent agents assume larger role in our daily lives, reasoning by humans about liability of such agents as well as reasoning by the intelligent agents themselves about liability becomes more important.  The existing laws, written with humans in mind, will eventually need to be re-interpreted in terms of their applicability in a hybrid environment that consists of humans and intelligent agents.  In some cases, new laws will need to be written to redefine liability in the context involving…

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April 2019

On the interplay of functional analysis and operator theory (Puig de Dios, UCR)

April 3 @ 4:15 pm - 5:15 pm
Shanahan B460, Harvey Mudd College, 301 Platt Blvd.
Claremont, CA 91711 United States
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Abstract: We overview some basic and striking facts concerning the theory of hypercyclic operators (considered to be born in 1982): 1. Hypercyclicity is a purely infinite-dimensional phenomenon: no finite dimensional space supports any hypercyclic operator; 2. It is not easy at all to determine whether a linear operator is hypercyclic. However, the set of hypercyclic operators is dense for the Strong Operator Topology in the algebra of linear and bounded operators; 3. Hypercyclicity is far from being an exotic phenomenon:…

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A General Bayesian Discrete Time Survival Model (King, CPP)

April 10 @ 4:15 pm - 5:15 pm
Shanahan B460, Harvey Mudd College, 301 Platt Blvd.
Claremont, CA 91711 United States
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Abstract: "We present a general Bayesian statistical model for discrete time, discrete state space stochastic processes. Applications include the modeling of recurrent and episodic disease processes, such as episodes of illicit drug use, as well as social processes such as educational enrollment and employment. We also present Markov chain Monte Carlo inference algorithms for our model, along with a freely available software package called "brea" which implements these methods in the R programming language."

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Unravelling Biochemistry Mysteries: Knot Theory Applied to Biochemistry (Price, University of San Diego)

April 17 @ 4:15 pm - 5:15 pm
Shanahan B460, Harvey Mudd College, 301 Platt Blvd.
Claremont, CA 91711 United States
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Abstract: Mathematical modeling is an effective resource for biologists since it provides ways to simplify, study and understand the complex systems common in biology and biochemistry. Many mathematical tools can be applied to biological problems, some traditional and some more novel, all innovative. This presentation will review the mathematical tools that are used to model and study biological issues of DNA-protein interactions.

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A Conformal Mapping Approach to Shape Optimization Problems. (Kao, CMC)

April 24 @ 4:15 pm - 5:15 pm
Shanahan B460, Harvey Mudd College, 301 Platt Blvd.
Claremont, CA 91711 United States
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Abstract: In this talk, a conformal mapping approach to shape optimization problems on planar domains will be discussed. In particular, spectral methods based on conformal mappings are proposed to solve Steklov eigenvalues and their related shape optimization problems in two dimensions. To apply spectral methods, we first reformulate the Steklov eigenvalue problem in the complex domain via conformal mappings. The eigenfunctions are expanded in Fourier series so the discretization leads to an eigenvalue problem for coefficients of Fourier series. For shape…

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May 2019

Is My Subgroup Normal? How Math Communities Differand Why it Matters (Sinclair, Google)

May 1 @ 4:15 pm - 5:15 pm
Shanahan B460, Harvey Mudd College, 301 Platt Blvd.
Claremont, CA 91711 United States
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Mathematics isnt done in a void: its done by groups of people. Those groups have different norms and values, which affect both who wants to engage in math and the mathematics itself being done. When thinking about diversity and inclusion, explicitly examining norms within our communities can get us a long way. Through a Thomas J Watson Fellowship, I had the opportunity to experience mathematics competitions communities in Brazil, Argentina, Senegal, Singapore and England. Come hear about the differences I…

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