Spring 2016

Faculty Organizers: Professors Caner Koca and Johann Thiel

Room and Time: N719, 12:45-2pm


 4  No meeting
 11  No meeting
 18  Speaker: Arthur Kramer
 25  Speaker: Johann Thiel
 3  No meeting
 10  Speaker: Andrew Parker
 17  Speaker: Huseyin Yuce
 24  Speaker: Mehdi Lejmi
 31  Speaker: Todd Gelbord
 7  No meeting
 14  No meeting
 21  Melanie Lorek
 28  No meeting
 5  No meeting
 12  Speaker: Ezra Halleck
 19  No meeting

Abstracts — Spring 2016

Date: Feb. 18, 2016
Speaker: Professor Arthur Kramer
Title: Non-Euclidean Geometry or Who was Karl Friedrich Gauss or No matter how you fold the Pizza the sauce always falls out
Abstract: Euclidean geometry dominated mathematical thought for over two thousand years and was believed to be the sacred geometry of the world. Three brave men during the nineteenth century challenged Euclidean geometry’s dominance and developed the foundation of Non-Euclidean Geometry.

              I will discuss the essential ideas underlying Euclidean and Non Euclidean Geometry and the history behind the development of the two geometries. We will look at the life of Karl Friedrich Gauss, one of the most outstanding mathematicians of all time and his major contribution to Non-Euclidean geometry.  We will also see how Non-Euclidean geometry plays an important part in mapping the earth, or any curved surface. Finally we will answer the Pizza question in the subtitle

Date: Feb. 25, 2016
Speaker: Professor Johann Thiel
Title: Paper, Pipes, and Springs
Abstract: In this talk we will explore a variety of different topics using paper, pipes and springs. How does a guitar string vibrate? Can you fold paper into a perfect pentagon? Why is it bad to wear a striped shirt on TV? Discuss!

Date: Mar.17, 2016
Speaker: Professor Andrew Parker
Title: Oddness, Evenness, and Euler: Surprising Symmetries
Abstract: In this talk we will explore Euler’s fascinating formula and its connection to some unexpected symmetries in non-polynomial functions.

Date: Mar.17, 2016
Speaker: Professor Huseyin Yuce
Title: Risk Analysis of Insulin Dependent Diabetes
Abstract: Diabetes is one of the most prevalent serious diseases in modern society. People with diabetes face the life-long optimization problem of maintaining strict glycemic control without increasing their risk of hypoglycemia. This optimization has to be based on data collection, data processing. The mathematical challenge is to create diabetes specific mathematical methods and analytical procedures that continuously assess the biological and behavioral characteristics and precursors of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia. To this end, I will construct the risk function with values from 0 to 100% that measures the risk of dangerously low and high deviations of blood glucose from clinically safe levels. (The talk is based on “Risk Analysis of Blood Glucose Data: A Quantitative Approach to Optimizing the Control of Insulin Dependent Diabetes” by Kovatchev et al. Journal of Theoretical Medicine (2000)).

Date: Mar. 24, 2016
Speaker: Professor Mehdi Lejmi (Bronx Community College)
Title:  How to rotate the electrons?
Abstract: In the 19th century, the mathematician and physicist William Rowan Hamilton was fascinated by the role played by the complex numbers in the plane. For fifteen years, he tried to find something similar to complex numbers in dimension 3. He wrote to his son: Every morning in the early part of the above-cited month, on my coming down to breakfast, your little brother William Edwin used to ask me: “Well, papa, can you multiply triplets?” whereto I was always obliged with a sad shake of the head “No, I can only add and subtract them.” Hamilton didn’t succeed so he turned to quadruples and discovered the quaternions. Thanks to that, we know today how to rotate the electrons.

Date: Mar. 31, 2016
Speaker: Professor Todd Gelbord
Title: Topology: The math of shape

Date: Apr. 21, 2016
Speaker: Melanie Lorek
Title: How to Lie with Statistics, Or: Why You Should Always Look Twice at Map
Abstract: Melanie Lorek is a Quantitative Reasoning Fellow at City Tech and a Cultural Policy Research Fellow with the Center for Urban Research at the Graduate Center (CUNY) and the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs. As a Cultural Policy Research Fellow she’s been mapping and analyzing data on arts education in NYC. Her presentation will demonstrate how city data can be mapped and analyzed and provide insights into some of the challenges of data representation.

Date: May 12, 2016
Speaker: Professor Ezra Halleck
Title: The generating function as an infinite clothesline
Abstract: In “Generatingfunctionology” (published in 1990, available as a free download), the recently deceased Herbert Wilf said: “A generating function is a clothesline on which we hang up a sequence of numbers for display.” In this talk, I will provide examples of useful generating functions, even some that do not ever converge. In fact from a combinatorial point of view, issues of convergence are most often secondary.