Past Events

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  • 2022-2023
    Monday 17 April
    4:30 PM, Jepson Hall 109

    4:30pm      Rilyn McKallip, From Big Farm to Big Pharma: A Differential Equations Model of Antibiotic-Resistant Salmonella in a Commercial Chicken Population

    Abstract: Antibiotic use in livestock production has been associated with a rise in antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Using antibiotics is profitable for farmers, as it allows them to raise a higher quantity of healthy chickens in a small space and is also associated with increased weight gain. However, some of the cost of using antibiotics in agriculture is paid by the health sector in the form of antibiotic-resistant food-borne illnesses. In this talk, we will motivate, develop, and analyze an interconnected differential equations model of the spread of antibiotic-resistant Salmonella in both a poultry farm and a human population. We will then demonstrate how we use the model to predict the economic benefits and harms to both farmers and the health sector based on different levels of antibiotics administered to the chicken population.

    4:50pm      Brianna Cantrall, The Commutant of the Fourier--Plancherel Transform

    Abstract: The Fourier--Plancherel transform, first presented by Joseph Fourier in 1807 as the Fourier series, is used widely throughout physics and mathematics with applications in signal analysis, image processing, differential equations, heat diffusion, and more. However, in its integral form, much of the operator theory of the Fourier transform is hidden from us. In this talk, we reveal the operator theory by considering the Fourier transform in its matrix representation on the Hilbert space L^2(R) By selecting a convenient basis for L^2(R), we are able to fully characterize the commutant, or all bounded linear operators that commute with the Fourier transform. With a full understanding of the commutant, we are able to extend this to describe all square roots of the Fourier transform, as well as all invariant subspaces.

    5:10pm      Nicolas Ferree, Exploring the Structure of Partial Difference Sets having Denniston Parameters

    Abstract: Partial difference sets are algebraic structures that lie at the intersection of geometry, combinatorics, graph theory, and coding theory. They give rise to error-correcting codes that are a fundamental part of modern-day digital communications. However, finding partial difference sets remains a challenging problem. In this talk, we will introduce simple examples of partial difference sets and their applications. We will then discuss the Denniston family of partial difference sets, exploring the structure of a related example and how such an understanding may lead to the construction of a new family of partial difference sets.

    5:30pm      Simeng (Hanna) Li, Length Bias Estimation in Small Business Lifetimes

    Abstract: Small businesses, particularly restaurants, play a crucial role in the economy by generating employment opportunities, boosting tourism, and contributing to the local economy. However, accurately estimating their lifetimes can be challenging due to the presence of length bias, which occurs when the likelihood of sampling any particular restaurant’s closure is influenced by its duration in operation. To address the issue, this study conducts goodness-of-fit tests on exponential/gamma family distributions and employs the Kaplan-Meier method to more accurately estimate the average lifetime of restaurants in Carytown. By providing insights into the challenges of estimating the lifetimes of small businesses, this study contributes to our understanding of the broader economic impact of these businesses and the development of policies that support small businesses.

    Monday 3 April

    John Polhill, PhD

    Professor of Mathematics, Bloomsburg University; 2023 Robert Edwin Gaines Professor in Mathematics

    Title: A Community of Partial Difference Sets?

    Abstract: There is a well-known proverb - “Less is More.” There are many contexts, even within the field of mathematics, where this notion applies. Consider how an elegant, simple proof is nearly always preferable to one that is lengthy and technical. The talk will begin with a brief consideration of some anecdotes of community in mathematics. We will next consider the mathematical structure known as a partial difference set, which is a subset of a finite group having combinatorial properties linking them to some other well-known mathematical objects such as two-weight codes. We will learn about particular constructions of partial difference sets and see instances where it is clearly better to have more. By more in this instance we mean families of partial difference sets, partitions of groups into partial difference sets, and certain set products that will generate additional examples. But to decide whether we have any communities of partial difference sets will be left for the presentation.

    Monday 27 March

    Ovidiu Lipan, PhD

    Associate Professor of Physics and Mathematics, University of Richmond

    Title: The Beauty I See in the Mathematics I Use

    Abstract: The theories of physics are not perfect, they approximate reality. However, the imperfection is balanced by the presence of elegance, for elegance and truth have many things in common. In this talk I will cover elegant aspects of mathematics that I use in my research. One aspect is related to the solution to Maxwell’s equation for stained glass laminae. The beauty of stained glass has captured the imagination of humans since antiquity, and we remain fascinated by the experience of light passing through stained glass. Could it be that the mathematics of this scattering problem displays an equivalent beauty? If time permits, I will cover other elegant mathematical aspects too, related to algebraic curves from devices with memory and topological numbers in present day physics.

    Monday 20 March

    Kobi Abayomi, PhD

    Professor of Statistics, Seton Hall; Senior Vice President of Data Science, Warner Music Group

    Title: Optimal Content Strategies for Digital Streaming

    Abstract: Digital delivery of songs has radically changed the way people enjoy music, the sort of music available for listening, and the manner by which rights holders are compensated for their contributions to songs. Generally, listeners enjoy an unlimited potpourri of sounds – uniquely free of incremental costs – which yield to listening patterns governed by affinity, boredom, & attention budget...beyond impulse or point-of-sale excitation. We argue here that this regime shift in demand availability - with the commensurate translation of revenue implications - reveals an hierarchical interactive strategy for best practices among listener segments, artist & sound curation, & market level dynamic. This research was done in collaboration with Shuya Li and Julien DeMori.

    Monday 27 February


    AfterMaths is a panel of alumni who majored in Mathematics or Mathematical Economics


    Britney D’Oleo, Financial Analyst at Diamond Communications, LLC
    Kevin Erb, Berkeley Research Group, LLC
    Fiona Lynch, Sales Consultant at CareJourney IT Services and IT Consulting

    Monday 13 February

    Jonathan Jedwab, PhD

    Professor of Mathematics, Simon Fraser University

    Title: Hidden Mathematics in the Card Game SET

    Abstract: We will discover some of the beautiful mathematics that underlies the popular card game “SET”, and demonstrate connections to coding theory, combinatorics, and finite geometry. SET novices and addicts are equally welcome!

    Monday 06 February

    Michael Kerckhove, PhD

    Associate Professor of Mathematics, University of Richmond

    Title: 3D Rotations via the Sandwich Product and a Twisted Factorization in 4D (with Applications to Computer Animations)

    Abstract: Are imaginary numbers real? Is the use of I = √(−𝟏) in algebraic equations made more legitimate by understanding this "impossible number" as a counterclockwise rotation through 90 degrees? The introduction of the Argand diagram in 1813 sparked a debate. By 1843 number systems in dimensions 4 and 8 had been devised, the former linked to rotations in 3-space. New numbers beget new constructions: the talk will conclude with Hopf’s twisted factorization of the 3-sphere.

    Monday November 7

    Tim Hamilton, PhD

    Associate Professor of Economics, Robins School of Business, University of Richmond

    Title: The Amenity Value of Natural Views

    Abstract: A fundamental question in environmental economics is how to balance the value of economic production with that of environmental quality. Methods of nonmarket valuation have emerged to measure and quantify the value of environmental goods, including air quality, water quality, and open space. This analysis studies the value of natural views in an urban setting, incorporating machine learning methods into conventional nonmarket methods. Our analysis uses Google street view images to classify the quality of a household’s view and estimates the degree to which that view is capitalized into the price of a home.

    Monday, October 17

    Susan Staples, PhD

    Associate Professor and Actuarial Program Director

    Mathematics, Texas Christian University, Department of Science & Engineering

    Title: Actuarial Careers and Opportunities - What is Out There and Where Do You Fit in the Picture?

    Abstract: Actuaries don’t make their living consulting moldy old mortality tables, but tackle problems far beyond the outdated stereotypes of the insurance industry. The vast scope of areas utilizing risk management specialists is surprising. Careers range from building data driven models to analyze health, life, and property insurance to quantifying financial risks tied to the Social Security system, climate change, 401K plans, or cybersecurity challenges. We will provide an overview of the profession and discuss resources and practical steps for a mathematics, data science, economics, or finance major to pursue this career

    Monday September 26

    Anna Haensch, PhD

    Senior Data Scientist

    Tufts University Data Intensive Studies Center

    Title: From Riemann Zeta to Big Data: A journey through mathematics and the lessons learned along the way

    Abstract: I recall being an undergrad math major, knowing that math was a simultaneously fun and powerful tool, but not quite understanding how I could be a "professional mathematician," or what that even meant! Sure, math is everywhere *gestures vaguely in the direction of everywhere, * but I needed something a bit more concrete than that. Today, I still don’t know everywhere that math is, but I’ve found a few interesting places. In this talk, I’m going to share some snapshots from my journey in math. I’ll show you some of the specific ways that I’ve enjoyed math and how I’ve made a career out of that enjoyment. In particular, I’m going to share how I went from being an academic number theorist studying the cobweb covered equations of antiquity to becoming a cutting-edge data scientist, often called the "sexiest job of the 21st century." I’ll leave lots of space for questions and conversation!

    Wednesday 07 September

    Amalia Gjerloev

    UR ’17, MSc, PhD student, University College London

    Title: The Mathematics of Healthcare Operations Research

    Abstract: With the Covid-19 pandemic, healthcare systems have seen a huge influx of patients, a strain on hospital resources and increased pressure to operate efficiently. Cancer services have been particularly impacted: clinicians face large appointment backlogs and patients experience long waiting times between appointments. In order to inform operational decision-making and analyze what-if scenarios, queuing theory can used to simulate patient flow along the patient care pathway. In addition to the mathematics, I will discuss communications with and benefits provided to healthcare staff and clinicians.

    Monday 29 August

    Summer Research Posters

    Student(s), Mentor(s), Title

    Anna Fortunato REU NC State: (Dr. Mette Olufsen and PhD student Justen Geddes): Understanding Heart Rate variability Using Signal Processing and Data Analysis

    Mengle Hu, Simeng (Hannah) Li & Ruiyi Liu University of Richmond (Dr. Kvam): Analyzing the Statistical Effectiveness of Diagnostic Tests for COVID-19 Using the Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) Curve

    Eli Chancey, Vahn Imani Corrothers & Lu Liu University of Richmond (Dr. Kerckhove): Distributed Denial of Service Attacks Through the Lens of Mathematical Game Theory

    Nate Jareb, Heidi Yuan & Zhuoyuan (Young) Yao University of Richmond (Dr. Kerckhove) Cybersecurity: Noise Packet Insertion as Defense Against Man In the Middle Attacks
  • 2021-2022

    March 28: Jin Lu, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Computer and Information Science, University of Michigan-Dearborn

    Topic: Predictive Modelling via Substructure-based Machine Learning

    Abstract: In the recent decade, machine learning has been substantially developed and has demonstrated great success in various domains such as web search, computer vision, and natural language processing. Despite of its practical success, many of the applications involve solving complex problems based on building one end-to-end model, which often neglect to analyze whether structural information is well investigated. In this talk, it shows that if a certain sub-structure occurs in sample data, it is possible to solve the related problem with lower computational cost and higher accuracy than that of the classic machine learning methods. We propose to employ two granular data structures, e.g., task bi-sectioning, or multi-task clustering to design new statistical models for two learning problems respectively.

    March 14: Van Nall, Ph.D., Professor of Mathematics, University of Richmond

    Topic: Dynamics of Shift Maps on Inverse Limits with a Single Set Valued Function on [0,1]

    Abstract: A set valued function on [0,1] is just a relation on [0,1]. That is it is just a subset [0,1] x [0,1]. We will look only at closed subsets of [0,1]x[0,1]. For historical reasons we prefer to think of this closed set as a set value function from the second coordinates of the points in [0,1] x [0,1] into the closed subset of [0,1]. For example, for each in [0,1]. The inverse limit of such a function is the set of all sequences of the form where for each The standard way to think about such sequences is that they are points in the Hilbert Cube. This collection of points/sequences in the Hilbert cube can be a fascinating and rich structure and the function you get by throwing away the first term of the sequence and shifting the remaining terms to the left by one has incredible dynamical properties. We are talking about chaos, positive entropy, shift maps on Cantor sets, and all of that kind of thing. A lot of chaos from a very simple closed set in [0,1] x [0,1] is the what this game is all about. We will also indicate how this approach might be used to answer an important open question in dynamics.

    February 21: Peter K. Johnson, R’12, Ph.D. Candidate at University of Virginia

    Topic: A Brief Introduction to Knot Theory

    Abstract: The study of knots in 3-space has a rich mathematical history and is a very active area of current mathematical research. To study and classify different types of knots, one often assigns to each knot some quantity (for example a number, a polynomial, a vector space, etc.) which remains unchanged if you wiggle and deform the knot. Such a quantity is called a knot invariant. In this talk, I will describe two fundamentally important knot invariants: the Jones polynomial discovered by Vaughan Jones in 1984 and the Alexander polynomial discovered by James Waddell Alexander II in 1923. No prior background in knot theory will be assumed other than some geometric intuition. I will also allocate some time to discuss my experience as an undergraduate student at the University of Richmond and my subsequent experience as a math graduate student.

    February 7: Martha Whamond, W’17, Health Industries Advisory Senior Associate

    Topic: Careers in Analytics: Transforming Healthcare with Data-Driven Decisions

    Abstract: If you’ve ever wondered about a career in analytics - whether you plan on diving right into the job market or pursuing a graduate degree - this seminar is for you. The booming data analytics industry is expected to quadruple in the next 5 years and the demand for quantitative skills is greater than ever. Despite the growing opportunities, students often wonder what a career in data analytics really entails and where to start the job search. To help answer these questions, Martha will discuss her career in consulting and how she leverages her background in mathematics to help healthcare organizations make data-driven decisions.

    November 1: Oscar Javier Chaparro Arenas, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, College of William & Mary

    Title: Getting a Ph.D. (and an M.Sc.): Myths and Facts

    Abstract: A Ph.D. in Computer Science (CS) can open doors to multiple career opportunities in academia and industry, such as corporate research and development (R&D) jobs, faculty positions, high-tech startups, and senior-level product development, to name a few. However, enrolling in a graduate program is an impactful decision with life-changing consequences, and as a result, must be taken carefully, with as much information as possible. CS juniors and seniors may have numerous questions regarding a Ph.D. (and an M.Sc.): “Why should I get a Ph.D.?”, “How will a Ph.D. help my career?”, “Where should I get my Ph.D. from?”, "How are my Ph.D. studies going to be funded?", “Do I need an M.Sc. degree for getting a Ph.D.?”, “What’s the difference between an M.Sc. and a Ph.D.?”, etc.

    October 25: Dr. Eric Swartz, Associate Professor of Mathematics, College of William & Mary

    Topic: Covering Numbers of Rings with Unity

    Abstract: Given an algebraic structure (group, ring, etc.), a cover is defined to be a collection of proper substructures (e.g., subgroups, subrings, etc.) whose set theoretic union is the whole structure. Assuming such an algebraic structure has a cover, its covering number is defined to be the size of a minimum cover. I will discuss the rich history of this problem as well as recent joint work with Nicholas Werner on the covering number of a ring with unity. No prior knowledge will be assumed beyond the basic definitions of groups and rings.

    October 4: Dr. Paul Kvam, Professor of Statistics, University of Richmond Note-Moved to Jepson Hall 118

    Topic: Careers in Statistics

    Abstract: If you have considered a career in Statistics and Data Science, you should attend this seminar by Professor Paul Kvam to find out what opportunities are out there for University of Richmond graduates. We will learn about classes and opportunities offered at UR that can help you in your pursuits. The best positions require a graduate degree, so we will discuss how to pick out the right graduate program and improve your chances for gaining admittance to a top school.

    September 27: Dr. Marcella Torres, Director of Mathematical Studies, University of Richmond

    Title: A Machine Learning Method for Parameter Estimation and Sensitivity Analysis

    Abstract: Dr. Torres will discuss the application of a supervised machine learning method, decision tree algorithms, to perform parameter space exploration and sensitivity analysis on mathematical models. Decision trees can provide complex decision boundaries and can help visualize decision rules in an easily digested format. This aids in understanding the predictive structure of a dynamic model and the relationship between input parameters and model output. She will illustrate how this process can be used in the early stages of model development for a simple ordinary differential equation model of HIV dynamics.

    August 30: Student Summer Research Presentations

    If you are interested in viewing recordings of the research presentations, contact Dr. Kerckhove.

    August 31: Student Summer Research Presentations

    If you are interested in viewing recordings of the research presentations, contact Dr. Kerckhove.


  • 2020-2021

    Honors Thesis Presentations, April 15, 19, & 21

    Date Time Student Name Mentor Title Abstract
    15-Apr 4:00 PM Vadim Kudlay Dr. Doug Szajda Understanding Model Reasoning in Automated Speech Systems: The field of voice processing has seen great advancements thanks in part to the rise of deep learning. However, the application of these deep learning techniques with an audio input space leads to an interesting result not commonly found when dealing with other input domains. Namely, common techniques for generating auditory adversarial samples using gradient-based optimization have been observed to have extremely low transferability among even the same model structure. This implies an inherent difference in the latent representations of audio samples that may be worth investigating in the pursuit of a more resilient and interpretable voice processing framework.
    15-Apr 4:25 AM Calvin Reedy Dr. Jeremy LeCrone Where To Look For Solutions To Obstacle Problems The obstacle problem can be used to predict the shape of an elastic membrane lying over an obstacle. In this presentation, I will introduce a mathematical formulation of the obstacle problem, and give an example to motivate a search for solutions in non-classical settings. I will then introduce Sobolev spaces as the setting in which it can be proved that unique solutions to the obstacle problem exist.
    19-Apr 4:00 PM Allison Newman Dr. Lester Caudill A Closed Differential Equations Model to Simulate Circulatory System Hemodynamics Sepsis and multi-organ damage are examples of the most serious complications associated with hospital-acquired infections. The circulatory system plays a significant role in the progression of bloodstream infections and the domino-effect of organ dysfunction. This toy differential equations model was developed with the intent to model sepsis infections and antibiotic treatments. The model, composed of 8 compartments, uses known physiological principles of hemodynamics and pressure/volume relationships to simulate blood pressure and blood volume in each represented blood vessel. The ventricles pump blood to the rest of the body through changing compliance and volume capacity values. Other than incorporating the various organs to model sepsis, possible extensions of this model include oxygen distribution on the tissue level and delivery of antihypertensive medication.
    19-Apr 4:25 PM Aalok Sathe Dr. Jon Park Automated Fact-checking of Claims Using Evidence in the Wild Our core contribution is an investigation of the decision-making processes of modern voice processing implementations. Specifically, we are interested in explaining the impacts of audio input features on the alphabetic character outputs of a modern speech-to-text system such as DeepSpeech2. We investigate this with the aid of the Local Interpretable Model-agnostic Explanations (LIME) explanation technique as applied to an appropriate and contextually-aware representation of the problem space. For every alphabetic character, we select samples of audio that center on the value and use them as inputs for the voice processing system. The model predictions of these inputs are explained via LIME and the collection of all letter-use clusters are aggregated for analysis. With an obtainable set of feature importance, a user can investigate unreasonable feature relationships and consider ways to generate adversarial examples based on these associations.
    21-Apr 4:00 PM Jing Dong Dr. Joanna Wares and Dr. Shweta Ware Overdose Prevention Site Placement Informed by Simulation In Philadelphia, people are experiencing the greatest opioid crisis in a century. Placing the Overdose Prevention Site (OPS) can alleviate this crisis. However, the journey to the successful launch of the first OPS in the USA is rough. It was first accused of having a collision with federal drug laws. While Safehouse won the lawsuit and the OPS was judged to be legal in 2020, other pressure rose afterward such as the against from the public and the COVID19, which delayed the plan to open the OPS. Without solid research on the effectiveness of OPS, we thought it is necessary to provide scientific evidence to support the OPS program. In our research, we apply both the Markov Chain model and the agent-based model to investigate the effectiveness of placing OPSs in Philadelphia. Our final conclusion shows that the OPS can effectively save people from fatally overdosing. In general, we hope to promote the launch of the OPS and also bring out some public health implications for future OPS placement based on our research.
    21-Apr 4:25 PM Ting Chen Dr. Jon Park BERT Argues: How Attention informs Argument Mining Argument mining is the automatic identification and extraction of structure from argumentative language. Previous works have constrained the argument structure to forming strictly trees in order to utilize efficient tree-specific techniques. However, arguments in the wild are unlikely to exhibit this limited structure. Given the recent trend of fine-tuning large pre-trained models to reach state of the art performance on a variety of Natural Language Processing (NLP) tasks, we look to leverage the power of these deep contextualized word embeddings towards the task of non-tree argument mining. In this talk, we will introduce a new pipeline which utilizes pre-trained Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers (BERT) based models as well as Proposition Level Biaffine Attention and Weighted Cross Entropy Loss for predicting arguments where the structure forms a directed acyclic graph. Our experiments demonstrate the efficacy of using deep contextualized word embedding from BERT based models while also suggesting future directions involving recurrence for modelling hierarchical relationships.
    21-Apr 4:50 PM Xiaodi Sara Hu Dr. Doug Szajda Understanding Model Reasoning in Automated Speech Processing Systems: Adapting the Processing Pipeline to leverage the LIME explanation method With the prevalence of speech processing systems comes adversarial attacks on those systems. In order to study and prevent those attacks we need to first understand how voice processing systems generate classifications. The current research aims to understand the reasoning behind speech processing model predictions by leveraging the LIME explanation method. We propose integrating the voice processing pipeline with LIME to generate explanations on why the model predicts specific character outputs. Implementing LIME within the speech processing pipeline raises significant theoretical and practical issues. We are currently designing and running experiments in order to integrate LIME in such a way that it produces reasonable and illuminating explanations.

    Past Events

    April 5 Stephen Kennedy, Professor of Mathematics, Emeritus, Carleton College

    Title: Strange Attraction

    Abstract: "In 1963 meteorologist Edward Lorenz, trying to understand atmospheric convection, discovered instead chaos and the, so-called, butterfly effect. The Lorenz Attractor, the asymptotic end-state of all the trajectories of his system of differential equations, is, from a topological point of view, an extremely bizarre object: a strange attractor. There is a picture of a piece of this strange object painted on the wall in our department. My goal is to explain the interesting features of that picture and, simultaneously, expose its topological strangeness in order to understand the richness of the possible behaviors of trajectories in the Lorenz system."

    Mar 25 Mmachi Obiorah, Candidate, Ph.D. Computer Science, Northwestern University
    Note Special Day: Thursday 4:00 pm ET

    Title: Designing Assistive Technologies for People with Language Impairments to Support Communication in Novel Settings

    Abstract: "Humans use language to communicate their thoughts, feelings and opinions as well as express their agency and autonomy. Thus, the loss of language may lead to social isolation, depression and ultimately impact the quality of one’s life. An estimated four million Americans are unable to meet their communication needs through traditional speech (National Academies of Sciences et al. 2017). Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices support people with speech and language impairments to express themselves. However, many AAC devices are unable to support comprehension and production of speech and language in novel contexts. In addition, while many AAC devices are designed to support basic communication, people who use AACs often need support in complex communication settings. In this talk, I present my research that explores how to design AACs for people with aphasia (a language disorder that occurs often as a result of stroke, where people are unable to communicate in a language they were fluent in prior to its occurrence) to support communication in complex and novel contexts."

    Mar 24 Nicki Washington, Professor of the Practice, Computer Science, Duke University, and owner of Washington Integreated Consulting, LLC
    Note Special Day/Time: Wednesday 7:00 pm ET

    Title: Look for the Helpers: Creating and Maintaining a Culture of Advocacy/Activism in Computing+Tech

    Abstract: The issues that marginalized groups face in the computing+tech workforce are often equivalent to what they experience as college students. Yet, there still are no successful efforts that have solved the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) issues in either industry or undergraduate computing education. Successful advocacy/activism in computing+tech must be intentional and institutionalized at all levels. This talk discusses how to create and maintain a culture where advocacy/activism is not only celebrated, encouraged, and nurtured, but also expected.

    March 19 Neil Lutz, Ph.D., Computer Science, Rutgers University
    Note Special Day: This is a Friday session

    Title: Fractal Slices, Projections, and Products via Algorithmic Dimension

    Abstract: "This talk will describe surprising applications of the theory of computing to questions in mathematical analysis. In particular, I will explain how the theory of algorithmic information can be used to strengthen prominent results in fractal geometry. These include Marstrand’s slicing theorem, Marstrand’s projection theorem, and a characterization of packing dimension in terms of product sets."

    Mar 15 Deanna Haunsperger, Robert Edwin Gaines Professor in Mathematics, and Professor of Mathematics, Mathematics and Statistics, Carleton College

    Title: A Glimpse at the Horizon

    Abstract: What do a square-wheeled bicycle, a 17th-century French painting, and the Indiana legislature all have in common? They appear among the many bright stars in Math Horizons. Math Horizons, the undergraduate magazine started by the MAA in 1994 publishes articles to introduce students to the world of mathematics outside the classroom. Some of the best mathematical expositors have written for MH over the years; here is an idiosyncratic tour of the first ten years of Horizons.

    Mar 1 Jeremy LeCrone, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, University of Richmond

    Title: Moving Interfaces and Free Boundaries

    Abstract: "Beginning with a frozen ice sculpture, there are equations modelling how the shape of the sculpture evolves as it melts. These equations predict that all “standard ice cubes” become more and more spherical as they melt. But what exactly does it mean to be more spherical? These equations also predict that certain initial shapes will eventually split apart into two (or three, or four) separate pieces as they melt. But the equations also fall apart when the surfaces split, so how can we prove such a thing?
    After introducing tools mathematicians use to model shapes in space, I will discuss various ways to express equations describing the evolution of objects via natural processes. We will explore famous results in shape evolution equations, comparing their intuitive interpretation with their precise mathematical statements and how mathematicians prove results even when all of these tools break down."

    Feb 15 Bill Ross, Professor of Mathematics, University of Richmond

    Title: Square Roots of Matrices

    Abstract: "Every nonzero complex number has a square root (in fact two of them). Not every linear transformation on a vector space has a square root and some linear transformations have infinitely many square roots. What do we actually mean by the “square root” of a linear transformation? In this talk I will discuss the (possible) square roots of a variety of linear transformations. Basic linear algebra and a willingness to expand your mind is all that is required to understand this talk."

    Feb 1 Jim Davis, Professor of Mathematics, University of Richmond

    Title: Schoolgirl Exercise, Lotteries, and 5G Communication?

    Abstract: "Is math just for fun or does it need to have practical applications? I will start by describing the famous "Kirkman Schoolgirl Problem", first posed in the "Lady’s and Gentleman’s Diary" by the Reverend Kirkman in 1850. This simply stated problem captured the imagination of Victorian England: the solution was surprisingly difficult and hinted at deep mathematics. Fast forward 120 years to a lottery in Massachusetts that was so poorly designed that several conglomerates hired mathematicians to help them make money from clever ticket-purchasing-schemes. We finally show how the math underlying these two stories is also behind some of the astonishing advances found in 5G communication. Maybe our conclusion is that math can be fun while at the same time providing a powerful tool in solving technological problems!"

    Student Summer Research Presentation: Session 1







    Jim Davis

    Wed 02 Sept


    10 min

    Gabriela Lopez-Gutierrez

    Eleazer Afotey


    Difference sets with the symmetric difference property


    Della Dumbaugh

    Wed 02 Sept


    10 min

    Madeleine Polhill

    The School Mathematics Study Group, 1958–1972: Lessons in Mathematics Education


    Kathy Hoke

    Wed 02 Sept


    10 min

    Diep Nguyen


    Randomness in Brain Graphs of Veterans with Concussions


    Doug Szajda

    Wed 02 Sept


    15 min

    Ying Zhu

    Penny Hu

    Nikita Morozov

    Wenqi Xiao

    Adversarial Samples for
    Automated Voice Processing Systems



    Student Summer Research Presentation: Session 2







    Lester Caudill

    Wed 09 Sept


    15 min

    Matthew Robinson

    Katie Encinas

    Is a ’second wave’ of COVID-19 inevitable?





    15 min

    Allison Newman

    Kayla Lambert

    Sam Xu

    Predicting COVID-19 dynamics on the UR campus for Fall 2020


    Jory Denny

    Wed 09 Sept


    10 min

    Andre Shannon

    Vadim Kudlay

    Defining Safety for Self-Driving Cars: Planning on the Medial Axis for Non-Holonomic Systems





    10 min

    Jingyao Li

    Jing Dong

    Motion Planning in Multi-level Buildings


    Mike Kerckhove

    Fri 11 Sept


    7 min

    Rachel Stall

    Yifei Zhao

    Emerald Ash Borer: Management Plan Economics




    10 min

    Camilla Chen

    Jenny Liu

    Amelie Wu

    Emerald Ash Borer: Biological Controls




    7 min

    Sarah Gregory

    Pesticides and Hive Collapse

    Jon Park

    Fri 11 Sept


    15 min

    Mahad Bhatti
    Ahsan Suheer Ahmad

    Argument Mining on Twitter

    Jory Denny

    Fri 11 Sept


    10 min

    Max Simpson

    Kevorc Ibrahamian

    TJ Kade

    Getting Over It: Motion Planning Over Terrains

  • 2019-2020

    Dec 2: Matthew Derr, Ph.D. R’10, Directer in the Center for Machine Learning at Capital One

    Title: There and Back Again: Reflections Along One Spider’s Journey

    Abstract: Come hear Dr. Matt Der, a 2010 Math & CS alumnus, reflect on his journey and lessons learned from UR, to UC San Diego and Google, to Richmond-based startup Notch, to Capital One ... and finally fulfill his dream of returning to UR as a Math & CS colloquium speaker.

    Nov 18: Heather Russell, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, University of Richmond

    Title: A Graph Coloring Reconfiguration System

    Abstract: A reconfiguration system provides a convenient framework for studying the structure of the set of all solutions to a given problem. In this talk, we will explore one such system related to graph coloring. In particular, we will focus on the current work being done by our UR research group exploring connectivity properties of graph coloring reconfiguration systems. We will also demonstrate software the group has developed to aid in visualization and conjecture testing. No prior knowledge of graphs is necessary. We will begin with the definition of a graph and give lots of examples along the way! (This work is joint with Drs. Prateek Bhakta and Sara Krehbiel as well as UR students Rachel Morris, Aalok Sathe, Wesley Su, and Maxine Xin.)

    Oct 22 Note this is a Tuesday, 4:30 pm, Jepson Hall 109

    Gretchen Matthews, Professor of Mathematics, Virginia Tech

    Title: The Amazing Cryptography Race

    Abstract: How do we store private information? How do we communicate information securely? Answers to these questions are changing as computational capabilities change. Addressing them is vital not only to our national security but also our everyday existence, impacting commerce, healthcare, and the ways we interact with one another. Quantum computing poses a threat to current encryption schemes, such as RSA and elliptic curve cryptography, which underpin nearly all digital transactions. Public key encryption as we know it succumbs to Shor’s Algorithm, making a replacement necessary. For this reason, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has issued a call for cryptosystems which are post-quantum secure, meaning are resilient in the face of quantum algorithms. We share modernizations of McEliece’s 1978 code-based cryptosystems which are based on polynomials and provide robust post-quantum security for classical information.

    Sep 23: Jonathan Jedwab, Professor of Mathematics, Simon Fraser University

    Title: New Constructions of Difference Matrices

    Abstract: "Difference matrices are a type of combinatorial design that is closely connected to many other objects from design theory and algebra, including orthogonal arrays, transversal designs, mutually orthogonal Latin squares, and orthogonal orthomorphisms. The study of difference matrices has received renewed interest following the recent discovery that they can be used to construct linking systems of difference sets and so provide new examples of linked symmetric designs and cometric association schemes.

    I shall show that there are special examples of difference matrices in abelian groups that can be concisely encoded using a much smaller matrix. This is analogous to the use of a generator matrix to represent a linear code in coding theory. I shall show that several of the principal previous constructions of difference matrices can be stated and proved much more simply in terms of these smaller matrices. I shall then present four examples of difference matrices in abelian groups having twice as many rows as the best previously known, each of which gives rise to a new infinite family of examples."

    Joint work with Koen van Greevenbroek.

    Sept 2 Spotlight on Student Research

    Researchers: Maggie Dong, Steven "Rumo" Zhang, Andre Shannon, Nathan Lyell, & Ziheng "Bill" Shen.
    Frames and Applications
    Mentor, Dr. William Ross

    Researchers: Kartikey Sharma, Jackson McAtee, Scarlett Sun, Jackman Liu, Connor Kissane, & Calvin Reedy
    Error Correcting Codes from Difference Sets
    Mentor, Dr. James Davis

    Researcher: Vadim Kudlay
    Simulation Visualization in R
    Mentor, Dr. Barry Lawson

    Researchers: Tengjie Tang & Ran Yan
    Population Biology, Pest Management, and Cooperative Games
    Mentor, Dr. Michael Kerckhove

    Sept 16 Spotlight on Student Research

    Researchers: Jing Dong, Stephen Owen, Max Wallach, & Wenqi Xiao
    Crafting Adversarial Examples for Automatic Voice Processing Systems
    Mentor, Dr. Doug Szajda

    Researchers: Matthew Robinson & Yichang “Sam” Xu
    Modeling the Dynamic of C.difficile Infection in the Human Colon
    Mentor, Dr. Lester Caudill

    Researcher: Rachel Morris
    Constructing Phylogenetic Networks
    Mentor, Dr. Heather Russell

    Researchers: Ahsan Suheer Ahmad & Mahad Bhatti
    Mining Arguments in Twitter: Recognizing Premise Tweets for Claim Hashtags
    Mentor, Dr. Jon Park

    Researchers: Aalok Sathe & Wesley Su
    Coloring graphs: Computation and Visualization
    Mentor, Dr. Prateek Bhakta

  • 2018-2019

    2018–19 Colloquium Series

    April 15: Raymond Cheng, Old Dominion University, Department of Mathematics & Statistics

    Title: A Fun Exercise in Probability

    Abstract: We’ll look at several dramatically different approaches to solving a simple problem involving coin tosses.

    April 22: Honors Students take Center Stage. Join us as computer science honors students Tuan Le, David Qin, and Hanglin "Jojo" Zhou present their theses.

    April 1: Greg Morrisett, Cornell, Dean of Computing and Information Sciences

    Title: Securing Software through Proof Engineering

    Abstract: The computers upon which we all depend, from laptops to servers to cell phones to embedded controllers, run software that is full of bugs. Today, attackers find it relatively easy to exploit these bugs to gain access and control of these computers. Is there anything we can do to substantially change this landscape? One promising approach is based on machine-checked proofs of safety, correctness, and/or security. I’ll discuss some of the recent research advances that show why we think this is a promising approach, and what challenges still remain.


    March 18: Larry Leemis, 2019 Gaines Chair in Mathematics and Professor of Mathematics at the College of William & Mary

    Title: A Probability Calculator, Football Field Position, and Confidence Intervals

    Abstract: This talk considers three topics in stochastic modeling. The first is using a computer algebra system to perform probability calculations. The second is how to visualize a mixed type random variable (part discrete and part continuous), illustrated by the field position in football after a kickoff. The third considers ongoing work in finding a confidence interval for the Bernoulli parameter and finding a confidence region for the parameters in a two-parameter univariate probability distribution.

    March 4: Emily Dodwell, AT&T Labs

    Title: From Theory to Practice: A Machine Learning Use Case for Advertising at AT&T

    Abstract: Emily Dodwell, a Senior Inventive Scientist in the Data Science and AI Research Organization at AT&T Labs, will present a recent project to develop a machine learning-based media targeting strategy for television advertising campaigns. Emily will discuss the computational challenges inherent in the scale of training data, potential solutions her team considered to tackle the business problem, as well as theoretical intuition for the final two machine learning algorithms they chose to compare for implementation.

    January 28: Laura Ellwein-Fix, Virginia Commonwealth University, Department of Mathematics

    Title: Parameter Identifiability of a Respiratory Mechanics Model in an Idealized Preterm Infant

    Abstract: The complexity of mathematical models describing respiratory mechanics has grown in recent years to integrate with cardiovascular models and incorporate nonlinear dynamics, but has rarely been studied in the context of patient-specific observable data. This study investigates parameter identification of a previously developed nonlinear respiratory mechanics model tuned to the physiology of 1 kg preterm infant, using local deterministic sensitivity analysis, subset selection, and gradient-based optimization. The model consists of 4 differential state equations with 34 parameters to predict airflow and dynamic pulmonary volumes and pressures generated under six simulation conditions. The relative sensitivity solutions were calculated with finite differences and a sensitivity ranking was created for each parameter and simulation. Subset selection found independent parameters that could be estimated for all six simulations. The combined analysis produced a subset of 6 independent sensitive parameters identifiable with observable data. Optimizations performed using pseudo-data with perturbed nominal parameters estimated parameters within 5% of nominal values on average, demonstrating the feasibility of studying patient-specific infant data with these methods.

    November 26: Neal Bushaw, Virginia Commonwealth University, Department of Mathematics

    Title: Turán Numbers and their Variants

    Abstract: Among the oldest questions in extremal graph theory lies a gem: For an n-vertex graph, how many edges can a graph possibly have while avoiding a particular subgraph? This problem dates back to the 1930s, and when it was answered (for complete graphs) by Pál Turán in the 1940s, the ’Turán Number’ was born; given a graph G and a natural number n, we define the Turán Number as the maximum number of edges among all n vertex graphs with no subgraph isomorphic to G. This problem not only has application within graph theory, but within other areas of mathematics and science.

    In this general audience talk we’ll talk about the history of graph theory in general, and this question specifically, as well a simple variation which leads to my own research (’What if instead of forbidding all copies of G, we allow one or two or ten?’). No graph theory background will be assumed -- I’ll start by defining a graph, and build everything from there.

    November 14: David Mimno, Cornell University, Information Science, Computing and Information Science **Special Wednesday Session**

    Title: Putting the Data in Data Science

    Abstract: "One of the most powerful conceptual tools in computing is abstraction. If you can recognize a class of problems that all share the same form, you can apply the same solution over and over. But this same power is also dangerous. We are tempted to put all of our attention on algorithms and treat data sets as interchangeable. I will describe several case studies in which small variations in input data can have surprisingly large impacts on the resulting outputs. I argue that data care -- far from being a trivial or menial task -- is often the most impactful part of a data science process."

    November 12: Juraj Foldes, University of Virginia, Department of Mathematics

    Title: Statistical Solutions of Differential Equations

    Abstract: Many mathematical models possess very complicated or chaotic dynamics with solutions being extremely sensitive to parameters. In such situation, it is not feasible to follow one solution, but it is more practical to look at statistical properties of solutions. Famous complex systems arise in fluid dynamics, where two dimensional turbulent flows for large Reynold’s numbers can be approximated by solutions of incompressible Euler’s equation. As time increases, the solutions of Euler’s equation are increasing their disorder; however, at the same time, they are limited by the existence of infinitely many invariants. Analogously as the equilibrium statistical states are obtained in thermodynamics, we assume that the dynamics tend to limit profiles which maximize an entropy given the values of conserved quantities. These profiles, described by methods of Statistical Mechanics, are solutions of non-usual variational problems with infinite number of constraints. We will show how to analyze the problem and we will derive symmetry properties of entropy maximizers on symmetric domains. This is a joint work with Vladimír Šverák (University of Minnesota).

    November 9: Evgenia Smirni, College of William and Mary, Computer Science Department ** Special Friday Session in Business School Room 114 at 4:00 PM **

    Title: Getting a PhD in Computer Science: Myths and Facts

    Abstract: A PhD in Computer Science can open doors to incredible career opportunities in academia or industry, such as corporate university R&D jobs, faculty positions, hi-tech startups, and senior-level product development, to name a few. However, enrolling in a graduate program is an impactful decision with life-changing consequences, and as a result, must be taken with as much information as possible. In fact, CS juniors and seniors may have numerous questions regarding a PhD: “Why should I get a PhD?”, or “How will a PhD help my career?”, or “Where should I get my PhD from?”, or "How are my Ph.D. studies going to be funded?". This talk is designed to especially answer such questions.

    This talk will provide students with critical information on getting a graduate degree in CS, and the benefits of doing so at William & Mary. First, I will describe what a CS PhD entails, and demystify the myths and facts about getting a PhD. I will also discus the factors one must consider when selecting a PhD program. I will then provide information on William & Mary (W&M), and specifically, the research strengths of the Computer Science department at W&M. Towards the end, students will have an idea on what it is like to get a PhD in CS, and specifically, what it would be like to get a PhD at W&M CS.

    November 5: Doron Levy, University of Maryland, Department of Mathematics

    Title:The Role of the Immune Response in Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia

    Abstract: Targeted drugs have significantly improved treatment of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). Yet, most patients are not cured for undetermined reasons. In this talk we will describe our work on modeling the immune response to CML, the goal being to harness the immune response to better improve therapies. Along the way, we will discuss some our results on cancer vaccines, drug resistance, and cancer stem cells. We will also emphasize the necessity of integrating a mixed bag of mathematical tools in order to address complex biological problems.

    October 29: Lincoln Mullen, George Mason University, Department of History & Art History **LOCATION CHANGED TO JEPSON 118**

    Title: Finding Biblical Quotations in Historical Newspaper Corpora

    Abstract: "America’s Public Bible" is interactive work of digital scholarship that identifies quotations of the Bible in U.S. newspapers. This talk will explain how the project works from a computational perspective, including the challenges of finding quotations, working with historical corpora, and creating the website. It will also discuss how those computational methods connect to research questions in American religious history and religious studies. The site enables a disciplined serendipity that turns up new and unusual examples that one would be unlikely to find with more traditional methods, but which also rigorously contextualizes those examples. This method helps researchers make better evaluations of whether the phenomena under study are typical or unusual.

    October 22: Zerotti Woods, University of Georgia, Department of Mathematics

    Title: The Effects of Ill Conditioning in Neural Network

    Abstract: "Deep Neural Networks have shown much success in solving problems in a diverse set of applications (i.e. computer vision, computational biology, finance, etc). Although we have proof about universal approximation of these networks the problem of training them is known to be very difficult. The ill conditioning of the hessian has been shown to be one of the sources of this difficulty. In this talk we will discuss problems and neural network architecture that causes a ill conditioned hessian. I will also discuss how this can interplay with analysis of high frequency telemetry data taken from a malaria infection on Non Human Primates."

    October 8: Dominique Guillot, University of Delaware, Department of Mathematical Sciences

    Title: Positivity Preserver Problems

    Abstract: "Determining which transformations map the set of positive semidefinite matrices into itself is a classical problem that continues to attract a lot of attention. I will give a historical account of matrix positivity and of operations that preserve it, and will discuss several applications of positivity preservers in geometry, combinatorics, and statistics. The talk should be accessible to anyone with a basic knowledge of linear algebra and calculus."

    September 10: Student Summer Research Presentations II

    Stephen Owen, Berke Nuri, Abhishek Shilpakar (Doug Szajda, mentor); Sophie Borchart, Palmer Robins, Jonathan Rodriguez (Jory Denny, mentor); Caleb Brooks, Aaqil Zakarya (Jory Denny, mentor); Basil Arafat (Jory Denny, mentor); Jojo Zhou (Jory Denny, mentor); Michael Bonifonte (Lewis Barnett, mentor); Hammed Hassan (Lewis Barnett, mentor)

    September 3: Student Summer Research Presentations I

    Diksha Kataria, Xinxuan Zhang, Shiyi Wang, Alamby He (Paul Kvam, mentor); Salar Ather (Taylor Arnold, mentor); Shuzhi Zeng & Nayzaw Aung Win (Lester Caudill, mentor); Maxine Xin (Prateek Bhakta, mentor); Sinan Kivanc (Prateek Bhakta, mentor); Miles Clikeman (Heather Russell, mentor)

  • 2017-2018

    September 4: Student Research Presentations
    Team mentored by Jory Denny: Ryan Jennings, Tracy Nguyen, Are Oelsner
    Team mentored by Jory Denny: David Qin and Aaqil Zakarya
    Team mentored by Bill Ross: Raymond Cao, Tongzhou Wang
    Team mentored by Mike Kerckhove: Devin Chen and Finnegan Hu
    Team mentored by Mike Kerckhove: Hassan Naveed and Ran Yan

    September 18: Student Research Presentations
    Team mentored by Lewis Barnett: Guanlin He, Ruojing Jia, Yuetong Li, Lillie Mucha, and Tianchang Yang
    Team mentored by Lewis Barnett: Thang Le and Bilawal Saikh
    Mentored by Doug Szajda: Alec Justice
    Mentored by Doug Szajda: Rachel Culpepper
    Team mentored by Doug Szajda: Nicholas Wan and Rishabh Jain
    Mentored by Prateek Bhakta: Michael Del Casino

    October 9: Dr. Rachel Cummings, Georgia Institute of Technology
    The Price of Privacy: Experimental Evidence for the Value of Privacy

    October 30: Craig Larson, Associate Professor, Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics, Virginia Commonwealth University
    The Graph Brain Project

    November 13: Suzanne Robertson, Assistant Professor, Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics, Virginia Commonwealth University
    Modeling and Control of Enzootic West Nile virus Transmission: Incorporating Avian Stage-dependent Vector Exposure

    November 27: Robin Givens ’06, Professor of Computer Science, Randolph Macon College
    Sensor Placement Problems: Mixed-Weight OLD-sets

    February 28: Ryan Cordell, Assistant Professor of English, and David Smith, Assistant Professor of Computer & Information Science, Northeastern University
    Speculative Bibliography: Probabilistic Texts, Page Maps, and Propagation Networks

    March 5: Bernadette Mullins, Professor of Mathematics, Chair of Wadsworth Area, Birmingham-Southern College
    The Josephus Problem

    March 19: Peter Hastings, Associate Professor, School of Computing, DePaul University
    Identifying Causal Structure in Scientific Explanatory Essays

    March 26: Jyh-Ming Lien, Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science, George Mason University
    Making Shapes Easily Foldable

    April 23: Student Research: David Clayton, Format Transforming Encryption
    Mentor: Dr. Doug Szajda

  • 2016-2017

    August 29: Student Research Presentations
    Team mentored by Dr. Kathy Hoke and Dr. Joanna Wares: Shuyi Chen, Tatum Dam, Devika Jhunjhunwala, Sinong Li, Quinn McDonough, Harrison Wenzel, Tianyuan (Patty) Zhang, Xinyi (Julie) Zhu, Chong Hui (Devin) Chen, Camryn Travis
    Team mentored by Dr. Paul Kvam: Tongyu (Stephanie) Wang and Zezhong Chen
    Team mentored by Dr. Michael Kerckhove: Ying Wu, Yiwen Wang, Xiaoting (Cecelia) Sun, Joshua Hayes, Nasheya Rahman, Solomon Quinn

    August 30: Student Research Presentations
    Team mentored by Dr. Lester Caudill: Ashley Alex and Rachel Lantz
    Mentored by Dr. James Davis: David Clayton
    Mentored by Dr. Arthur Charlesworth: Anh Tran
    Team mentored by Dr. Doug Szajda: Salar Ather, Joseph Mugisha, Rachel Culpepper, Renae Taylor, Tanner Bina, Alec Justice, & Yunwen "Nicholas" Wan

    September 2: Brett Csorba ’14, Information Security Software Engineer at GE, and Jake Kurzer ’10, Lead Software Engineer at Leidos
    Title: System and Method for Determining String Similarity

    October 3: Patrick G. Traynor, R’02, associate professor of computer and information science and engineering, University of Florida
    Title: Who Do I Think You Are? Challenges and Opportunities in Telephony Authentication

    October 5: All About Computer Science Internships
    Presenters: Kevin Chen, Dinc Ciftci, and Kelly Farley

    October 17: Ami Radunskaya, visting professor of mathematics from Pomona College
    Title: Of Mice and Math

    October 24: Christian Fong, Stanford Graduate School of Business
    Title: Limited Obstruction with Monopoly Agenda Setting

    November 4: Gieri Simonett, professor of mathematics, Vanderbilt University
    Title: Moving Surfaces in Geometry and Physics

    November 7: Bill Ross, professor, Richardson Chair of Mathematics, University of Richmond
    Title: Matrices and the Shadows of Plato’s Cave

    November 14: Nathan Alexander, assistant professor of teacher education, University of San Francisco
    Title: Inclusive Pedagogies in STEM+C

    November 21: Ami Radunskaya, visiting professor of mathematics from Pomona College
    Title: The Sound of Chaos

    January 30: Eric Brunvand, associate professor, School of Computing, University of Utah
    Title: A Tale of Two Rendering Algorithms: Ray Tracing, Rasterization, and their Supporting Hardware

    March 20: Ivan Blank, associate professor of mathematics, Kansas State University
    Title: The Obstacle Problem and Connections to Mean Value Theorems in Elliptic PDEs

    March 22: Sara Krehbiel, assistant professor of computer science, University of Richmond
    Title: Privacy and Randomness: Defense Against the Dark Arts

    March 27: Barry Lawson, professor of computer science, and Malcolm Hill, professor of biology, University of Richmond
    Title: An Agent-Based Simulation Model of Sponge: Algae Symbiotic Relationships

    April 10: Sommer Gentry, professor of mathematics, United States Naval Academy
    Talk title: Faster, Safer, Healthier: Adventures in Operations Research

    April 17: Student Research Presentations

    David Clayton, Almost Difference Sets
    Gi Heung “Robin” Kim, Differential Privacy for Growing Databases

    April 19: Student Research Presentations

    Greg Hamilton, Quantum Groups and Knot Invariants
    Anh Tran, Toward a Scientific Investigation of Convolutional Neural Networks
    Fiona Lynch, Differential Equations Models of Single- and Multi-Organ Tissue Damage

  • 2015-2016

    August 31: Math Summer Research Presentations
    Presenters: Ashley Alex, Sam Bell, Matthew Brinard, Becky Chen, Zezhong Chen, David Clayton, John Clikeman, Nicole Devine, Becca Funke, Mark (Minuk) Kim, Fiona Lynch, Sami Malik, David Painter, Alexandru Pana, Nasheya Rahman, Utaipon Tantipongpipat, Shiv Toolsidass, Edison (Zhixiang) Wang, Sihan Wang, Tongyu (Stefanie) Wang, Ningxi Wei, Bannong Zhang

    September 7: Computer Science Summer Research Presentations
    Presenters: Hadi Abdullah, Alex Beman, Guanyu (Robin) Chen, Andy Choi, Dinc Ciftci, Michael Dombrowski, Omar Farooq, Will Gross, Yuxuan (Jennifer) He, John Keto, Dong (David) Kim, Robin Kim, Kyong Lee, Christian Olaya, Lingmiao Qiu, Anh Tran, Radha Venkatesan

    September 14: Internships Panel
    Presenters: Georgi Lekov, Amy Shick, and Jackson Taylor

    October 5: Dr. C. Allen Butler Daniel H. Wagner Associates, Inc.
    Title: Bayes’ Theorem-Making Rational Decisions in the Face of Uncertainty

    November 2: Dr. Isabelle Chalendar, Maître de Conférence in the Institut Camille Jordanat the University of Lyon I
    Title:Phragman-Lindelof Principles and Applications

    February 29: Dr. Oliver Dasbach, Louisiana State University, Mathematics
    Title: Dimers and Knot Theory

    March 14: Dr. Jonathan Jedwab, Simon Fraser University, Mathematics
    Title: What is a Research Mathematician?

    March 25: Dr. Margaret Martonosi, Princeton University, Computer Science
    Title: Internet of Things: The History, The Hype, and The Hope

    March 28: Dr. Jana Gevertz, The College of New Jersey, Mathematics & Statistics
    Title: Using Mathematics to Understand Anti-Cancer Drug Resistance at Metastatic Sites

    April 11: Dr. Mohammed Abouzaid, ’02, Columbia University, Mathematics
    Title: Polynomials, Polyhedra, and Algebraic Varieties

    April 18: Honors Students Presentations
    Presenters: Becca Funke, Jackson Taylor, and John Clikeman

    April 20: Honors Students Presentations
    Presenters: Minuk "Mark" Kim & Uthaipon "Tao" Tantipongpipat

  • 2014-2015

    September 1: Student Summer Research Presentations-Mathematics

    Presenters include:

    Hilary Briggs, Cathy Shi, Xiwen Zhou, Weizhi Wu, Melisa Quiroga-Herra, Amber Young (Mentors Dr. Kathy Hoke & Dr. Joanna Wares)
    Tedi Aliaj, Sam Bell, John Clikeman, Hayu Gelaw, Uthaipon Tantipongpipat (Mentor Dr. Jim Davis)
    Fiona Lynch (Mentor Dr. Lester Caudill)
    Yi Guo and Zezhong Chen (Mentor Dr. Bill Ross)
    Ningxi Wei and Xinchun Liu (Mentor Dr. Della Dumbaugh)

    September 8: Student Summer Research Presentations-Computer Science

    Presenters include:

    Ahn Tran (Mentor: Dr. Charlesworth)
    Marie Fernandez (Mentor: Dr. Lawson)
    Francisco Cuevas and Lingmiao Qui (Mentor: Dr. Shaw)
    Jennifer He, Andy Choi, Hadi Abdullah, Omar Farooq, John Keto, Alex Beman (Mentor: Dr. Szajda)

    October 27: Dr. Craig Larson, Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics, Virginia Commonwealth University

    November 3: Dr. John Conway, Professor of Mathematics, George Washington University
    Title: Matrices and Topology

    November 10: Dr. Laura Miller, Associate Professor of Mathematics at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Department of Applied Math and Biology
    Title: The Fluid Dynamics of Jellyfish Swimming and Feeding

    March 2: Dr. Sean Barnes, Assistant Professor of Operations Management, Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland

    Title: An Agent-Based Modeling Approach to Reducing the Transmission of Multidrug-Resistant Organisms in Healthcare Facilities

    March 23: AfterMaths: Perspectives on Education & Careers

    Erin Abouzaid, W ‘02
    Chief Investment Officer, Stony Brook Foundation

    James Tripp, R’01
    Technical Director, Department of Defense

    March 30: Dr. Edward Saff, Professor of Mathematics, Director of Center for Constructive Approximation, Vanderbilt University
    Title: Minimal Energy, Soccer Balls, and Bagels

    April 6: Dr. Ryan Vinroot, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, College of William and Mary
    Title: Counting in Finite Vector Spaces

    April 13: Taylor Applebaum ’13 and Keefer Taylor ’13, Software Engineers at Google

    April 24: Dr. Della Dumbaugh, Professor of Mathematics, University of Richmond
    Title: It’s possible: The Biography of a Book

  • 2013-2014

    September 9: Student Summer Research Presentations

    Students: Becca Funke, Ningxi Wei, John Clikeman, and Gavin McGrew (Faculty Mentor: Dr. James Davis)
    Title: Constructions of Bent functions on 8 variables

    Students: Natalie Pollard and Jackson Taylor (Faculty Mentor: Dr. Barry Lawson)
    Topic: Investigating the "Consistent Programmer Hypothesis".

    Students: Erin Geoghan, Kevin Erb, Richuan Hu (Faculty Mentor: Dr. James Davis)
    Title: Difference sets in groups of order 256

    September 16: Student Summer Research Presentations

    Student: Jocelyn Xue (Faculty mentor: Dr. William Ross)
    Title: Smashing Algebras of Toeplitz Matrices

    Student: Josh Fagan (Faculty mentor: Dr. Arthur Charlesworth)
    Title: Deep Neural Nets Containing Restricted Boltzmann Machines

    Student: Georgi Lekov (Faculty mentor: Dr. Kelly Shaw)
    Title: Software Optimization: Determining the Best Processor Architecture for an Application

    Student: Nicholas Taylor (Faculty mentor: Dr. Lewis Barnett)
    Title: Identifying Bird Species from Digital Images

    September 23: Deloitte Consulting
    Maria Nazareth, Senior Manager - Information Systems Management
    Adam McCann, Specialist Master - Information Systems Management

    Supporting Presenters:
    Pete Holland, Consultant, UR Class of 2010 – Business Administration (Finance and Economics)
    Sarah Gehrke, Consultant, UR Class of 2011 – Political Science; Economics
    Danielle Taylor, Analyst, UR Class of 2013 – Chemistry; Leadership Studies

    Title: A Data Driven Future - Deloitte Analytics

    September 30: Student Summer Research Presentations

    Student: Beknazar Abduvaliev (Faculty Mentor: Dr. Michael Kerckhove)
    Title: Mathematical Models of Bounded Rationality.

    Student: Nianchen Han (Faculty Mentor: Dr. Joanna Wares)
    Title: “Collectivism” or “Individualism”? The Differential Equation Model vs the Agent Based Model

    Student: Uthaipon (Tao) Tantipongpipat (Faculty Mentor: Dr. James Davis)
    Title: Ebert’s Hat Game with More Than Two Colors

    October 28: Van Nall, professor of mathematics at UR
    Title: Topology and Dynamical Systems

    November 4: Karen Saxe, AAAS/AMS Congressional Science and Technology Policy, professor of mathematics at Macalester College
    Title: A Mathematical Adventure through the Census, Reapportionment, and Re-districting

    November 11: How to land and succeed in an internship at Google or Goldman and Sachs
    Taylor Applebaum and Andreea Iovan will talk about their experiences this summer as a Software Engineering Intern at Google and Technology Analyst Intern at Goldman Sachs.

    November 18: Ann Oberg, professor of biostatistics at the Mayo Clinic

    February 13: Duo Jiang, University of Chicago
    Title: Linking genes to diseases: how statistics come into the game

    February 24: Dr. Karen Parshall, UVA
    Title: Toward Algebra as a General Problem-Solving Technique: Renaissance Developments from Rafael Bombelli to François Viète

    March 3: Judy Kennedy, professor of mathematics at Lamar University

    March 26: Jim Yorke

    April 14: Judy Kennedy, professor of mathematics at Lamar University

    April 21: Jocelyn Xue and Hershey He
    Title: Algebras of Toeplitz operators and matrices

  • 2012-2013

    September 4: Dr. James A. Davis, Professor of Math and Computer Science (University of Richmond)
    Topic: Patent Lawsuit of the Century (Apple vs. Samsung): A Personal Story

    September 10: Student Summer Research Presentations
    Student presenters include Andreea Iovan (CMSC/MATH), Brett Csorba (CMSC), Dayton Steele (MATH), and Garrett Steele (MATH).

    October 1: Mary Ann Horn, National Science Foundation & Vanderbilt University
    Topic: Using Mathematical Modeling to Understand the Role of Diacylglycerol (DAG) as a Second Messenger

    October 8: Student Summer Research Presentations

    "Detecting Malicious Javascript," Taylor Applebaum, Tyler Barnett, Nunzio Cicone, Mark Dacek, Nick Daniel, Richuan Hu, Tyler Morgan, Nate Swanson, and Victor Yang

    "Turing Patterns via Agent-Based Models," Josh Armstrong, Josh Fagan, Kirstin Ladas, Gavin McGrew, and Rosa Romano

    November 6: Raymond Cheng, Old Dominion University
    Title: Mate Search Strategies

    November 12: Michael Dorff, Brigham Young University
    Title: Shortest paths, soap films, and mathematics

    February 11: Jim Cogdell, Ohio State University
    Title: Zeta Functions!

    February 18: Mike Pohl, Google
    Title: Do Cool Things That Matter: Detecting Adversarial Ads in the Wild

    March 4: Dr. Tihomir Kostadinov, UR Department of Geography and the Environment
    Title: A 3-D Earth Orbit Model: Visualization and Analysis of Milankovitch Cycles and Insolation

    April 1: Professors Jim Davis and Bill Ross (UR Department of Mathematics and Computer Science)
    Title: Almost True: Two Tales of Failure in Mathematics

    April 17: Student Honors Thesis Presentations
    Natalie Clark: "Mathematical Models of Plasmid Dynamics"
    Dayton Steele: "Power Distribution in the European Union"

    April 22: Student Honors Thesis Presentations
    Taylor Applebaum: "Difference Sets"
    Gage Holden: "PyAM: Investigating Analogic Reasoning"

  • 2011-2012

    September 19: Employee Panel, Capital One

    October 17: David Sherman, University of Virginia (math)

    October 24: Richard Hammack, Virginia Commonwealth University (math)

    November 4: Reza Sarhangi, Professor, Department of Mathematics, Towson University

    November 7: Avis Cohen, The Institute for Systems Research at the University of Maryland, College Park

    November 14: Josh Ducey, James Madison University

    November 22: Evamaria Terzi, Boston University

    November 28: Andrew White, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

    January 30: David Evans, UVA Department of Computer Science
    Title: Computing Cooperatively with People You Don’t Trust

    February 13: Ross Gore, UVA Department of Computer Science
    Title: Statistical Debugging for Scientific Exploration Software

    February 20: Stephen R. Wassell, Sweet Briar College Department of Mathematical Sciences
    Title: Edge-length ratios between dual Platonic solids

    February 29: Ken W. Smith, Sam Houston State University Department of Mathematics & Statistics

  • 2010-2011

    September 6: Student Summer Research Reports
    “Application of Wavelet Transforms,” Patty Laverty, Will Lambdin, Sadia Gado Alzouma
    “Data Communication in Single-Chip Multi-Processors,“ Toma Pigli
    “Graphics-Based, Event-Driven Simulation Programming,“ Emily Nelson
    “Streamlining Homology Assignment Using Maximum Likelihood Phylogenies,” Gage Holden, Rachael Gunn

    September 13: Student Summer Research Reports
    “Game Theory and Network Defense,” Linghan Song, Winston West
    “Coding Theory: Second Order Nonlinearity,” Matt Der, Alex Martin, Gavin McGrew, Kate Pitchford, Taryn Smith, Francesco Spadaro, Joshua Wilson, Kathryn Utz
    “From Graphs to Determinants to Matrices,” Samantha Campbell, Yiran Duan, Max Grinchenko, Hristiyan Hristov,
    “Choosing Courses through a Collaborative Recommendation System,” Keefer Taylor

    September 20: Andreas Hartmann, Université Bordeaux and Gaines Visiting Professor at the University of Richmond
    Title: Signals, Interpolation and Sampling

    October 4: Andreas Hartmann, Université Bordeaux and Gaines Visiting Professor at the University of Richmond
    Title: Interpolating infinitely many values

    October 13: Holly Gaff, Virginia Modeling, Analysis, and Simulation Center, Old Dominion University
    Title: Modeling Control of Tick-Borne Diseases

    October 27: Jennifer Steele, York University
    Title: Stereotype threat: What is it? Can it be overcome? And what does it mean for women – and men – pursuing careers in math and science?

    November 3: Frédéric Gaunard, Université Bordeaux
    Title: Control Theory and links with Paley-Wiener Spaces

    November 8: Frédéric Brechenmacher, CNRS - Institut de Mathématiques de Jussieu, Paris & Laboratoire de Mathématiques Lens. Univ. Lille-North of France
    Title: The 1874 Controversy between Camille Jordan and Leopold Kronecker

    March 14: Katybeth Lee, Career Development Center and Dr. Mike Kerckhove, Associate Professor of Mathematics, University of Richmond
    Title: Pi Day Celebration: When Will I Use Math?

    March 21: Eve Torrence, Randolph-Macon College
    Title: Plugging the Holes in Lewis Carroll’s Condensation Method

    March 28: Mike Pohl, Google
    Title: Detecting Adversarial Advertisements in the Wild

    April 11: Eric Marland, Appalachian State University
    Title: The Value of Carbon: A Hoppameleon Study

    April 18: Jeff Zheng, ’11
    Title: Rank One Perturbations of Self-Adjoint Operators and Applications

  • 2009-2010

    September 7: Summer 2009 Research Students

    September 28: Stephan Garcia, Pomona College, Claremont, California
    Title: Hidden Symmetries in Everyday Operators

    October 19: Sara Sprenkle, Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Virginia
    Title: Customized Oracles to Automatically Detect Faults in Web Applications

    November 5: Andy Dorsett, Wolfram Research, Inc.
    Title: Mathematica

    January 18: LURE Summer 2010 Research Informational Meeting

    February 15: Alex Dugas, University of Richmond, Richmond, Virginia
    Title: Representations, Quivers and Dynkin Diagrams

    March 1: Barry Cobb and Atin Basu Choudhary, Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, Virginia
    Title: A Decision Analysis Approach to Solving the Signaling Game

    March 15: Rebecca Weber, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire
    Title: What is Computability Theory?

    March 22: Kim Hazelwood, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia
    Title: A Case for Runtime Adaptation Using Cross-Layer Approaches

  • 2008-2009

    March 16: Raina Robeva, Sweet Briar College
    Title: Mathematical Models for Systems Biology and Gene Regulation

    March 25: David Nicol, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
    Title: Tradeoffs Between Model Abstraction, Execution Speed, and Accuracy in Simulation

    March 30: Paul Huray, University of South Carolina
    Title: Signal Integrity: The secret to making computers more reliable, faster and cooler

    Monday, April 13: Simon Levy, Washington and Lee University
    Title: Hyperdimensional Cognitive Computing: A New Approach to Some Very Old Problems

    Tuesday, April 21: Hannah Callender, University of Minnesota, Institute for Mathematics & Its Applications
    Title: Adventures in Biomath: From Cell Signaling to Motility

Expand All
  • Past Scholarship, Prize, and Award Winners
    Bessie Pond Eppes Scholarship V.S. Lawrence Scholarship James D. Crump Prize in Mathematics Outstanding Student in Mathematics Award Dr. William Jason Owen Prize for Outstanding Graduating Senior Majoring in Mathematical Economics Outstanding Student in Mathematical Economics Award
    2023 Leah Ghazali and
    Caitlin Sales
    Brett Barnes Anna Fortunato and      Rilyn McKallip Nicolas Ferree Acacia Wyckoff and Mengle Hu Siyun Yan
    2022 Anna Fortunato and Jordan Richardson  Dylan Hooper  Matthew Robinson and André Shannon  Andrew Brady 
    2021 Anna Fortunato Andre Shannon Allison Newman, Diep Nguyen, Madeline Polhill, Calvin Reedy Andre Shannon
    2020 Anna Fortunato Diep Nguyen Rachel Morris Calvin Reedy
    2019 Barbara Fujita Diep Nguyen Jason Hall Madeline Polhill and Hammad Hassan
    2018 Barbara Fujita Rhiannon Begley Solomon Quinn Miles Clikeman
    2017 Isabel Benvenuti Rhiannon Begley Fiona Lynch David Clayton
    2016 Isabel Benvenuti Fiona Lynch Uthaipon Tantipongpipat Uthaipon Tantiponpipat
    2015 Ningxi Wei Fiona Lynch Erin Gibbons John Clikeman  
    Yi Guo
    2014 Ningxi Wei Jocelyn Xue Uthaipon Tantipongpipat  
    Jocelyn Xue
    2013 Katherine Marsten Kevin Erb Taylor Applebaum Taylor Applebaum
    Natalie Clark Jocelyn Xue
    2012 Katherine Marsten Keefer Taylor Diana Alexandra Iovan Natalie Minako Clark
    2011 Jamie L. Zunic Chelsea Shrader Corneliu Alexandru Bodea and Haoxuan (Jeff) Zheng Haoxuan (Jeff) Zheng