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Colloquium Series 2019–20

This Colloquium Series is sponsored by the Mathematics and Computer Science Department.

Unless otherwise noted, all talks take place in Jepson Hall Room 109 at 4:30 p.m. Starting at 4 p.m. light refreshments will be served in the lounge outside of Jepson 212 — please join us. Talks will be added as they are scheduled; please check back often.

Up Next

Apr 20 Senior Thesis talks


See you in the fall!

Past Events

Mar 2: Pi Day Celebration with a panel of Jepson 118 for this date only

Panelists scheduled:

Erin Geoghan, W'15, Software Engineer, Ippon Technologies
Claire LeCornu, W'18, Graduate Research Assistant at RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service and master of public affairs candidate at the LBJ School of Public Affiairs.
Scott Rothrock, R'94, Senior Software Development Manager at Amazon Web Services.

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