Careers in Mathematics and Computer Science
David A. Reimann
Associate Professor Albion College
Albion, MI, USA

A degree in mathematics or computer science is excellent preparation for employment in areas such as teaching, actuarial science, software development, engineering, and finance. Come learn about career opportunities awaiting you after graduation.

Palenske 227
3:30 PM

All are welcome!

Mathematics and Computer Science Colloquium

Qubits Versus Plinko: Two Approaches Toward Quantum Computational Supremacy
Dr. Tim Rambo `09 Quantum Opus LLC
Novi, MI

Quantum Computing sits at the intersection of computer science, physics, and engineering and it's proponents promise a new, more powerful, class of computers. The field is being driven by research at a diverse array of universities, major corporations such as Google and IBM, and startup companies like ours, with the goal of demonstrating a computer that relies on the oddities of quantum physics to solve problems faster than a classical computer. I will discuss why quantum computers are thought to have such great potential, provide a brief introduction to how and why they function differently from classical computers, and look at two different approaches to proving "Quantum Supremacy".

Palenske 227
3:30 PM

All are welcome!

Mathematics and Computer Science Colloquium

Symmetry Groups: The mathematical connection between patterns in Moorish architecture and the artwork of M.C. Escher
David A. Reimann
Associate Professor Albion College
Albion, Michigan

The mathematical structure of symmetrical patterns can be studied using group theory. The Moors built many magnificent buildings richly decorated with geometric patterns during their rule of the Iberian peninsula (711-1492). The graphic artist M.C. Escher visited southern Spain in 1922 and was captivated by the patterns that richly decorate the architecture of the Alhambra, Alcazar, and other Moorish buildings. After a second visit to Spain in 1935, Escher became obsessed with creating patterns of interlocking figures based on these elaborate tiling patterns. While Escher had no formal mathematical training, he used mathematical methods grounded in scientific literature to study these patterns. We will view these patterns through the lens of group theory, one of the great mathematical accomplishments of the 19th century. This talk will be highly visual with many pictures of Escher's works and Moorish architecture.

Palenske 227
3:30 PM

All are welcome!

Mathematics and Computer Science Colloquium

Stories in Mathematics: Mathematical journeys and what it means to do mathematics
Chris Creighton
Ph.D. Candidate Purdue University
West Lafayette, IN

We all do mathematics, but questions arise about who are encouraged and what really is doing mathematics? My hope is to get you to think about the stories you are implicitly telling about mathematics and frame it in a positive light. I will begin with my story from Albion College to my Ph.D. at Purdue University and how I became interested in this work. We will then discuss how words and mathematics are used to encourage and discourage people from mathematics and other societal programs and ending on a discussion of doing mathematics using an example from differential equations. Mathematics is a cornerstone of the Liberal Arts education, bridging between science and the humanities, so we must do our best to encourage all to see the values of mathematics.

Palenske 227
3:30 PM

All are welcome!

Mathematics and Computer Science Colloquium

Computationally efficient order identification for models of big time series data
Brian Wu
PhD Candidate Oakland University
Rochester, Michigan

Big time series data with tens of thousands of time points involve complex statistical modeling. Minimizing Information Criteria (IC), such as AIC, AICC or BIC, is used for model order identification. However, this identification process is computationally intensive for big time series because it depends on the repeated computation of the likelihood function. We propose a computationally efficient IC optimization method based on fast kriging surrogates. First, we apply the method to ARMA models with two orders, then we expand it to seasonal time series models of higher dimensional order space. To demonstrate this method, we analyze the results from both simulated and real big time series data related to appliances energy consumption. The method proposed can speed up the order identification process, but its accuracy and computing time depend on the number of fitted time series models needed for the IC optimization.

Why are some diseases predictable, and others swamped in uncertainty? And what about the outbreaks that never happen at all? Adam covers how disease like malaria, Zika, Sars and Covid-19 spread, but also how similar kinds of mathematical models can be used to trace the spread of fake news, and even internet memes.

Video of a talk given at
the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) Virtual Workshop on
Mathematical Models for Prediction and Control of Epidemics, August 14, 2020.
Lecture Slides available.
OPTIONAL: I encourage you to also watch the
Panel Discussion.

ONLINE
VIRTUAL

All are welcome!

Mathematics and Computer Science Colloquium

Algorithmic Extremism: Examining YouTube's Rabbit Hole of Radicalization
Mark Ledwich

YouTube's recommendation algorithm is frequently characterized by journalists and researchers as radicalizing users to the far-right, but the evidence to date has been weak. We used data collected from the YouTube website to analyze the balance in recommendation impressions to see if it is favoring more extreme content. 768 US political channels were categorized into culturally relevant orientations and sub-cultures and 23M recommendations for recent videos were recorded during November-December 2019. We found that the late 2019 recommendation algorithm actively discourages viewers from being presented with fringe content. The algorithm is shown to favor mainstream media and cable news content over independent YouTube channels with a slant towards partisan political channels like Fox News and Last Week Tonight.

A talk given for the Stanford Center for Professional Development on 8 January 2020.

In a world of fake news, Facebook scandals and psychological warfare, mathematician David Sumpter investigates how much influence algorithms truly have over our behaviors.
Algorithms permeate our modern lives and analyze our online behaviors constantly, so much so that it's hard to know if you can trust your digital devices and social media accounts.
But just how statistically sound are algorithms like those used by Cambridge Analytica? How well can they really categorize us and influence our behaviors?

Beyond Web Search
Susan Dumais
Technical Fellow & Managing Director Microsoft
Cambridge, Massachusetts

Although Web search has transformed how we access many kinds of information, information seeking and search are much broader than this. We all know this, of course, but it's surprising how intuitions/experiences in Web search shape our thinking more generally. I will talk about recent work in email search where just about everything is different than the (personal vs. public info; types of tasks; previous size of collection; level of knowledge and history of interaction; etc.). I will also broaden to newer information seeking with voice, dialog and proactive scenarios.

A talk given for the Stanford Center for Professional Development on 28 February 2020.

How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking
Jordan Ellenberg
John D. MacArthur Professor of Mathematics
Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor of Mathematics University of Wisconsin
Madison, Wisconsin

Maths touches everything we do, allowing us to see the hidden structures beneath the messy and chaotic surface of our daily lives. Maths is the science of not being wrong, worked out through centuries of hard work and argument.
Maths touches everything we do, allowing us to see the hidden structures beneath the messy and chaotic surface of our daily lives. Maths is the science of not being wrong, worked out through centuries of hard work and argument.