Math Club Colloquium
This seminar covers topics suitable for undergraduate students. Seminars are usually held on Tuesdays or Thursdays from 12:30 pm  1:30 pm. However, the day, time, and location changes depending on speaker and room availability, so please see each announcement for details.
Fall 2012
Speaker: Olympia Hadjiliadis (Brooklyn College)
Date: Thursday September 6, 2012
Time: 12:30 pm  1:30 pm
Location: 1127N
Title: Quickest Detection and Algorithmic Trading
Abstract: My presentation is on the topic of statistical surveillance and quickest detection. We begin by providing an example of statistical quality control in an industrial production process. We define the outofcontrol and incontrol states of the process and describe how we attempt to distinguish them by using statistics based on the observations of the process. We also discuss further applications of the problem of statistical surveillance and quickest detection in finance, detection of enemy activity, the internet surveillance problem and signal processing. We draw attention to a specific statistic called the CUSUM. We construct CUSUMbased trend following trading algorithms and assess their performance on high frequency data for US treasury bonds and notes sold at auction. It is seen that during regimes of instability drawdown based algorithms result in a profit while in periods of stability, they do not. We finally draw the connection of drawdown algorithms and cumulative sum (CUSUM) on line detection statistics.
Speaker: Kishore Marathe (Brooklyn College)
Date: Thursdays September 13 and 20, 2012
Time: 12:30 pm  1:30 pm
Location: 1127N
Title: The monster exists
Abstract: The proof of the existence of the Monster, the largest finite simple group finished the proof of the classification theorem for finite simple groups. The proof of this theorem is arguably the greatest achievement of the 20th century mathematics. Hundreds of mathematicians contributed to this proof which extends over 5,000 pages, makes essential use of results in algebra, arithmetic, geometry and theoretical physics (conformal field theory and string theory). We will give a survey of the history of this theorem and a brief sketch of the various ingredients that go into its proof. The main prerequisite is intellectual curiosity, although some knowledge of mathematics and physics would make it more interesting.
Speaker: Mark Brittenham (University of Nebraska  Lincoln)
Date: Thursday October 4, 2012
Time: 12:30 pm  1:30 pm
Location: 1127N
Title: The many ways to untie a knot
Abstract: Knot theory, the mathematical study of 'knotted' objects, had its beginnings in the 1880s with a now discredited theory of the structure of the atom. It has grown in both its power and usefulness, especially in recent years, and has made unexpected connections with a wide variety of disciplines. This talk will present a 'picture history' of some of these developments, mostly centered on the fundamental question: "how do you unknot a knot?".
Speaker: Kellen Petersen (Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences)
Date: Thursday October 18, 2012
Time: 12:30 pm  1:30 pm
Location: 1127N
Title: Finding Minimum Energy Paths of Droplets on Superhydrophobic Surfaces: A Phase Field Approach
Abstract: Interest in superhydrophobic surfaces has increased due to a number of interesting advances in science and engineering. A classical approach will be given as motivation for using a phase field model. After explaining our phase field model, I will discuss different methods for finding saddle points between minima with emphasis on the String Method. Resulting minimum energy paths will then be shown for different topographical and chemical surface characterizations.
Speaker: Nancy Griffeth (Lehman College)
Date: Tuesday November 13, 2012
Time: 12:30 pm  1:30 pm
Location: 1127N
Title: A Quantitative Biology Workshop at Lehman College
Abstract: Every January since 2010, we have held an undergraduate workshop on a quantitative biology topic at Lehman College. Fifteen students are selected from the applicants to attend the workshop each year, and they receive a stipend of $1000. Several students from Brooklyn have attended and have been valued participants. In addition, many of them have gone on to internships or doctoral programs at prestigious institutions. The next workshop will be on the subject of atrial fibrillation. Students will see wet lab demonstrations of the type of electrical activity that causes atrial fibrillation in the heart and will help collect data for the better understanding of atrial fibrillation. (http://www.lehman.edu/academics/cmacs/)
Speaker: Sandra Kingan (Brooklyn College)
Date: Tuesday Nov 20, 2012
Time: 12:30 pm  1:30 pm
Location: 1127N
Title: Graphs and Matroids
Abstract: Abstract: Matroids are a modern type of synthetic geometry where the behavior of points, lines, planes, and higher dimensional surfaces are governed by combinatorial axioms. Hassler Whitney coined the term matroid in his 1935 paper "On the abstract properties of linear dependence". In defining a matroid Whitney captured the fundamental properties of independence that are common to graphs and matrices. In this talk I will define and give examples of matroids and a flavor of some of the major structural results.
Speaker: Mark Ebersole (NVIDIA)
Date: Tuesday November 27, 2012
Time: 12:30 pm  1:30 pm
Location: 1127N
This talk is organized jointly with the CIS club
Title: Introduction to GPU Computing
Abstract: Modern GPUs have grown past their graphics heritage and evolved into the world's most successful parallel computing architecture. The introduction of this talk will briefly cover where the GPU came from and how it turned into this processing powerhouse. Next we will quickly cover the various methods used for programming for acceleration on GPUs. Finally, we will take a deeper dive into the model used to directly access this computational power using the CUDA C programming language (https://www.facebook.com/events/458211760889213/)
