Math Club Colloquium 2011 - 2012

Spring 2012 Talks

March 6, 2012: Jeff Suzuki (Brooklyn College)
Title: Who's In Charge? An Introduction to Social Network Analysis
Abstract: Social network analysis is an outgrowth of graph theory and is rapidly becoming one of the important tools in mathematical criminology. One of the key problems is the following: given some information about individuals in an illicit network, which figures are the most important to the operation of the network? We'll take a look at some of the principal methods used to analyze networks, and show how after-event analysis suggests the potential of these methods for law enforcement and counter-terrorism.

March 20, 2012: John Velling (Brooklyn College)
Title: CAS: a tour of enhanced insight with computer algebra systems
Abstract:We will explore two topics using the MAPLE computer algebra system. First, the approximation of complicated waves by superpositions of sine and cosine waves, i.e. Fourier series. The ability to do this is the fundamental insight underpinning the digitization of music (CDs), images (JPG and GIF), and movies (DVD). Second, the conjectured existence of infinitely many pairs of twin primes. We will obtain experimental evidence supporting this conjecture.

April 5, 2012 (Thursday): Christian Benes (Brooklyn College)
Title: Random Fractals
Abstract: One of the "hottest" topics of research in probability of the past few decades is a random fractal called the Schramm-Loewner Evolution (SLE). In the last 8 years, two mathematicians were awarded Fields Medals for showing that SLE is related to well-known random processes such as loop-erased random walk and percolation. In this talk, I'll explain what fractals are and how random fractals appear naturally in a number of physical phenomena.

April 17, 2012: Mark Gibson (Brooklyn College)
Title: Some Results on the Infinite
Abstract: We will look at some interesting results involving infinite sets. We will first construct some maps which put sets into one-to-one correspondences; sets that a priori seem to be of different sizes. We will eventually apply Cantor’s diagonalization argument on the real numbers to show the existence of different magnitudes of infinity. Time permitting, we will prove Cantor’s theorem in its most general form, from which it follows that there are an infinite number of distinct infinities. Finally, we will be prepared to state the continuum hypothesis: a proposal that (for decades) drove many great mathematicians crazy.

April 24, 2012: Keith Harrow (Brooklyn College)
Title: A Discussion of Infinite Sets
Abstract: Can one infinite set be larger or smaller than another? Or do all infinite sets have the same size? In fact, what does it mean for two infinite sets to have the same size? Or to have two different sizes? After covering the essentials, some interesting implications of the properties of infinite sets will be discussed.
STEM majors recuriting event. This talk is for students in MATH 1011, 1021, 1026, 1201, 1206, 1401 and Core 1311

April 30 (Monday), 2012: Olympia Hadijialidis (Brooklyn College)
Time: 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm (Room 328 New Ingersoll)
Title: Statistical quality control
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 out-of-control and in-control 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 and conclude by discussing some of its properties.
This talk fits the theme of Math Awareness Month "Mathematics statistics and the data deluge"

April 30 (Monday), 2012: Himanshu Almadi (Bandk of America)
Time: 6:05 pm - 7:00 pm (Room 328 New Ingersoll)
Title: A day in the life of a quantitative analyst
Abstract: Investors often experience the tension that exists between the desire to stick with a long-term financial strategy and the impulse to react to short-term market events. Of course, as the post-crisis paths of market amply demonstrate, financial data and investor psychology can often work at cross-purposes. We present probable solutions to both problems: building long-term financial strategy using goals-based processes, and managing short-term opportunities/constraints using a more dynamic asset allocation.
This talk fits the theme of Math Awareness Month "Mathematics statistics and the data deluge"

May 1, 2012: Noson Yanofsky (Brooklyn College)
Title: The Legacy of Epimenides: The Contemporary Consequences of a 2600 Year Old Paradox
Abstract: We shall examine Epimenides paradox which essentially says that the statement “This sentence is false” is true if and only if it is false. We shall show that this ancient self-referential paradox has the exact same format as some of the most interesting developments in modern mathematics and computer science. We will examine the paradox in light of the famous barber paradox, Russell’s naďve set theory paradox, Cantor’s different levels of infinity, Gödel’s incompleteness theorem, and Turing’s Halting problem.

May 3 (Thursday), 2012: Brett Bernstein (GETCO Securities)
Location: 1310N
Title: Market Making and Trading Puzzles
Abstract: An introduction to how market making works and a look at some puzzles that test your trading intuition.
This talk fits the theme of Math Awareness Month "Mathematics statistics and the data deluge"

May 10 (Thursday), 2012: Daniel Thengone (Weill Cornell Medical College/Brooklyn College Alumnus)
Location and Time: 1127N 12:30 - 1:30
Title: Statistical analyses used to understand brain dynamics
Abstract: In neuroscience, the dynamical patterns of electrical activity of neurons provide a crucial bridge between cellular and behavioral levels of analysis. An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a test that measures such electrical activity via electrodes placed on the surface of the brain. During the last decade or so, a significant amount of research has gone into the development of signal processing tools to quantify these voltages measured from these electrodes. These statistical methods have been developed into signal processing algorithms and have been used extensively to model such stochastic processes. Power spectral analysis is a well-established method for the analysis of EEG signals. Spectral parameters can be efficiently used to quantify brain states during awake and sleep state via characteristic features that emerge in the frequency domain. This method coupled with numerous statistical tests has been applied to understand the dynamics in voltage oscillations measured from the brain surface. This talk will provide a brief survey of the quantitative measures used for analyzing continuous process signals like EEG, and how these methods are used to examine dynamics of neuronal response and their relationship to behavior.
This talk fits the theme of Math Awareness Month "Mathematics statistics and the data deluge"

May 15, 2012: Sandra Kingan (Brooklyn College)
Location and Time: 1141 N 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
Title: Got techniques – looking for data
Abstract: The theme of Math Awareness month (April) this year was “Mathematics Statistics and the data deluge.” SIAM News has a front-page article titled Got Data: Now What that identifies the analysis of large data sets to provide understanding, and ultimately knowledge as one of the fundamental intellectual challenges of our time. While, Scientists have data and are looking for mathematical techniques to analyze their data, mathematicians, on the other hand, have techniques and are looking for data to try out their techniques. In this talk I will present the development and implementation of a course for math majors titled “Mathematical Methods for Analyzing Data.” Such a course has a built-in strong technology component as software is needed for handling data. But it also requires a strong civic engagement component because along with new applications come new ethical issues. Learning the mathematics in the context of difficult societal problems and thinking about how use it in an advocacy setting creates a much needed awareness of how mathematics applies to society. Moreover, students who take such a course are well-prepared to undertake an undergraduate student research project.
This talk fits the theme of Math Awareness Month "Mathematics statistics and the data deluge"