Nov 3-7, 2014

Monday, November 3

MSCS Colloquium: Sequential Designs for Computer Experiments 
Marian Frazier, Assistant Professor, Gustavus Adolphus College
The federal government wants to understand how much people depend on their retirement pensions, which is related to income, expenses, and interest rates.  NASA is designing a new reusable rocket booster and wants to understand how flight characteristics like lift, drag, and pitch will change as a function of speed and angle of attack. Ossur wants to build a stronger prosthetic limb and needs to understand the relationship between durability and explanatory variables like material and weight. What do all of these situations have in common? In all of them, performing a traditional physical experiment is infeasible.  Instead, we perform a computer experiment.  In this talk, I will discuss the two major questions we must answer in order to investigate the situations above: How do we design these experiments?  And how do we develop a model to understand the relationship between the explanatory variables and the response?  After answering these questions, I will present an investigation of the retirement pension situation using a specific model-design combination.
3:15 p.m. snack and time to visit with MSCS faculty; 3:30 p.m. Colloquium, RNS 310

Biology Graduate School Panel
Wondering about graduate school in a biology related field?  A panel of Biology faculty will share their experiences and answer your questions……Why should I consider graduate school?  How do I find the right program?  What is the application process like?   Is it true that I could get paid to go to graduate school? (Yes!)  Come find out the answers to these questions and more!
4:00 p.m., RNS 410

Statistics Graduate School Panel
Marian Frazier – Gustavus Statistics Professor with PhD in Stats (2013) from Ohio State
Andy Lithio ’11 – PhD student in Iowa State Statistics Dept
Jess Musselman – University of Minnesota MS in Biostatistics (2009) and PhD in Epidemiology (2013)Gustavus Adolphus College.
Three panelists who are currently/recently in graduate programs in statistics or biostatistics will provide insights and answer questions such as: what is graduate school like? how does one choose a program? how does St. Olaf prepare you? what can one do with an advanced stats degree? and, is it true they really pay you to go to grad school?
6:00 p.m. – Dinner served (Gyros, salad, pizza!!)
6:30 p.m.  –  7:30 p.m. – Panel discussion
Regents Hall 207 (the CIR room)

Tuesday, November 4

No Seminar

Wednesday, November 5

Physics Colloquium: The Differences in Onset Time of Conjugate Substorms
James Weygand, ’92, Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences Department at UCLA
2:00 pm, RNS 210

Thursday, November 6

Psychology Seminar: Child and Adolescent Mental Health
Susan Gatto, Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker
6:00 p.m., Buntrock Commons 144

Friday, November 7

Chemistry Joint Seminar with Carleton and St. Olaf
Chris Calderone, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Carleton College
Deciphering Natural Product Biosynthesis
Natural products are small molecules produced by bacteria, fungi, and plants, and represent a crucial source of therapeutics. Indeed, a 2012 analysis calculated that more than one-third of small-molecule drugs approved between 1981-2010 were natural-product-derived or natural products themselves. Understanding the biochemistry and enzymology utilized in the production of these molecules holds promise for (1) uncovering novel biochemistry; (2) enabling genome sequence-based methods to discover new natural products; and (3) introducing the possibility of rationally engineering novel, “unnatural” products. In this talk, I will describe our lab’s efforts to characterize enzymes involved in the production of the natural products tabtoxin and ECO-0501, and the insights we have gained regarding the biochemical and metabolic strategies utilized in natural product biosynthesis.
3:00 p.m. refreshments, 3:15 p.m. seminar will begin, RNS 310

MSCS Research Seminar: Aligned Hierarchies for Sequential Data
Katherine Kinnaird, Visiting Assistant Professor, Macalester College
We present aligned hierarchies, a novel solution to the dimension reduction problem, representing high-dimensional and noisy sequential data as a low-dimensional object that encodes relevant information. In this work, we motivate our presentation and discussion of aligned hierarchies through the lens of Music Information Retrieval (MIR), constructing aligned hierarchies by finding, encoding, and synthesizing all repeated structure present in a song. Given a particular MIR task, such as locating the chorus of a given musical song or finding all copies of a particular recording of a song, we compare songs based on their aligned hierarchies. Considering the fingerprint task and the cover song task, we present comparisons for two music data sets, one based on digitized scores and the other one performances of scores. Results from these comparisons on clean data had very high precision-recall values and provide a proof of concept for the aligned hierarchies. Results on noisy data were not as successful, but demonstrate the effect of different pre-processing techniques on the comparisons.
3:35 p.m., RNS 204