Archive for October 2016

Oct 31st – Nov 4th 2016

Monday, Oct 31

Seminar: What is summer research like in Computer Science?  Six CS majors from last summer’s team at St. Olaf will presenting their projects this week, ranging from analyzing the terminology used in medical articles, to using Raspberry Pis for teaching parallel computing, to helping deaf people learn how to hear.

Monday, October 31, 3:15 p.m. in RNS 310
Jesus Caballero ’18 Raspberry Pi for teaching Parallel and Distributed Computing
Eric Oseid ’17 Visualizing Parallel Computation on the Raspberry Pi
Luke Zimmerman ’18 Updating OpenGL in the Software Design Course
Justin Pacholec ’18 A HiPerCiC App for Learning to Hear with Cochlear Implants
Lucas Heilman ’19 The Quiz Game: A HiPerCiC App for Interactive Learning
Joe Peterson ’18 Counting Medical Terms using WebMapReduce

Tuesday, Nov 1

No Seminar

Wednesday, Nov 2

No Seminar

Thursday, Nov 3

Seminar:The Chemistry of Cannabis (A joint Chemistry and Biology Seminar)
Gary Starr, Chief Medical Officer,Co-Founder of Leafline Labs
Ken Ouren, University of Minnesota  College of Pharmacy Class of 2018. Alum ’14
3:15, RNS 150

Friday, Nov 4

Seminar: Barcodes: Discerning the Shape of Data
Matthew Wright, Visiting Assistant Professor in Mathematics
Friday, Nov 4, 3:40 pm in RNS 204

In recent years, the mathematical field of topology has been applied to the analysis of complex data. Persistent homology is one of the most popular and well-studied tools in topological data analysis. Persistent homology associates with complex data easily-visualized algebraic objects called barcodes, which provide information about the structure of the data. Persistent homology has been applied to data arising from computer graphics, biology, neuroscience, signal processing, and more. I will give an introduction to persistent homology, explaining what it is, what it can do, and how it is computed. This talk is the first of a two-part series; the second talk on November 11 will focus on a current project to develop software for computing a specific type of persistent homology.

October 10 – 14, 2016

Monday, Oct 10

MSCS ColloquiumThe Circle Squaring Problem: A Tale of Undergraduate Research
Pamela Pierce, Professor of Mathematics, The College of Wooster
Tarski’s famous Circle-Squaring problem asks whether a circle (a closed disk in the plane) can be decomposed into finitely many pieces which can then be rearranged to form a square. A definitive answer to this question eluded mathematicians for hundreds of years, until Miklos Laczkovich proved (in 1990) that it is indeed possible. While the answer was celebrated as a great victory, his proof gives no specific directions on how to accomplish the task. Furthermore, the upper bound given for the number of pieces required in the process is 10^50. In this talk, we will learn some facts about dissections, decompositions, and what Laczkovich’s “pieces” actually look like in an effort to fully understand the depth of this problem.
3:30pm, RNS 410

Tuesday, Oct 11

No Seminars

Wednesday, Oct 12

Causing a Big Racket with Riny Magnets: emergent 1/f noise in the collections of oscillating nanomagnetic dots

Speaker: Barry Costanzi ’09, visiting professor of physics at St. Olaf College
3:15 pm, RNS 210

Thursday, Oct 13

Chemistry: The Art of Industrial Chemistry
Audrey A. Sherman, Division Scientist, 3M Company
3:15 pm, RNS 150

MSCS Research – Northfield Undergraduate Research Symposium
Speakers: Various Oles and Carls!
Each year, students from St. Olaf and Carleton have the opportunity to present their own research to peers and faculty members at the Northfield Undergraduate Mathematics Symposium. This year five students from St. Olaf and three from Carleton will give a total of six twenty-minute talks, with time for food and socialization in between.
3:40 – 6:50 pm at Carleton CMS 206

Friday, Oct 14

No Seminars

October 3 – 7, 2016

Monday, Oct 3

MSCS Colloquium: Arithmetic statistics
Craig Westerland, Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota
This will be a talk about various number-theoretic conjectures and theorems from a probabilistic or distributional point of view.  For instance, we can ask: what is the probability that an integer is squarefree?  The answer is surprisingly easy to state, and allows us to reformulate the question in the language of field theory: can we count (asymptotically in X) the number of quadratic fields with discriminant less than X.  All of these words will be explained, and we’ll illustrate them with a number of examples.  This will lead us to a number of conjectures on related subjects, some of which have been recently resolved by Manjul Bhargava, a 2014 Fields Medalist.
3:30pm, RNS 310 (3:15pm cookies and conversation)

Tuesday, Oct 4

Psychology Seminar: Career Talk from a Clinical Psychologist
Dr. Charles Peterson
6:00 p.m., Buntrock 142

Dr. Charles Peterson ’70 will be giving a career talk about his time as a clinical psychologist and director of training in the various clinics in Minneapolis and Chicago and his journey into opening his private practice. He will be speaking about the challenges that a career in clinical psychology presents, the preparation needed to get into the career and his experience in the field in general.

Wednesday, Oct 5

No Seminars

Thursday, Oct 6

No Seminars

Friday, Oct 7

Chemistry Seminar: Process Chemistry: Complex Applications of Fundamental Concepts
Greg Beutner, Bristol Myers Squibb
3:15 p.m., RNS 310

MSCS SeminarThe Curious Case of 2s and 3s
Matthew Richey, Professor of Mathematics, St. Olaf College
As often happens, looking at a problem from one perspective leads to unexpected results when seeing it from another perspective. In this talk, we will explore a concept inspired by a classroom exercise in a chemistry class that reveals a “curious” phenomenon in number theory. Along the way, we’ll get to see how concepts such at the Boltzmann distribution, Markov chains and enumerative combinatorics intersect with each other.
3:40pm, RNS 204