Archive for November 2016

Nov 28- Dec 2, 2016

Monday, Nov 28

Physics Seminar 

Snow physics and its reflection on a changing climate
3:15 pm; RNS 290

Biology Seminar – RNS 410 4:00 PM with Alum Meghan Milbrath ’02


Tuesday, Nov 29

Biology Seminar:
RNS 410, 4:00 PM with Dr. Norman Lee


Wednesday, Nov 30

No Seminar

Thursday, Dec 1

No Seminar

Friday, Dec 2

MSCS Research Seminar: Automorphisms of Group Extensions
group extension is way of expressing a group G in terms of a normal subgroup N and the corresponding quotient G/N. An automorphism of a group extension is a particular kind of isomorphism G->G.  In this talk, I will show how to use information about N and G/N to build automorphisms of a group extension. Expanding a bit further, I will also talk about trying to recover all automorphisms of G by piecing together information coming from different group extensions.
Jill Dietz, Professor of Mathematics, St. Olaf College
Friday, December 2nd at 3:40 pm in RNS 204

Nov 21-22

Monday, Nov 21

Physics Seminar

Fantastic Excitons and How to Find Them

3:15 pm; RNS 210

Biology Seminar


Dr. Gregory Pask (candidate for Biology/Neuroscience)

RNS 410, 4:00 PM

Tuesday, Nov 22

No Seminar

Nov 14-18 2016

Monday, Nov 14

Physics Seminar: “Feel” your brain: Exploring stiffness of brain cancer with medical imaging.”  – 3:15 pm – RNS 210

Psychology | 6:30 p.m. | Tomson 212


Tuesday, Nov 15

No Seminar

Wednesday, Nov 16

Biology Seminar: Bat echolocation vs. moth hearing: evolution of tactics and countertactics.

RNS 410, 4 PM

Emanuel C. Mora; Professor of Bioacoustics and Neuroethology

*Dr. Mora is a candidate for the tenure-track position in Biology/Neuroscience

The arrival of echolocating bats in the Paleocene posed such a strong predatory pressure on moths, that it is widely accepted that ultrasonic hearing in these insects was originally in place as a defense mechanism against bat predation. When moths countered to the bat´s echolocation with ears tuned to ultrasonic frequencies and evasive flying maneuvers, some bats responded by moving the frequency of their calls away from the peak sensitivity of moth ears. Certain bats in the Caribbean however, specialized in hunting moths by using distinctive echolocation strategies that allow them to overcome moth hearing in the mid-frequency range, where moths hear best. Molossus molossus alternate call frequency to fool tone-deaf moth hearing. By performing as if flying away for the moth’s ear, this bat masks its acoustic tracking behavior. Multiharmonic call design used by mormoopids is another strategy that allowed these other species to detect and classify insects while minimizing their acoustic conspicuousness. But the evolution of moth hearing also allowed the prey to counteract against the high frequencies used by bats. Combining laser-Doppler vibrometry, distortion-product otoacoustic emissions and electrophysiology techniques, we have discovered that the moth´s ear undergoes a mechanism of dynamic tuning, therefore able to match its frequency of best audition with that of the echolocation of sympatric bats. The bat-moth story is a “magic well” that continues to provide scientists with refreshing insights. Within the ongoing bat-moth acoustic arms race, echolocation diversified into sophisticated strategies, but in response to echolocation, the moth ears already counteracted.

Thursday, Nov 17

Psychology | 5:30 p.m. | Buntrock Commons 142

Friday, Nov 18

SeminarCatalan and Peri-Catalan numbers: Counting the eects of nonassociativity
Stefanie G. Wang, University of Iowa
RNS 204  at 3:40 pm, Friday, Nov 18

Abstract: Catalan numbers have many interpretations in mathematics. To
name a few, the n-th Catalan number counts the dierent number of ways
to triangulate a convex (n+1)-gon, the number of rooted binary trees with
n leaves, and the number of ways to bracket a nonassociative product of n
A quasigroup has a nonassociative multiplication that is cancelative, so it
comes with right and left divisions. We will introduce peri-Catalan numbers
that count the reduced quasigroup words in a single argument appearing n

Bio: I am a fifth-year Ph.D candidate in Mathematics at Iowa State University. I expect to complete my degree in May 2017. I am working with Dr. Jonathan Smith. My work is in nonassociative algebras; my dissertation research consists of two main projects. The first involves finding a good isomorphism invariant for linear quasigroups. This research involves representation theory of quasigroups and category theory. My second project has a combinatorial flavor – I am examining the number of inequivalent length n quasigroup words in a single generator that involve all three quasigroup operations, the so-called n-th super-Catalan number.

My “for funsies” math interests lie in classical geometry. If you haven’t studied The Elements, The Conics, The Almagest, or Principia, you’re missing out.

Nov 7-Nov 11 2016

Monday, Nov 7

 Spatial Data. What is it and what can we do with it?
Lindsay Shand, University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign.
3:30 pm in RNS 210 (Note: change in location)

In this talk, I will give an overview of spatial analysis and its application to environmental and disease data. I will introduce some common questions researchers want to address with such data and present some more complex spatial problems that I deal with in my research.  Cookies and conversation.

Tuesday, Nov 8

No Seminar

Wednesday, Nov 9

St. Olaf & Carleton Joint Physics Poster Session
3:30 pm Fourth Floor Atrium at St. Olaf College

Thursday, Nov 10

Chemistry Seminar:“Proteomics: An approach to study complex Biological systems”
Pawel Ciborowski, Ph.D., 
3:15 pm, RNS 150

Math Club: 7:30 PM 6th floor lounge RMS

Math Club is showing the film The Man Who Knew Infinity on Thursday, November 10th at 7:30 pm in the 6th-floor lounge of RMS. The movie is a biographical drama about Srinivasa Ramanujan, a real-life mathematician who after growing up poor in Madras, India, gained admittance to Cambridge University during WWI and ultimately made major contributions to the mathematical field. One of the movie’s producers, Ken Ono, will be speaking at Math Across the Cannon this spring, so this is a great opportunity to see the movie before hearing Ken speak. There will also be popcorn and s’mores to roast, and assorted beverages!

Friday, Nov 11

RIVET: Software for Topological Data Analysis
Matthew Wright
3:40 pm in RNS 204

Persistent homology is a recently-developed tool for using topology to analyze the structure of complex data. At a basic level, persistent homology is sensitive to outliers in the data. However, a variant called multidimensional persistent homology is robust in the presence of outliers, but is much more difficult to compute and visualize. In this talk, I will describe current work with Michael Lesnick (Princeton University) to efficiently compute and visualize multidimensional persistent homology. This work has produced in the Rank Invariant Visualization and Exploration Tool (RIVET) and offers many directions for research projects.  Cookies and Conversation

Biology Seminar : This week TBD – stay tuned to your email. We will update you when we can.