Archive for Uncategorized

April 24th – 28th 2017

Monday, April 24th

MSCS Colloquium: Bayesian Models for Analysis of Airborne Chemical Exposures During the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Response and Clean-up Efforts
Carrie Groth ’12, St. Olaf Graduate, Ph.D. Candidate,
University of Minnesota Division of Biostatistics
3:30 pm, RNS 310, Everyone Welcome

Tuesday, April 25th

No Seminar

Wednesday, April 26th

Physics Colloquium
Graduate School Panel
7:00 pm RNS 297

Thursday, April 27th

Math-Biology (Pre-Health) Seminar

Evolutionary Dynamics of Cancer
Jasmine Foo – University of Minnesota
7:00 pm, RNS 410

Friday, April 28th

Olaf W. Millert and Juta R. Millert Memorial Speaker Series in Psychology Talk
Ambivalent Stereotyping and its association with status inequality and conflict
Dr. Susan Fiske, Princeton University
3:30 pm, TOH 280

MSCS Research Seminar: The origins of differential geometry and some modern applications
Joe Benson, St. Olaf Visiting Professor of Mathematics
3:40 pm, RNS 204

Chemistry Seminar: Distinctions
Hannah Brown
3:15 pm RNS 310

April 10-14th

Monday, April 10

MSCS Colloquium – Writing Numbers as the Sum of Factorials
Suzanne Doree, Professor of Mathematics Augsburg College

In standard decimal notation, we write each integer as the linear combination of powers of 10.  In binary, we use powers of 2.  What if we used factorials instead of exponentials?  How can we express each integer as the sum of factorials in a minimal way? This talk will explore the factorial representation of integers, including historical connections to permutations, a fast algorithm for conversion, and the secret of the “third proof by mathematical induction.”  Next we’ll extend this representation to rational and then real numbers, ending with some remaining open questions.

3:30 pm, RNS 310

Chemistry Seminar: The evolution of the hexadehydro-Diels-Alder (HDDA) reaction
Thomas Hoye, Ph.D., University of Minnesota
7:00 pm, RNS 150

Biology Distinction Poster Session

4th floor atrium, 4:00PM

Tuesday, April 11

No Seminar

Wednesday, April 12

MSCS Colloquium – A Universal Taylor Series

You perhaps learned in Calc II that the Taylor polynomials of a function can do a very good job of approximating the original function. For example, the Taylor polynomials of y = sin x are quite well-behaved.

In this talk, we will discuss the existence of a function whose Taylor polynomials behave in the worst possible way – its Taylor polynomials can approximate any continuous function whose graph passes through the origin! In other words, the Taylor series of such a function is as divergent as imaginable; its partial sums “travel everywhere.” Such a badly behaved Taylor series is called a universal Taylor series.
Time permitting, we will also discuss a function whose successive derivatives behave just as wildly, some new research on what such a function can look like, and how you can get involved in this research.

Math Candidate
3:30 pm, RNS 310 – Everyone Welcome!

Thursday, April 13

No Seminar

Friday, April 14

No Seminar

April 3-7 2017

Monday, April 3rd

Bio/Chem Seminar: Toxicology in the Industrial Setting in the 21st Century
Robert Roy, Ph.D.| Lead Toxicology Specialist
Diplomate, American Board of Toxicology
3M Medical Department

RNS 150 7:00 PM

This presentation will focus on various aspects of industrial/occupational toxicology including:  an introduction to some of the basic, although very important, principles of toxicology, various pathways to a career in toxicology (including those in the industrial, governmental and academic fields), an general overview of what toxicologists do/are involved with and where they work, and will finish with a discussion of some currently “very active” areas of toxicology.  There will also be time for questions and discussion.

MSCS Colloquium: Recent Computer Science Team Undergraduate Research
Come to hear about recent team projects in the Capstone Seminar (CS 390) and in Parallel and Distributed Computing (PDC) completed Fall ’16 & Interim ’17
Refreshments @ 3:15 pm – Talk @ 3:30 pm – Everyone Welcome

Tuesday, April 4th

No Seminar

Wednesday, April 5th

Physics Colloquium: The Two-Higgs-Doublet Model
Speaker: Patrick Kneschke, Ph.D. Student from University of Dresden
2:00 pm, RNS 210

Thursday, April 6th

No Seminar

Friday, April 7th

Increasing Diversity and Excellence Across STEM
IDEAS Distinguished Speaker Series – in collaboration with Carleton College
Francis Su, Benediktsson-Karwa Professor of Mathematics, Harvey Mudd College

Francis Su has a passion for teaching and popularizing mathematics – hear him speak about reaching beyond traditional (and often unintentional) borders of participation in STEM.

Talk: 11:00 – 11:45 am
Lunch to Follow – please sign up at
St. Olaf Regents Hall of Science 4th Floor Atrium

March 13th – 17th 2017

Monday, March 13

Physics Colloquium:  Assembling new coral-based tools for reconstructing ancient environmental change  Speaker: Anne Gothmann Ph.D., Postdoctoral Associate in Oceanography at the University of Washington
3:10 pm in RNS 210

Biology Seminar: Interims in Costa Rica and Colorado

RNS 410   4:00 PM

MSCS Colloquium: “Oh the places you’ll go! How curiosity, engagement and experimentation can lead you on a deep mathematical journey”
RNS 310   3:30 pm   Everyone Welcome!

Tuesday, March 14

No Seminars

Wednesday, March 15

Physics Colloquium:  The frontiers of air pollution research using observations from space Speaker: Peter Zoogman Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Atomic and Molecular Physics Division.
3:10 pm in RNS 210

Thursday, March 16

No Seminars

Friday, March 17

No Seminars

Feb 27th- March 3rd 2017

Feb 27th – March 3rd , 2017


Monday, Feb. 27th

Biology Seminar: Learn more about two of our Interim courses – Peru and Morocco! RNS 410 4:00 PM 

Tuesday, Feb. 28th

No Seminar

Wednesday, March 1st

No Seminar

Thursday, March 2nd

Math Across the Cannon Speaker Series
Ken Ono, Mathematics Professor, Emory University
Can’t you Just Feel the Moonshine?
3:30 pm, Carleton College, Olin Hall 141

Friday, March 3rd

Gems of Ramanujan and Their Lasting Impact on Mathematics
Public Lecture, 7 pm, St. Olaf Viking Theater
Friday, March 3rd

Chemistry Seminar: Chemical and Biomedical Applications of Oxidants and Antioxidants
Brooks Hybertson, MBA, Ph.D. Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine
3:15 pm, RNS 310

Feb 20-26 2017

Monday, Feb. 20th

Seminar: Bio/ES Joint Seminar: If you plant it will it grow?

RNS 410, 4:00 PM

MSCS Colloquium Talk
“Network science: understanding the interconnected world around us”
Mathematics Candidate
3:30 pm, RNS 310

Tuesday, Feb. 21st

MSCS Research Talk
“A complex networks approach to data science: modeling, representation and analysis of interconnected large-scale data structures”
Mathematics Candidate
2:00 pm, RNS 204

Wednesday, Feb. 22nd

MSCS Colloquium Talk
Dynamic Programming: So You Wanna be a Rock and Roll Star?
Computer Science Candidate
3:30 pm, RNS 310

Thursday, Feb. 23rd

MSCS Research Talk
Computation and Simulation in DNA Algorithmic Self-assembly
Computer Science Candidate
3:00 pm, RNS 203

Friday, Feb. 24th

Chemistry Seminar: Physical Chemistry
Rodrigo Sanchez-Gonzalez, Assistant Professor of Chemistry
At Carleton College


Special BMols Seminar: RNS 410, 7:00 PM

Kjersti Aagaard, M.D., Ph.D

Associate Professor in Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Baylor College of Medicine (Houston, TX)

Feb 6-10 2017

Monday, Feb. 6th

Biology Seminar: Biology Summer Research Opportunities

4:00 PM RNS 410 – snacks provided

Tuesday, Feb. 7th

No Seminar

Wednesday, Feb. 8th

Physics Colloquium
Nanoscience Research at the University of Minnesota
James Marti, Ph.D., Senior Scientist and Outreach Coordinator, Minnesota Nano Center, University of Minnesota
2:00 pm, RNS 210

MSCS Colloquium: Modeling and Simulation of Biochemical Systems
Computer Science Candidate Brian Drawert, Post-doctoral Researcher
Department of Computer Science, University of California Santa Barbara
3:30 pm, RNS 310, Everyone Welcome

Thursday, Feb. 9th

MSCS Research Talk: Modeling the Yeast Mating Projection Polarization and Growth using Stochastic 3D Moving Boundary Simulations
Computer Science Candidate Brian Drawert, Post-doctoral Researcher
Department of Computer Science, University of California Santa Barbara
3:00 pm, RNS 203, Everyone Welcome

Friday, Feb. 10th

Chemistry Seminar: Food Science
Tonya Schoenfuss, Associate Professor, Dairy Products Technology, University of Minnesota
3:15, RNS 310

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.