Archive for Uncategorized

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.

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 

September 26-30, 2016

Monday, Sept 26

Biology Seminar Nature Walk in the Natural Lands!
Meet outside the Hustad Science Library at 4:00PM. We’ll bring the granola bars, you bring the water for a tour of the Natural Lands!

MSCS Colloquium: Subfractals and subshifts
Liz Sattler, Visiting Assistant Professor at Carleton College
Fractals provide some of the most beautiful and interesting examples in mathematics.  In this talk, we will introduce some of the most popular examples of fractals, including the Cantor set, Sierpinski’s triangle, and the Koch snowflake.  We will carefully discuss the strong connection between fractals and infinite strings on a finite alphabet (symbolic space).  We will take special interest in subfractals, defined by a specific type of subset of the symbolic space.  Finally, we will explore methods to distinguish two fractals and discuss why our usual methods (length, area, volume) will not be helpful.
3:30pm, RNS 310 (3:15pm cookies and conversation)

Tuesday, Sept 27

No Seminars

Wednesday, Sept 28

No Seminars

Thursday, Sept 29

Seminar: Joint Chemistry & Physics Seminar – Materials Chemistry!
Miles Arthur White; Iowa State University
3:15 pm, RNS 150

Seminar: Dual degree program in Engineering info session (St. Olaf / Washington University)
11:30 a.m. Regents 210

  Learn about the 3-2 and 4-2 dual degree programs in engineering, a cooperative program between St. Olaf College and Washington University in St. Louis, MO.  A wide variety of engineering fields are supported.
  Christopher Ramsay, Assistant Dean in the School of Engineering at Wash U will be here to describe the programs and visit with students.

Friday, Sept 30

MSCS Seminar: On differing Numbers of Different Differences
Peter Blanchard, Visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematics, St. Olaf College
Arithmetic progressions have been part of the mathematical landscape almost forever.  We will discuss a small amount of history around arithmetic progressions before using alternative characterizations to show why they are so special.
3:30pm, RNS 204 

September 19-23, 2016

Monday, Sept 19

Seminar: Biology – Trojan Horses? How Parasites Pilot White Blood Cells Into the Brain.
Lisa Drewry – St. Olaf Grad (2012) and Graduate student at Washington University, St. Louis

RNS 410 at 4:00 PM

MSCS Colloquium:The German Tank Problem and Statistical Simulation
Bob Eisinger, Visiting Assistant Professor of Statistics, St Olaf College
During WWII the Allies were interested in determining the production of German       armaments, such as tanks, trucks and rockets. Using clever statistical and mathematical tools, scientists were able to estimate the production of these armaments more accurately than data obtained from industry, interrogation, or spying. We’ll use the German Tank Problem to explore estimation, statistical simulation and the dangers of using serial numbers.
3:30, RNS 310

Tuesday, Sept 20

Seminar: No Seminar

Wednesday, Sept 21

Seminar: No Seminar

Thursday, Sept 22

Seminar: Chemistry – Pharmacotherapy: A Primer
Layne Moore, M.D., M.P.H., Mayo Health Systems Faribault
3:15-4:15, RNS 410

Friday, Sept 23

Biology Club Waffle Social – 3:00-4:30 PM see poster for details.

Physics Colloquium  Speaker Nate Eigenfeld ’11, UC Boulder, Mech Eng.  RNS 210, 3:15-4:15

September 12-16, 2016

Monday, Sept 12

Seminar: Biology Meet and Greet your Professors! 4pm 4th floor NW Atrium


Tuesday, Sept 13

Seminar: Title
Speaker name and title
Time, Room

Wednesday, Sept 14

Seminar: The Annual Physics Faculty Demo!
Come see your favorite physics professors offer some of their favorite demonstrations and hear about our colloquium schedule for the fall!
3:30-4:30 pm, RNS 210

Thursday, Sept 15

Seminar: Chemistry Meet and Greet and liquid nitrogen ice cream social

3:30-4:30PM RNS 4th floor atrium


Friday, Sept 16

Seminar: Title
Speaker name and title
Time, Room

May 9 – 13, 2016

Monday, May 9

MSCS Seminar: Searching and Sorting Algorithms
Vinayak Elangovan, Vistiting Assistant Professor at The College of New Jersey.
Storing and retrieving information is an important and a common application for general purpose-computers. Let us take for example, St. Olaf College administration department stores information of students such as their names, student ID, address, phone number, etc. All of the students’ information is stored in a database which is organized as a collection of records. To access a student’s grade information, the advisor needs to look up particular field of information from among all of data that has been stored. The processes of looking up a particular data record in the database is called Searching. In order to do an efficient search in a database, the records must be maintained in some order. The process of ordering the records in a database is called Sorting. In this talk, we would explore two different search algorithms: Sequential Search which is very easy to implement, but inefficient and Binary Search which is much more efficient. We will also discuss four sorting algorithms which includes Selection sort, Insertion sort, Bubble sort and Merge sort and their implementation in C++ as well.
2:10pm – RMS 410

MSCS Colloquium: Crossing the Threshold: The role of Demographic Stochasticity in the Evolution of Cooperation
Thomas LoFaro, Gustavus Adolphus College
The development of cooperative behavior has long been of interest to social scientists and ecologists.  In this talk we will look at a mathematical model of the evolution of cooperation that combines mathematical ideas from game theory and population dynamics.  In the spirit of interdisciplinary, we will analyze this model using ideas from calculus, linear algebra, and probability theory.  However, the most significant result, determining what increases the probability of the evolution of cooperation, boils down to nothing more than finding the slope of line.
3:30pm talk, 3:15pm cookies and conversation, RNS 301

Psychology Talk: Frontal Lobe Function and Dysfunction: Relevance to Life, Career Choice, and Disease. 
Dr. Bradley Boeve, Neurologist, Mayo Clinic
Psych Club is hosting Dr. Bradley Boeve, a neurologist who currently works at Mayo Clinic. Dr. Boeve specializes in Alzheimer’s disease, other neurodegenerative diseases, and sleep medicine.
7:00 p.m., Buntrock Commons 143

Biology Seminar:

Monday May 9th 4pm RNS 410

Petra Kranzfelder – Department of Entomology, University of Minnesota

From river to sea: Impacts of land use on water quality of estuaries in Costa Rica

How does the tropical produce that we eat in Minnesota, like pineapples and bananas, impact the water quality of estuaries in Costa Rica? To answer this question, I will share part of my Ph.D. research that investigates the impacts of coastal watershed land use on aquatic insect communities of estuaries in Costa Rica. I will teach you about how we use diverse and abundant groups of aquatic insects, like chironomids, as bioindicators of water quality to answer these types of important ecological questions.

Tuesday, May 10

No seminars.

Wednesday, May 11

No seminars.

Thursday, May 12

No seminars.

Friday, May 13

No seminars.

May 2 – 6, 2016

Monday, May 2

MSCS Colloquium: An introduction to Fourier transform based (3D) imaging with examples from industrial applications
Thomas Höft, University of St. Thomas, Assistant Professor
We describe two imaging modalities used in industry for laser-based remote sensing. Coincidentally, the Fourier transform is central to image formation and reconstruction in both methods. Digital Holography is presented in the context of long-range imaging. Both 2D and 3D imaging techniques will be covered, and we describe an optimization problem which arises when compensating for the blur of imaging through a turbulent atmosphere. Fourier Transform Profilometry is presented in the context of a 3D face-imaging system for biometric identification. The technique is described and illustrated with data from real live humans.
3:30pm (3:15 pm cookies and conversation), RNS 310

***Biology Seminar: The Apes of the Mountains of the Moon: Ecology and
Conservation of Chimpanzees in Kibale National Park, Uganda
Kevin B. Potts, PhD
Department of Biology, Augsburg College
Monday, May 2, 4:00 PM in RNS 410

Tuesday, May 3

Psychology: Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist
Dr. Lynda Barger ’83
Dr. Lynda Barger, an Ole grad, is coming to speak about her career in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry! This talk will be AWESOME for anyone considering medical school or graduate school in psychology. She will talk about her education, career background, and current practice, and be able to answer any questions you have regarding psychiatry and related health professions.
6:00 p.m., Buntrock 144

Wednesday, May 4

MSCS Colloquium: A Mathematical Tour of the Orchestra
Daniel Droz from Penn State
A violin, oboe, clarinet, trumpet, horn, xylophone, and bell are all playing the same note (at the same octave). Why do they still sound different from one another? For that matter, why does bowing, plucking, or hammering a tightened string produce a musical note while doing the same things to most household objects just produces random noise?  We will explore the mathematical models of vibration in musical instruments of various types, seeing what unites them and what distinguishes them, and investigating a few of the ways in which mathematical differences correspond to audible differences.
3:15 pm, TOH 186

Thursday, May 5

No Seminars

Friday, May 6

Honors Day Poster Session for the Sciences
4:00 – 5:30 pm; Fourth Floor Atrium

Appetizers served