Department of Mathematics and Statistics

Mount Holyoke College

Department Seminar Fall 2012

Date Speaker and title
Sept 24 (no meeting)
Oct 1 4:15: Adriano Marzullo: The periodicity of the minimal number of generators of a monomial prime ideal.
- (Mid-semester break, Oct 6--9)
Oct 15 Harriet Pollatsek: The Bruck-Ryser-Chowla theorem: Number theory meets design theory
Oct 22 Eva Curry (Arcadia University, Nova Scotia, Canada; visiting U. Conn): A Survey of Multidimensional Radix Representations (abstract below)
Oct 29 -
- (Advising week Oct 29--Nov 2)
Nov 5 Special lecture: James P. Keener (Utah): The mathematics of life. (7pm, Kendade 305)
Nov 12 Jeremy Pecharich (TBA)
Nov 19 -
- (Thanksgiving break Nov 21--25)
Nov 26 -
Dec 3 -
Dec 10 -
- (Last day of classes Dec 11)
- (Reading period Dec 12--14)
- (Exams Dec 14--18)
Dec 17 -


10/15 (Harriet Pollatsek): I'm interested in special finite geometries called {\em symmetric designs} because a group contains a difference set if and only if there exists a companion symmetric design. Research on difference sets is mainly on the existence question: given a group, does it contain a difference set? So the existence question for symmetric designs looms large. The Bruck-Ryser-Chowla Theorem says that if a symmetric design with certain parameters exists, then a corresponding diophantine equation has a nontrivial solution. The proof is a nice tour of some number theory along with some matrix algebra (including a version of Witt's theorem). I'll define all these things, give some examples, and outline the proof of the Bruck-Ryser-Chowla Theorem.

10/22 (Eva Curry): Radix representations of numbers, such as base 10 or base 2 representations, can be generalized to higher dimensions, as well as to arbitrary lattices. Studying these representations leads to interesting questions at the intersection of ergodic number theory, fractal topology, wavelet theory, and analysis on fractals.


We meet in Room 422, Clapp Laboratory

The Monday meetings are 12:20--1:10 unless otherwise stated.

Other possible times are: Monday after 4:05; Tuesday after 2:30 (though Math 140-2 goes to 3:55, also the number theory seminar meets 4:00 at Amherst); Wednesday after 2:30 (depending on department/faculty meetings); Thursday after 4:05 (depending on Umass colloquia).

(Website maintained by Alan Durfee)