Events for Fall 2011:





Sept. 14

Department faculty


Come meet department faculty, newcomers and veterans, and learn about their interests in and out of the classroom. Find out about department activities for the year. Pizza and beverages served at noon in 416 Clapp.  Presentations 12:20-1:05 pm.


Sept. 21

MHC Students

Summer Opportunities: What? Where? How?

Students will briefly describe their summer experiences (including REUs), how they found out about them, and what math or stat preparation they required. Pizza and beverages served at noon in 416 Clapp. Panel 12:20 - 1:05 p.m. in 402 Clapp

SATURDAY Sept 24, 9:30 am - 5pm Carolyn Gordon, Dartmouth College; Liz McMahon (MHC75), Lafayette College Women in Mathematics In New England conference Plenary talks, short talks by students, lunch, panel on being a graduate student. See http://maven.smith.edu/~jhenle/wimin11/. Register online there by September 16.

Sept. 28

Department faculty

So, you want to go to grad school?

Math and stat majors have many options for graduate study: mathematics (pure and applied), statistics, allied fields that use mathematics and statistics, professional master’s degrees of various kinds.  How should you prepare yourself with coursework?  With outside the classroom experiences?  What is required for an application?  Department faculty will discuss the answers to these questions 12:20-1:05 p.m. in 416 Clapp (or in 402 if we need more room).   Pizza and beverages will be served at noon in 416 Clapp.

Oct. 5

Steven J. Miller, Williams/MHC

Cookie Monster Meets the Fibonacci Numbers: Mmmm theorems!

 A beautiful theorem of Zeckendorf states that every positive integer can be written uniquely as a sum of non-consecutive Fibonacci numbers. Once this has been shown, it's natural to ask how many Fibonacci numbers are needed. Lekkerkerker proved that the average number of such summands needed for integers in [F_n, F_{n+1}) is n / (phi^2 + 1), where phi is the golden mean. We present a combinatorial proof of this through the cookie problem and differentiating identities, and further prove that the fluctuations about the mean are normally distributed and the distribution of gaps between summands is exponentially decreasing. These techniques apply to numerous generalizations, which we'll discuss as time permits. This is joint work with several students from Williams' SMALL summer REU program. The only background required is elementary probability and combinatorics (i.e., counting).

Talk 12:20 - 1:05 p.m. in 402 Clapp.

Pizza and beverages will be served at noon in 416 Clapp.

Oct. 5 4:30-7:30 at UMass 1634 LGRT Actuarial fair Reps from many companies Representatives from Liberty Mutual, Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Hanover Insurance, Mass Mutual, and Sun Life Financial will be on hand to talk to students and answer their questions. In addition there will be a short talk by a former UMass student, Tom Kalmbach of Liberty Mutual, explaining the basic facts about an actuarial career. Food will be provided.

Oct. 12

Mary Fleischli'93 and Ariel Qiang '09, Travelers Insurance

Actuaries and Statisticians: in the top 4 of the 2011 WSJ list of Best Jobs

Actuaries & Statisticians are in the top 4 of the Wall Street Journal’s 2011 Best Jobs – you want to learn more about these careers! There is a very strong demand for people with strong analytical skills in the Insurance Industry. Mary Fleischli (‘1993) and Ariel (Yingting) Qiang (‘2009) will talk about the roles of these professions and various aspects of the insurance industry. They write, "We will also discuss the career opportunities at Travelers Insurance for Mathematics, Economics and Statistics majors. We use mathematics, economics and statistics to solve business problems. We are always learning new skills and solving new problems. We’ll give you advice on how to prepare for this exciting journey, for internships and full time employment."

Pizza and beverages served at noon in 416 Clapp. Talk 12:20-1:05 pm. in 402 Clapp.

Oct 14, FRI 4:00 pm in 305 Kendade, reception following the talk Mark Peterson, MHC What was Galileo trying to do? The Senechal Lecture. Mathematics changed dramatically over Galileo's lifetime, but without the discovery of any particularly new mathematics. After Galileo, mathematics was suddenly able to model the world in ways that had not even been considered before. This lecture aims to discover what Galileo's (considerable) part was in this development, an aspect of his thought that has been more or less hidden under the more familiar parts of his story like the Copernican controversy.

Oct. 19

AnnaV Ellsworth '12 and Regina Ciszewski '12

Optimal Packings of Three Equal Circles on Flat Tori; Modeling Proton Conduction through (311) O-terminated BaZr{0.875}Y{0.125}O{3}

AnnaV and Regina will describe their summer research projects. Pizza and beverages served at noon in 416 Clapp. Talks 12:20-1:05 in 402 Clapp.

Oct. 26

Department faculty

Information on 300-level courses spring 2011

Come learn about 300-level courses in mathematics and statistics for spring 2011, including both MHC courses and offerings in the Valley.

Pizza and beverages served at noon in 416 Clapp. Presentations 12:20-1:05 pm. in 402 Clapp.

Nov. 2

Xinyang Tian '13 and Luong Nguyen '12

"Cost Effectiveness Analysis of Two Treatment Regimens of Latent TB" and "Modeling of Tuberculosis Epidemics"

This work was done under the direction of Dylan Shepardson at the Centers for Disease Control during the summer of 2011.

Pizza and beverages served at noon in 416 Clapp. Talks 12:20-1:05 in 402 Clapp.

Nov. 9

Dana Botesteanu '12

How does the effort a mother bird expends on her offspring depend on the attractiveness of her mate?

The Differential Allocation Hypothesis (DAH) proposes that selection would favor individuals in a population that invest more resources in their current reproductive attempt when paired with a high-quality mate, at the expense of future reproductive attempts. Additionally, it is argued that differential allocation should take place to a greater extent in polygamous species than in those that are strictly monogamous. A two-fold approach was used to investigate the circumstances in which DAH would occur. This talk will focus on the first. A mathematical model was developed to illustrate the relationship between male attractiveness and female fitness, while taking into account viability and sexual selection, and also allowing varying levels of extra-pair paternity (EPP). The model provides a theoretical framework for determining whether DAH depends on EPP, assuming that male attractiveness only signals indirect fitness benefits. (The second part of the study checked the predictions of the model against empirical evidence.)

Pizza and beverages served at noon in 416 Clapp. Talk 12:20-1:05 pm in 402 Clapp.

Nov. 16

Dylan Shepardson, CDC and MHC

Mathematical Methods for Fighting Tuberculosis

People charged with protecting public health are increasingly turning to mathematical, statistical, and economic models to understand the dynamics of disease in human populations, and to develop strategies to prevent disease. Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease that is a major threat to public health in most of the world (there were 9 million new cases and over a million deaths from TB in 2010). For the past year I have been on leave from the Mathematics and Statistics Department at Mount Holyoke doing research on TB at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the other CDC) in Atlanta. I will talk about some of the ways CDC scientists are using mathematical methods, and specifically about some projects that are underway to develop mathematical models to help policy makers, public health programs, and clinicians in the fight against TB.

.Pizza and beverages served at noon in 416 Clapp. Talk 12:20-1:05 pm

Nov 17, 4:15pm - 5:15pm Dylan Shepardson No formal presentation. Come to 416 Clapp for tea and refreshments and a chance to talk with Dylan.
Nov. 30 Char Morrow and students from Math 120 Origami and Mathematics Brief presentations on mathematics and origami by Emmy Bouvier '13, Chuling Jiang '15, Paola Lopez '14 and Emily Ortiz '14, followed by a folding workshop. Pizza and beverages served at noon in 416 Clapp. Talks and workshop 12:20-1:05 in 402 Clapp.

Dec. 7

End of Term Party

Celebrate the last week of classes

Pizza and beverages plus other goodies served at noon in 416 Clapp. Party 12:20 - 1:05 in 416 Clapp.