Weekly Colloquium

The Department hosts a weekly colloquium on Fridays at 2pm, usually in Southern Hall, room 303. If you would like to present, please contact Dr. Huiqing Zhu with a title and abstract. Please see our tips on abstracts below. You can also find links to previous years' titles and abstracts below.

DatePresenter, AffiliationTitle, Abstract
10 Mar 2017Dr. Alan Baker, Swarthmore College

Bamboos, cicadas, and number theory

Bamboos may wait for as long as 120 years before flowering and producing seeds. Periodical cicadas emerge only once every 13 years or 17 years. Biologists have long sought evolutionary explanations for the extended life-cycles and synchronized behavior of these species. But it has only been relatively recently that mathematical explanations have been proposed for why the particular numbers selected are significant. In this talk, I examine some of these explanations, explore their number-theoretic basis, and draw some broader philosophical conclusions about the nature of mathematics.

10 Feb 2017Dr. Xu Zhang, Mississippi State University

Immersed finite element methods for interface problems: basic idea, development, analysis, and applications

Multi-scale/multi-physics phenomena often involve domains with different materials, leading to “interface problems” for PDEs: convergence for classical methods can be impaired if the mesh does not align with the interfaces. Immersed finite element (IFE) methods allow the interface's immersion, so they can use Cartesian meshes with non-trivial interface geometry. This talk briefly introduces IFE methods for the second-order elliptic equation, describes the challenges of classical methods, introduces recent advances in designing more accurate and robust schemes, and presents mathematical convergence theories and some numerical experiments. Finally, we demonstrate how IFE methods can apply to more complicated interface model problems.
25 Jan 017Dr. Angela Hodge, Univeresity of Nebraska Omaha

Top 10 ways to recruit and retain strong mathematics and mathematics education majors


Tips on abstracts

Dear speaker: We like to maintain a list of titles, topics, and abstracts, so that we (and you) have a record of who has visited and talked about which topic.

  • The topic should be short, similar to the headlines in the AMS subject classifications.
  • Please aim for no more than 100 words in your abstract. We're not fanatically rigorous about this, but an abstract should summarize the essence of a presentation, not give every detail. It’s a sales pitch, not a business plan. Keeping the abstract at 100 words also is a good preparatory step for a concise and informative talk that communicates the salient points of your work.
  • You may notice that we are MathJax-enabled, so feel free to use \(\mathrm{\LaTeX}\) markup in your abstract when appropriate.

Previous years' seminars

2016 · 2015 · 2014 · 2013 · 2011-2013