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School of Mathematics and Natural Sciences

Mathematics 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.%20Huiqing%20Zhu with a title and abstract. Please see our tips on abstracts below.

Date Presenter, Affiliation Title, Abstract
9 Oct 2020 Dr. Arun Jambulapati, Stanford University

Ball Constrained Newton’s Method for Convex Optimization

Theoretical convex optimization has seen tremendous progress in recent years with the development of new algorithms tailored for settings extending the Lipschitz gradient setting of Nesterov's acceleration. In this talk we give a new algorithm, called Ball Constrained Newton, which minimizes convex functions f(x) given access to a 'ball oracle' which minimizes f(x) inside a Euclidean-norm ball of some small radius around an arbitrary center. With this tool, we show how this ball oracle can be efficiently implemented for functions satisfying a certain third-derivative condition and consequently recover state-of-the-art running times for softmax and p-norm regression. We conclude by showing optimality of our algorithm in the ball-constrained setting via standard lower bound instances in convex optimization.

25 Oct 2019 Dr. Zachary Grant, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Strong Stability Preserving Multistage Two-Derivative Time-Stepping Schemes

High order strong stability preserving (SSP) time discretizations are advantageous for use with spatial discretizations with nonlinear stability properties for the solution of hyperbolic PDEs. The search for high order strong stability time-stepping methods with large allowable strong stability time-step has been an active area of research over the last two decades. In this talk we will review the theory of Strong Stability Preserving time discretizations and find some optimal SSP multistage two-derivative methods. While explicit SSP Runge–Kutta methods exist only up to fourth order, we show that this order barrier is broken for explicit multi-stage two-derivative methods. Numerical experiments will also be presented.

18 Oct 2019 Dr. Janet Barnett, Colorado State University Pueblo

Gaston Darboux: Monster-maker par excellence

The drama of the rise of rigor in nineteenth century mathematical analysis has now been widely rehearsed. Notable within this saga is the appearance of functions with features so unexpected (e.g., everywhere continuous but nowhere differentiable) that contemporary critics described them as “bizarre”, “ridiculous,” “pathological,” or even “monsters.” Among those who played the part of a “monster-maker,” one of the most talented and influential actors was French mathematician Gaston Darboux (1842–1917).

In this talk, we consider Darboux’s mathematical and “backstage” contributions to the development of nineteenth century analysis. We examine in particular excerpts from letters exchanged by Gaston Darboux and Jules Houël (1823–1886) in which they debated issues related to rigor in analysis, as well as his 1875 Mémoire sur les fonctions discontinues, in which he proved the result now known as “Darboux’s Theorem” (i.e., all derivatives have the intermediate value property). After meeting some of Darboux’s own favorite pet monsters, we examine the role that functions such as these played in setting the scene for the re-shaping of analysis during the latter part of nineteenth century.

11 Oct 2019 Dr. Ken Li, Southeastern Louisiana University Chaos, Probability Distributions, Orthogonal Polynomials

Orthogonal polynomials are very important in many applications. They are used to approximate functions and in evaluating integrals. Numerical methods based on interpolation of unknown function are used to solve differential equations and integral equations. Our interest in this talk is mainly the relation between chaotic behavior of dynamic system, probability distribution and orthogonal polynomials. We will also take a look at random number generations based on difference equations.
27 Sep 2019 Dr. C. S. Chen, USM Computer Graphics via PDEs

During the past two decades, radial basis functions have emerged as a popular meshless method which is analogy to the wireless in communicational technology or paperless in the digital communication. With the new meshless technology, no tedious mesh generation is required for the reconstruction of the 3D image and enormous saving for human labor in data preparation and computational time can be achieved. In this talk, we propose a PDE model for the reconstruction of 3D surface and then apply the state-of-the-art computational method using radial basis functions to solve the given PDE model. We also demonstrate that the Image with missing data can be repaired using radial basis functions.
13 Sep 2019 Dr. James Lambers, USM

Krylov Subspace Spectral Methods for Problems in Acoustics

This talk provides an overview of my work as a Summer Faculty Research Fellow with the Acoustics Branch of the U. S. Naval Research Laboratory at NASA Stennis Space Center. This work includes (1) the use of techniques for approximating bilinear and quadratic forms involving matrix functions to measure the sensitivity of solutions of PDEs, (2) the application of Krylov Subspace Spectral (KSS) Methods to the parabolic equation for acoustic pressure in oceans, and (3) KSS methods for wave propagation problems featuring periodic media and shock waves.

6 Sep 2019

Dr. John Perry, USM

Dynamic Gröbner basis computation (Part 2)

Continuation of the previous week's material.

30 Aug 2019

Dr. John Perry, USM

Dynamic Gröbner basis computation (Part 1)

Applications of Gröbner bases occur wherever multivariate polynomials appear, but first we must compute them! This difficult task lies at the intersection of mathematics and computer science.

We first present an "intuitive" grasp of attractive Gröbner basis properties and their traditional computation, via analogy with linear algebra. An example from cryptanalysis motivates the study.

While traditional algorithms never re-order polynomials, "dynamic" algorithms typically do. First described by Sturmfels and Caboara, this once-forgotten approach has recently enjoyed a revival, described in the second presentation, which concludes by demonstrating the computation of Gröbner bases more useful than those typically obtained.

16 Nov 2018

Dr. Bo LiUSM 

3D Shape Retrieval Meets Deep Learning

This talk provides an introduction of 3D shape retrieval, as well as some latest research work in applying deep learning, especially Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs), in 3D shape retrieval. 3D models (typically triangular meshes) consist of 3D data to represent 3D objects. They are widely used in a lot of fields such as industrial product design and 3D entertainment. However, it is still challenging to develop effective and efficient 3D shape retrieval algorithms for related applications. I will introduce some of our 3D shape retrieval techniques as well as several current research directions in 3D scene retrieval in our group.

2 Nov 2018 Dr. Lina PuUSM Sustainable Wireless Communications and Networking for Internet of Things

Internet of Things (IoT)-based devices are now ubiquitous (e.g., smartphone, wearable devices, etc) in terrestrial, and will expand to the underwater world. Sustainable power supply and spectrum utilization are challenging issues for IoT. In this talk, Dr. Pu will report her explorations of sustainable wireless communications and networking in terrestrial and underwater environments. First, she will discuss how to manage the energy harvested from ambient RF environment for efficient information transmission. Afterwards, she will introduce recent work on the optimal energy request from dedicated energy sources for efficient energy utilization. Dr. Pu will also briefly introduce the resource allocation in underwater cognitive acoustic networks.  
26 Oct 2018 Dr. Yong Yang, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Two continuous finite element methods on solving FSI problems

Fluid-structure interaction (FSI) problems appear almost everywhere in engineering, sciences, and medicine. It involves the coupling of the solution of momentum equations of both the fluid and the solid. To solve FSI problems, two continuous finite element methods will be presented: One is a kind of immersed boundary method (IBM) and the other is called the shifted boundary method (SBM). Compared to other similar methods in the literature, the key feature is the use of delta function to enforce the constraints over the global domain through Nitsche's technique in IBM and the use of projection scheme in SBM. After discussing the theory and properties of those two methods, some numerical results using the open source package Proteus developed by our group will be shown.

20 Apr 2018 Noah Rhee, University of Missouri-Kansas City

How to compute spectral projectors numerically

For a given square matrix \(A\), there are spectral projectors associated with the eigenvalues of \(A\). The spectral projectors have some important applications. Among them one application is that they can be used to compute \(f(A)\), if the function fulfills certain smoothness conditions at the eigenvalues of \(A\). In this talk, we discuss how to compute the spectral projectors of \(A\) numerically.

6 Apr 2018 (3pm) Vivian Moody

On teaching the Chain Rule

(no abstract)

6 Apr 2018 (2pm) Suzanne Shontz, University of Kansas

Mesh Warping Algorithms for Use in Dynamic Finite Element Simulations

Dynamic meshes are used to capture deforming geometry in computational simulations involving motion. Mesh warping algorithms employ interpolation and/or extrapolation to transfer the mesh from the source geometry to the target geometry. Using mesh warping for generating dynamic meshes is advantageous with respect to both accuracy and efficiency. In this talk, I will present our parallel log barrier-based tetrahedral mesh warping algorithm. I will also present our high-order curvilinear tetrahedral mesh generation algorithm which deforms the linear tetrahedral mesh into a high-order mesh. This talk represents joint work with Thap Panitanarak, Chulalongkorn University, and Mike Stees, University of Kansas

23 Mar 2018 Haiyan Tian, USM

The method of time integration and approximate fundamental solutions for nonlinear Poisson-type problems

Through a fictitious time approach, a nonlinear Poisson-type problem is converted into a time-dependent quasilinear problem. This is further approximated by a sequence of time-dependent linear nonhomogeneous modified Helmholtz boundary value problems, which are solved by the method of particular solutions of Delta-shaped basis functions and approximate fundamental solutions. Numerical results are provided to show the accuracy and validity of the computational method.

9 Mar 2018 Shanda Hood, University of Arkansas

On teaching the Chain Rule

(No abstract)

23 Feb 2018 Douglas Leonard, Auburn University

Under-appreciated uses of the extended euclidean algorithm

The extended euclidean algorithm famously gives us \(\gcd(a, b) = am + bn\). This suffices to produce inverses in finite fields, but the intermediate computations have many uses:

  • They solve the key equation \(c/d = s\) to find error positions and magnitudes for Reed-Solomon codes.
  • I can reconstruct fractions \(c/d\) by working modulo one large prime or several small primes. This allows me to lift algorithms I wrote for finite fields to ones that work in characteristic 0 as well.
  • Generalizations to several inputs allow the production of unimodular matrices describing unimodular transformations, that I use for desingularization of surfaces.

I’ll give at least one simple example for each topic.

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.