FALL 1997 FORTY-SEVENTH SERIES

WEDNESDAYS
         
Lecture at 4:00 PM in Darwin 108, Coffee in Darwin 108 Foyer at 3:40 PM 

M*A*T*H COLLOQUIUM




February 11

ARCHIMEDES:  WHAT DID HE DO BESIDES CRY ŒEUREKA?¹

 

Sherman Stein, Emeritus Professor of Mathematics, University of California, Davis, will discuss some of Archimedes¹ exploits, specifically his treatment of the lever and his analysis of the equilibrium of floating bodies. If we tilt an object that is partially submerged, will it fall over or will it come back to its initial position? Archimedes looked into this question for a special class of objects and, in so doing, became the first naval architect.


February 18 HISTORY OF THE CENTRAL LIMIT THEOREM

Amy Rocha, Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science, San Jose State University, will trace the discovery of one of the most important and astonishing theorems in statistics, beginning with the problem of inference that originally motivated Bernoulli, through De Moivre¹s discovery of the normal curve, and culminating in Laplace¹s unfolding of the theorem in its full generality.



February 25 WAVELETS AND APPLICATIONS

Shidong Li, Professor of Mathematics, San Francisco State University, will present the fundamentals of wavelet theory and algorithms. Applications in acoustic and seismic signal processing, signal/image compression, and data transmission will be discussed.



March 4 PITFALLS OF CURVE FITTING

Erik Burd, Lead Windows Tester, Wolfram Research, Inc., and SSU Math alum Œ94, will present common problems encountered in curve fitting based on his experience in the scientific software industry. Some sample problems from actual customers will be discussed.



MARCH 11 THE ANALYTIC FOUNDATIONS OF EUCLIDEAN GEOMETRY

Steve Wilson, Professor of Mathematics, SSU, will examine the question: Does a Cartesian plane really satisfy the axioms of Euclidean Geometry?



MARCH 18 RANDOM PARTITIONS WITH APPLICATIONS TO POPULATION GENETICS

Jim Young, Professor of Mathematics, SSU, will present a way to construct a family of random partitions that may serve as sampling distributions for population genetics models that incorporate selective forces, providing an alternative to the often controversial hypothesis of selective neutrality in population genetics theory.



MARCH 25 COMPUTING WITH HARMONIC FUNCTIONS

Sheldon Axler, Professor and Chair of Mathematics, San Francisco State University, will describe the mathematics behind algorithms for computing solutions to many problems involving harmonic functions. One such problem: Given a polynomial in n variables, find the harmonic function on Euclidean n-space that agrees with the given polynomial on the unit sphere.



April 1 A MATHEMATICAL MODEL OF YEAST

Nereo Loresto, Graduating Senior, Mathematics, SSU, will present a mathematical model of yeast in a closed system using a combination of three ordinary differential equations. He will qualitatively capture the characteristics of the rate of change in the quantities of sugar, alcohol, and yeast.



April 8 IS MATH ALL FUN AND GAMES?

Julie Glass, Professor of Mathematics, California State University, Hayward, will discuss examples of elementary games and related mathematics. The topics will be taken from presentations in a Senior Seminar course in Spring, 1997.



April 15 SPRING BREAK April 15

RELATING GEOMETRY AND ALGEBRA IN NEW WAYS MATH FESTIVAL

Peter Hilton, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Mathematics, State University of New York, Binghamton, and Distinguished Professor of Mathematics, University of Central Florida, and Jean Pedersen, Professor of Mathematics, Santa Clara University, will show how the geometry of the equilateral Pascal triangle suggests algebraic relations between binomial coefficients. They extend both the geometry and algebra into three dimensions.



April 29 CLASSIFYING 3-DIMENSIONAL SPACES

Abigail Thompson, Professor of Mathematics, University of California, Davis, will discuss recent progress on understanding 3-dimensional spaces starting with the idea of gluing together a collection of tetrahedra along their edges.



May 6 TOTALLY POSITIVE MATRICES

Jane Day, Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science, San Jose State University, will discuss some tests for deciding whether or not a matrix is totally positive. Such matrices arise in many applications



Parking permits ($1.50) are required Monday through Thursday 6am -10pm. No public parking is permitted in reserved spaces at any time.