## Colloquium and Seminar Schedule

Spring 2015This is the schedule of colloquia and seminars inthe Department of Mathematics and Computer Science for the Spring 2015 semester.

## February 2015

"Neural Networks for Handwriting recognition"

Speakers: Aaron Ackbarali H'16 and Matthew McPartlon H'16

Date: Tuesday, February 3, 2014

Time: 4:30 PM

Location: Napier 201

Refreshmentswill be served at 4:15.

Abstract:

Computers are renowned for their speed and precision on problems that would likely take humans millennia to solve. Be this as it may, there still remain certain tasks which are easy for people, yet near impossible for machines. Our goal was to devise a system for recognizing hand written symbols which demonstrated the ability to generalize. The computer\u2019s job is only to deal with features of a given symbol, and produce some meaningful pattern used to generalize this symbol to different forms. We achieved this result through building a computational model of the brain known as an Artificial Neural Network (ANN).

Outline of the talk

- Some of the applications of hand writing recognition
- What we mean by features, and how we selected the best set of features that could be used for this problem.
- The general idea behind a neural network (with an example)
- How we processed and received input taken for training our model
- How our Model Performed

"Tropical Pirates and Algebraic Statistics"

Speaker: Candidate's Talk

Date: Tuesday, February 24

Time: 4:30 PM

Location: Napier 201

Refreshmentswill be served at 4:15.

Abstract:

Over 180 years after Darwin left England in the HMS Beagle, scientists still display the relationships among organisms using tree diagrams. Phylogenetic reconstruction is the process of finding a tree diagram which best reflects the observed data. In the spirit of Darwin's journey to the Galapagos we will tour the mathematical landscape which underlies phylogenetic reconstruction. We will encounter tropical pirates while analyzing distance based methods of tree reconstruction. For a more modern vantage point, we introduce an algebraic statistical model of evolution. We use this model to explore the subtle interplay between pure mathematics, applied mathematics, statistics and biology. During this tour we highlight undergraduate research projects of the past, present and future.

"How to Control a Disease Outbreak using Mathematics"

Speaker: Candidate's Talk

Date: Wednesday, February 25

Time: 4:45 PM

Location: Napier 201

Refreshmentswill be served at 4:30.

Abstract:

Mathematical models for the spread of infectious diseases provide a framework for studying the progression of an epidemic. In addition, they allow various intervention and disease control strategies to be tested before they are implemented. Mathematical modeling now plays a key role in policy making.

## March 2015

"Introduction to Operator Spaces"

Speaker: Candidate's Talk

Date: Thursday, March 5

Time: 4:30 PM

Location: Napier 201

Refreshmentswill be served at 4:15.

Abstract:

Consider the bounded intervals [0,1] and [2,3]. They are the "same" in the sense that there is a continuous one-to-one correspondence between them whose inverse is also continuous. How about [0,1] and [2,3] U [4,5]? In this talk, we will see a proof that [0,1] and [2,3] U [4,5] are not the same, and this proof will illustrate a way to connect two seemingly different areas of mathematics and study a "noncommutative" version of a previously established area of mathematics. Along this line of idea, we introduce operator spaces which can be regarded as a noncommutative version of normed vector spaces and see how some classical results in its commutative counterpart are interpreted and understood in the noncommutative setting. Finally, we will be introduced to a further generalization of operator spaces (called p-operator spaces) and related questions.

## April 2015

"AfterMath: A panel discussion on graduate school and career preparation as a math major"

Speakers: Alyssa Newman WS'15, Jacquelyn Rische, Andrew Gainer-Dewar, and Yan Hao

Date: Wednesday, April 8

Time: 4:15 PM

Location: Napier 201

Refreshmentswill be served at 4:00.

Abstract:

We will hold a panel discussion to help math majors plan their future. We will give a brief review on popular career paths for math majors. We will also discuss when and how to start preparing for graduate school. Panelists: Alyssa Newman (Math careers for women), Jacquelyn Rische and Andrew Gainer-Dewar (graduate school planning), Yan Hao (Actuary and CFA exams, industrial engineering).

## Past Colloquia Series

Fall 2014 Spring 2014 Fall 2013 Spring 2013 Fall 2012 Spring 2012

Fall 2011 Spring 2011 Fall 2010 Spring 2010 Fall 2009

If you have interest in giving a talk or know of someone who does,

please contact Prof. Yan Hao at hao@hws.edu