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Using FPGAs to Create a Complete Computer System

On Thursday, April 7th, at 4:15PM, in Napier 101, Marcela Melara (WS '12) will give a talk on computer systems and FPGAs. An FPGA is a programmable soft-processor that can be used to implement complex digital circuits such as a processor for a computer. Marcela will describe some work she has done implementing a basic yet complete computer system on an FPGA for an architecture called Larc. A major task of this project was to add support for essential hardware devices such as a monitor, a keyboard and a small hard drive. Furthermore, she added architectural support for running an operating system called VIREOS, which includes support for a file system and timesharing, among other features. (Refreshments will be served beforehand.)

Posted 5 April 2011

Math Awareness Month

The web site www.mathaware.org has information about the annual celebration of Math Awareness Month in April 2011.

"Unraveling Complex Systems" is theme for Mathematics Awareness Month, April 2011, as per a joint announcement from the American Mathematical Society, the American Statistical Association, the Mathematical Association of America, and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. Mathematics Awareness Month is sponsored by the Joint Policy Board for Mathematics (JPBM).

How do epidemics spread, birds flock, and stock markets operate?

Many of these answers fall within the realm of mathematics.

From natural entities such as living cells, insect colonies and whole ecosystems to man-made inventions like power grids, transportation networks and the World Wide Web, we see complex systems everywhere. Deciphering the mathematics behind such systems can unravel well-structured networks and discernible patterns in natural and artificial structures. That is the idea behind Mathematics Awareness Month.

Understanding these complex systems can not only help us manage and improve the reliability of such critical infrastructures of everyday life, but can also allow us to interpret, enhance and better interact with natural systems. Mathematical models can delineate interactions among components of these systems, analyze their spontaneous and emergent behaviors, and thus help prevent undesirable developments while enhancing desirable traits during their adaptation and evolution.


Posted 4 April 2011

Ariel Trent Accepted at ESP-REU

First-year student Ariel Trent has been accepted into the Emerging Scholars Program - Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates at St Mary's College in Maryland. The 12 REU participants will each join one of the three research teams in the areas of graph theory, knot theory, and game theory. The program runs from June 13 to July 22, 2011. Participants will receive a $3500 stipend for participation in the ESP-REU, in addition to room and board for the six weeks. Sounds like fun

Posted 22 March 2011

Article Published

Trevor Gionet (Hobart College '12) and Yixiao Sha (William Smith College '12) worked on a summer research project in 2010 with Professor Erika King. The goal of the project was to find a more efficient way of proving a theorem characterizing 4-regular, claw-free, well-dominated graphs, which was originally proved by Prof. King using roughly 350 pages. However, during their first week of research, Yixiao and Trevor discovered a graph that was omitted from a characterization by Michael D. Plummer originally used to prove Prof. King's theorem. Thus their research was redirected to revise Plummer's characterization.

Trevor and Yixiao were able to complete Plummer's characterization, revise a result in a paper that used that characterization, and prove a case of Prof. King's theorem. They wrote an article with Prof. King entitled "A revision and extension of results on 4-regular, 4-connected, claw-free graphs", that includes their results. The paper was recently accepted into the journal Discrete Applied Mathematics.

Posted 15 March 2011

Pi Day News: Version 1.1

Okay, a working link to the video about Pi Day is here.

Posted 14 March 2011

Pi Day: Will it turn into Tau Day?

Another video link from Vi Hart, the amazing math doodler. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jG7vhMMXagQ&feature=feedu

Posted 14 March 2011

Math and CS Have the Best Jobs

...at least according to an analysis by CareerCast.com, as reported in this article in the Wall Street Journal from January 4, 2011. Out of 200 jobs rated, the top five spots in a ranking based on income, working environment, stress, physical demands, and job outlook went to professions in areas of mathematics and computing. The top five jobs, according to this ranking are: software engineer, mathematician, actuary, statistician, and computer systems analyst.

Posted 12 March 2011

Save the Date!

Math/CS faculty, majors, and minors: The Mathematics and Computer Science Department's Annual Dinner will be held on Thursday, April 21st in the Barn. Mark your calendars! Come to celebrate another great year of mathematics and computer science and congratulate this year's prize winners! Hope to see you there!

Posted 12 March 2011

News from David Sugar

David Sugar '02, who majored in Computer Science at Hobart College, is working at The Boys Latin School of Maryland (www.boyslatinmd.com), a college preparatory school. He reports that he has started graduate school at UMUC (University of Maryland University College), working towards an MS degree in Information Technology.

Posted 5 March 2011

GPU Programming for Medical Visualization

Max Beckett '11 found this 16-minute lecture on the TED web site, about the use of GPU Programming for visualization of medical data. Max did an independent study on GPU programming in the Fall semester.

Posted 1 March 2011