Past Seminars & Colloquia

Previous colloquia and lectures (scroll down for previous student seminars)

September 2019 May Mei, Dennison College Musings on periodicity and aperiodicity
October 2019 Sabetta Matsumoto, Georgia Tech Twisted topological tangles or: the knot theory of knitting

November 2019

Carolyn Yackel, Mercer University Itajime Shibori wallpaper patterns
February 2020

Karen Saxe, AMS
(Heard Lecture)

Mathematics and Social Justice
February 2020 Meet the Teachers 
(Panel discussion)
Alums shared paths to high school 
October 2018 Diana Thomas, West Point (Heard Lecture) Who should take 10,000 steps per day?
October 2018 Paul Patrone, NIST The proof is in the patent: Considering microfluidics through the lens of real analysis 
December 2018 Catherine Pfaff, Queen's University Symmetries, outer space, and the outer automorphism group of the free group
February 2019 Kelsey Houston-Edwards (Olin) Achieving rental harmony with a secretive roommate
February 2019 ​Priya Kohli (Connecticut College) ​Covariance modeling for correlated data: A data-driven approach
April 2019 ​Richard Schwartz (Brown University) ​Inscribing triangles and rectangles in continuous loops
April 2019 ​Maura Paterson (Birkbeck University of London)  Some applications of combinatorics in information security


September 2017 Tom Garrity, Williams College On Some Wonders of Factoring and Its Many Choices
October 2017 Amy Wagaman, Amherst College Making Decisions with Data Relevant to You

October 2017

Mitchel Keller, Washington and Lee University Online Algorithms: Dealing with an Evolving Situation
November 2017 Melinda Lanius '12, UIUC Ice Cream Geometry: A Mathematical Activity and Coloring Book
February 2018 Abigail Raz, Rutgers The Union-Closed Sets Conjecture
February 2018 Joe Lauer, Wellesley Zooming in on geometric flows
March 2018 Bernhard Klingenberg, Amherst Comparing margins of multivariate binary data
March 2018 Tamar Mentzel, MIT Using statistics to understand electrical noise in novel materials
September 2016 Ismar Volić, Wellesley College Cryptography and privacy
October 2016 Kara Yacoubou Djima, Amherst College A taste of data analysis via applied harmonic analysis

October 2016

Margaret Robinson, Mount Holyoke College The wonderful world of p-adic numbers where the discrete meets the continuous
November 2016 Amanda Curtis '11, UCSB An introduction to topological quantum computing and (some of) the mathematics behind it
November 2016 Reed Solomon, University of Connecticut Finding order in the random: Ramsey style regularity theorems
February 21 Prof. Mark Glickman, Harvard University Rating the chess rating system
March 1 Dr. Eugenia Cheng How to bake pi
April 12 Jeremy Kepner, MIT Enabling scale-up, scale-out, and scale-deep for big data
September 2015 Andy Schultz Qbert through the looking glass
October 2015 Garth Isaak What's your order?
October 2015 Beth Romano From planets to polynomials
November 2015 Kathryn Lesh The Fibonacci numbers, the Golden Ratio and the levels of irrationality
November 2015 Catherine Lucarelli Mathematics and the National Security Agency
April 2016 Jessica Dyer Discrete dynamical systems
April 2016 Voula Collins '09 Knutson-Tao puzles and their uses
September 2014 Dan Rockmore Reading, writing, and 'rithmetic - The mathematics of text analysis
October 2014 Megan Heenehan K_d are you there?
November 2014 Cornelia Van Cott Sometimes pi equals 4
February 2015 Aviva Halani '07 Student thinking about combinatorics solution sets
February 2015 Bob Milniker A new angle on an old construction
September 2013 Keith Conrad What is the ABC conjecture?
October 2013 Ruth Charney From Robotics to Geometry
November 2013 Cassandra Pattanayak One embryo or two for fertilization? Assessing causation without randomization
November 2013 Erica Camacho Understanding gene regulatory interactions through recurrent neural network models
March 2014 Sarah Greenwald Mathematical morsels from the Simpsons and Futurama
April 2014 Shannon Stock Regression tree methods for the analysis of HIV viral genetic mutations
April 2014 Nathan Karst From blood flow to lava: The mathematics of oscillating fluids
September 2012 Julianna Stockton Hungarian Mathematics Education: A Tradition of Excellence Transitions to the 21st Century
October 2012 Setyan Devadoss The World of Particle Collisions
November 2012 Genevieve Walsh What is an orbifold?
December 2012 David Pollack An Introduction to the Arithmetic of Elliptic Curves
Februbary 2013 William Dunham Euler in Action
April 2013 Mark Behren Exotic Spheres
April 2013 Elisenda Grigsby Braids
September 2011 Megan Kerr Nonnegatively curved homogeneous spaces: how is algebra controlling geometry?
October 2011 Moon Duchin Counting Problems
October 2011 Andrew Schultz A $q$-analog of Fleck's congruence
October 2011 Alex Diesl Strongly Clean Matrices
November 2011 Karen Lange Searching for simple integer parts
November 2011 Caroline Klivans

The Space of Phylogenetic Trees

February 2012 Michael Ching

Apollonian circle packings of the half-plane

February 2012 Aaron Hoffman

Phase Planes, Waves and Delays

February 2012 Nathan Karst

Reliable data transmission over a wireless channel 

March 2012 Andrew Schultz

Linear Algebra in your daily (digital) life

March 2012 Brian Storey

Modeling Flow and Transport in Nanofluidic Devices

March 2012 Christine Breiner

Existence and Uniqueness of Minimal Surfaces

April 2012 Elizabeth Denne

Rectangles and other polygons inscribed in curves

April 2012 Ann Trenk

The Discrepency of a Poset: Mathematical Approach to Fair Rankings

April 2012 Ashley Dombkowski

Research, MeSearch, WeSearch: How consumer-directed genetic technologies are changing the face of medicine

April 2012

Ismar Volic

Configuration spaces in topology

September 2010 Andrew Schultz Algebraic $K$-theory and Quadratic Reciprocity
October 2010 David Mazur Error-correcting codes: what Hamming wrought
November 2010 Jonathan Tannenhauser Entropy, Strings and Partitions of Integers
November 2010 Charles Bu Math Education in China
November 2010 Ismar Volic The fundamental theorem of finite type knot invariants
November 2010 Catherine Roberts An Equation Runs Through It: River Rafting in the Grand Canyon
March 2011 Allison Pacelli Algebraic Number Theory: An Ideal Subject
March 2011 Thomas Fleming Milnor Numbers and Clasper Surgery: How Mathematicians Study Stretchy Strings
September 21, 2009 Steven Miller Pythagoras at the Bat: an Introduction to Statistics and Mathematical Modelling
October 20, 2009 Chelsea Walton Noncommutative Geometry?!
November 4, 2009 Jillian Mcleod Partition Regular Matrices from a Linear Algebraic Perspective
November 13, 2009 Francis Su Voting in Agreeable Societies
September 23, 2008 Karen Parshall Internationalization of Mathematics
October 21, 2008 Kathryn Leonard The Terminator's eyeballs
November 4, 2008 Sol Friedberg Euler products and twisted Euler products
November 13, 2008 Dev Sinha Fixed points, from fractals to your coffee
December 2, 2008 John McCleary The square-peg problem
March 10, 2009 Pascal Lambrechts The Poincaré conjecture and the shape of the universe
March 16, 2009 Mark Kayll Integrals and graph theory
April 14, 2009 Joseph Mileti

Rainbow problem

October 2, 2007 Jill Pipher, Brown Univrersity Public key cryptography, lattices and NTRU
November 5, 2007 Ben Brubaker, MIT Rethinking Riemann's zeta function
February 12, 2008 Bob Devaney, Boston University The Mandelbrot set and Fibonacci sequence
April 1, 2008 Brian Munson, Harvard University Two things about the linking number
April 22, 2008 Seth Sullivant, Harvard University How secure is your data?

Previous Student Seminars


Spring 2020


February 24 Prof. Will Grodzicki With our powers combined: An introduction to p-adic numbers
March 2 Jing Xu How to never run your average pace: An introduction to the Universal Chord Theorem
March 9 Sarah Chang Bagels and bottles: An introduction to topology and identification spaces
March 16 organized by the Math Club Belated Pi-Day activity 
April 6 (on Zoom) Jun Ru Anderson Introduction to topological data analysis (look for Zoom ID on the math department Google group)
April 13 (on Zoom) Prof. Karen Lange Different problems, common threads: Computing the difficulty of mathematical problems
April 23 (on Zoom, note this is a Thursday) Kira van Voorhees An introduction to pragmatic inference and the rational speech act model


Fall 2020


September 16 Julie Fucarino An agent-based model of pollen competition
September 23 Rebecca Whitman Shortest paths through higher dimensional Sierpinski carpets 
November 18 Rebecca Riley Integrating on the y-axis: An introduction to the Lebesgue integral
December 5 Daphka Alius Monitoring Google's search engine results pages for vulnerable populations 


Spring 2019


February 4 Prof. James Barnes What are Gödel's incompleteness theorems?
March 4 Dorothy Sun Introduction to topological data analysis
April 1 Tu Pham Duality of probability and option pricing
April 8 Demilade Adeboye What we hear and why we like it: Intersections between math and music
April 22 Franjo Šarčević (University of Sarajevo) Fixed-point theorems in topology
May 6 Candice Gong Knot theory: A tangible introduction to topology


Fall 2018


September 6 Zach Riggins del Rosario The curse of dimensionality
September 17 Madie Farris Playing ball with the largest prime factor
September 24 Smaranda Sandu '14 Understanding and modeling human behavior
October 15 Prof. Ann Trenk Symmetry breaking in posets
October 22 Various students Panel on summer research opportunities
October 29 Amy Li Analysis of microfluidic flow rate measurements
November 5 Ashley Peng A small intro to coding theory
November 19 Ginny Nie Option pricing using Monte Carlo simulation
November 26 Bridget Schreiner '17 The Brower Fixed Point Theorem


Spring 2018


Monday Feb 5 Nixia Chen Sobolev spaces
Tuesday Feb 20 Caitlin Hardwick Minimal surfaces and soap films
Monday Feb 26 Yu Shen Orbifolds and their application in music
Monday Mar 5 Maggie Lees Dihedral groups and their application to music theory
Monday Mar 19 Sophia Sun The Curry–Howard correspondence, i.e. proofs as programs
Monday Apr 9 Hannah Contreras Introduction to public health: Mathematical modeling of infections diseases
Tuesday Apr 17 Sydney Bai Representing rationality with lexicographic preferences in the reals
Monday Apr 23 Gillian Courtney Three's a crowd: How game theory borrows from functional analysis
Monday Apr 30 Vivienne Xu Simplicial and persistent homology
Thursday May 10 Georgia Stylianides A statistical investigation into value in art auctions


Fall 2017


September 18 Prof. Mira Bernstein, Tufts University Mathematics and gerrymandering: the search for a mathematical definition of fairness
September 25 Maya Madhavan An alternative derivation of the infinite power series for arctangent: The Kerala School of Mathematics' approach
October 2 Keertana Anandraj Supertree reconstruction via weighted quartets
October 23 Victoria Wu Support vector machines and their applications
November 27 Sarah Barden Complex numbers in circuit analysis
December 4 Laurel Kinman Paper crane proteins: Optimization methods in protein folding
December 11 Erica Zhang Using Markov chains to model stock market trends


Spring 2017

February 6 Prof. Ann Trenk Split graphs
February 27 Megan Chen The Monty Hall problem
March 13 Prof. Steve Robertson, Southern Methodist University Attending graduate school in statistics
March 20 Emily Van Laarhoven How probability can help you find a spouse and why gold-digging may be easier than finding true love
April 3 Caroline Hornung Counting systems
April 10 Xi Xi Started from the bottom now we're here: From a dot to a tesseract (four-dimensional cube)
April 24 Isabelle Schoppa Statistical genetics and epidemiological research at the Framingham heart study
May 1 Angela Wu An n-kings problem


Fall 2016

Sept 12 Prof. Jonathan Tannenhauser The Man with Three Wives
Sept 19 Madeleine Barowsky Everything But The
Oct 3 Prof. Andy Schultz First Putnam problem session
Oct 10 No seminar due to Columbus Day  
Oct 17 Lauren Heller What is a real number?  An introduction to Dedekind cuts
Oct 24 Colleen Larkin The mathematics of voting
Oct 31 Spring course preview lunch  
Nov 7 Various students Panel on summer math opportunities
Nov 14 No seminar due to afternoon colloquium  
Dec 5 Min Fu Benford's Law and application to credit default swap market 


Spring 2016

Feb 22 Alexi Block Gorman Rings and things
Feb 29 Carina Belvin Quantum mechanics and pi
March 7 Bridget Schreiner Infinity, Banach-Tarski, and the Axiom of Choice
March 14 Abigail Jones Rounding up to π
April 4 Hui Li Math in econ - modeling financial sophistication
April 11 Rohana Gao Mathematics in art - symmetry and Islamic art
April 19 Jaymee Sheng Philosophies of probability
April 21 Eka Zhao Black-Scholes and molecules - birth, death, redemption of an assumption
April 25 Voula Collins '09 Knutson-Tao puzzles and their uses (this talk doubles as a department colloquium)
May 2 Phyllis Ju Linear algebra in machine learning - nonlinear dimensionality reduction by locally linear embeddings


Fall 2015

Sept 21 Yiran Cheng Constructing infinitely "small" real numbers
Sept 28 Alexi Block Gorman Burritos (and maybe some number theory...)
Oct 5 Phyllis Ju Frobenius algebras and 2-dimensional cobordisms
Oct 19 Katya Shipunova and Nikki Yankova Cutting ham sandwiches (and the like...) fairly
Oct 26 No seminar  
Nov 2 Madeleine Barowsky Zero-knowledge proofs
Nov 9 Lily Chen Big numbers (sizes of infinity)
Nov 16 Simona Boyadzhiyska and Snow Zhang Computability and classifications of structures
Nov 23 Melissa Zambrana How to win at Battleship
Nov 30

Alexi Block Gorman, Simona Boyadzhiyska, Katya Shipunova, Melissa Zambrana

Panel on math experiences outside the classroom
Dec 7 Meryl Fang and Michelle Chang Stochastic Processes!


Spring 2015

Feb 23 Catherine Coravos The Smith College Diploma Problem
Mar 2   New Majors Lunch!
Mar 9 Meredith McCormack-Mager How To Not Get Sick: Modeling Public Health Outcomes for Polio
Mar 16 Grace Garbrecht Enigma: The math behind The Imitation Game
Mar 30 Ann Trenk Interval Orders: Some old results and some new results
Apr 6 Diana Gerr Fermat's Two Squares Theorem
Apr 13 Emily Chen How Netflix makes movie recommendations
Apr 27 Anjali Nagulpally and Molly Hoch The Collatz Conjecture
May 4 Luka Zhang  


Fall 2014
Sept 15 Alexi Block Gorman and Sharon Shiao Good, Clean Fun with Matrices: The Nicest Sounding Properties You'll Ever Meet
Sept 22 Prof. Andrew Schultz Putnam problem session
Oct 6 Bridget Schrenier Hash functions
Oct 20   Summer research programs panel
Oct 27 Angelu Gu RSA Cryptosystem
Nov 3 Spring course preview lunch  
Nov 10 Snow Zhang The Diagonalization Theorem and Undecidability
Nov 17 Lulu Ye Quantifying quality: Ranking ultimate frisbee teams
Dec 1 Nancy Zhang Stochastic Branching Processes
Dec 8 Emily Kurtz Graphs and Gray codes


Spring 2014
Date Speaker Title of Talk
February 10 Mavis Boamah Optimization and Simulated Annealing
February 24 Bridget Schreiner Zero Knowledge Proofs
Match 10 Phyllis Ju Some Applications of Mathematics to Physics
April 14 Alex Diesl The Mathematics of Voting
April 28 Michelle Lam Mortensen-Pissarides: A Matching Model for Unemployment
May 5 Maria Tilden Approximating Irrational Numbers with Rations


Fall 2013
Date Speaker Title of Talk
September 16 Anjali Kayal Visualizing Math: Graphical Representations of Algebraic Objects
September 23 Prof. Yulan Qing Pi and Bouncing Pigs
September 30 Laura Bruno School's in Session: The Locker Problem
October 21 Alexi Block Gorman The p-adic Numbers: An Introduction (NOT Your Usual Absolute Value)
November 4 Diana Schron Fashionable Geometry: Thurston's Geometrization Conjecture
November 11 Kaity Schwartz Mathematical Art: Symmetry Groups
November 25 Wendy Wu The Math Behind Google PageRank
December 9 Juliette Chevallier, Anjali Kayal, Abigail Raz, Smaranda Sandu, Farrah Yhee Mathematics Experiences Outside the Major (and minor and coursework)


Spring 2012
Date Speaker Title of Talk
February 25 Gabriella DeFosse Cracking Quantum Codes
March 4 Kia Salehi Paradoxes at Infinity
April 1 Gerta Malaj Roses are Red, OLS is Blue
April 8 Nuha Kahn and Tori Lockwood Welcome to Catalonia - The Land of Recursive, Bijective and Combinatorial Proofs
April 22 Aliya Nurani Defining the Determinant
April 29 Raissa D'Antwi and Marjorie Kasten Plan Your Next Party: Ramsey Style


Fall 2012
Date Speaker Title of Talk
September 17 Prof. Karen Lange Finding Order in the Unknown: The Erdos-Szekeres Theorem.
September 24 Erica Dohring How Mathematics Can Sink Submarines (and win wars)
October 1 Rachel Insoft Mind the Gap! An investigation of gaps in Linear Recurrences
October 15 Farrah Yhee Knot Projections with a Single Multi-crossing
October 22 Zoe Jansen Topology of the Cantor Set
November 5 Various students Research and More; Math Experiences Panel
November 12 Elise Dong Network Simplex Algorithm for Minimum Cost Flows
November 25 Caroline Psutka Pick's Theorem and its Applications
December 3 Sachi Shah Graph Traversal Techniques


Spring 2012
January 30 Prof. Andrew Schultz Polynomial Generalizations of binomial coefficients
February 6 Erica Dohring Applications of Operations Research in Physical Oceanography
February 13 Melinda Lanius and Joy Das Putnam 2011 solutions
February 27 Stephanie Welch Exploring Incompressibility: What makes a number random?
March 5 Caroline Parnass, Laura Liu Putnam 2011 Solutions, Part II
March 12 Ginny DeviChou Cardinality and the Continuum Hypothesis
March 26 Michelle Park Derivation of Van der Waals
April 2 Laura Liu Optimization through Linear Programming
April 9 Ran Ji Super Awesome Stuff: Linear Forms Over Finite Abelian Groups


Fall 2011
September 12 Prof. Oscar Fernandez Hamiltonizing Nonholonomic Mechanical Systems
September 19 Melinda Lanius Universal cycles for unordered combinatorial objects
September 26 Cornelia Mihaila Multidimensional continued fractions
October 17 Divya Gopinath Combinatorics and the generalized Fibonacci numbers
October 24 Naomi Takaki The Special Theory of Relativity
October 31 Prof. Karen Lange Finding Paths through Trees
November 7 Kristen Chun A derivation of the Michaelis-Menten equation
November 14 Various Students Panel on summer math programs
November 28 Mimi Moncada The Peano Curve
December 5 Kristin Liska Game theory and the Nash equilibrium
Spring 2011
January 31 Jonathan Tannenhauser Computing $\pi$ with Colliding Balls
February 7 Various students Solutions to the 2010 Putnam Exam
February 14 Alex Gendreau Exploring the Needleman-Wunsch Algorithm
and the Polytope Propagation Algorithm
February 22 Various students Solutions to the 2010 Putnam Exam, Part II
February 28 Andrew Schultz Math Origami Workshop
March 7 Liz Ferme Disrupting Terrorist Networks
March 14 No seminar!  
March 28 Katelin Snow Group Theory and Chemistry: Molecular Symmetry and its applications
April 4 Kelly Walters Restricted Partition Functions of Integers
April 11 Josh Jordan Math for fun and profit at athenahealth
April 19 Gabriela Perez Villalobos Eulerian numbers
April 25 Amanda Curtis and Jane Rieck Visualizing Arithmetic
Fall 2010
September 13 Andrew Schultz, faculty An irrational quest
September 20 Amanda Curtis '11 Minimal surfaces and planar harmonic mappings
September 27 Melinda Lanius '12 Explorations in Tessellations
October 4 Brian Munson, faculty Minimizing distances using flux
October 12 Various students Panel on summer math programs
October 18 Cornelia Mihaila '12 Existence of Solutions to the Modified Sylvester Equation
October 25 Maddy Prenner '11 Cryptanalysis of STR-KAP
November 1 Nora Evans '11 Google Page Rank Algorithm
November 8 Anthea Cheung '12 Euler Characteristic and the Platonic Solids
November 15 Tanen Clark '11 and
Rebecca Graber '11
To Infinity and Beyond: Constructing the Real Projective Plane
November 29 Jane Rieck '11 Computability Theory
Spring 2010
February 5 Megan Kerr, faculty Straightedge and compass constructions
February 19 Lisa Abraham '10 and Geraldine Ng '10 Mathematics and Finance
March 12 Margarita Miranda '10 The Poincare Conjecture
March 19 Caitlin Danis '10 and Cecilia Flatley '10 Mathematics and Juggling
April 13 Zoe Xiao '10 Continued Fractions
April 16 Lisa Yang '10 TBD
April 23 Kate Donahue '12 TBD
April 30 Amanda Curtis '11 TBD
Fall 2009
September 21 Jizhou Wang '10 Markov chains
October 5 Alex Gendreau '12 Directed strongly regular graphs
October 19 Professor Alex Diesl Perfect numbers
October 26 Amanda Curtis '11 Quotients of polynomial rings
November 2 Margaret Ma '10 Sphere packing
November 9 Kelly Pendergast and Vanessa Zhang Fractals
November 16 Anna Loparev Automata theory
November 23 cancelled cancelled
November 30 Soumya Srinagesh '10 TBD
December 7 Katie Poon '10 and Sue He '10 TBD
Spring 2009
February 9 Stanley Chang, Professor Markov chains
February 23 Caitlin Leverson '10 Delta Sets of Numerical Monoids
March 2 Bridget Tenner Combinatorics and tilings
March 9 Erika Kahn '09 Topics in Cantorian Set Theory
March 16 Steph Xiang '09 and Katie Sang '09 The Golden Ratio
March 30 Swini Garimella '09 The Busy Beaver Function
April 6 Subin Park '11 The Square Pyramid Puzzle
April 13 Hae Jin Chang '10 Magic Squares
April 21 Sha Lu '10 Network Optimization
April 27 Amanda Curtis '11 Bernoulli Numbers
May 4 Jaree Pinthong '09 & Lin Xu '09

Shortest Path Algorithms

Fall 2008
September 8 Ismar Volic, Professor Some convergence of series proofs
September 15 Stanley Chang, Professor Famous unsolved problems in mathematics
September 22 Ashley Hartman '09 Applications of game theory
September 29 Voula Collins '09 The Euler characteristic
October 6 Natalya Kopyra '09 The Josephus problem
October 20 Ghassan Sarkis (Pomona) p-adics: a primer
October 27 Bianca Thompson '09 The axiom of choice
November 3 Amanda Curtis '11 Hyperbolic space
November 10 Jen Pawson '09 Fibonacci numbers: an unexpected result
November 17 Andrea Johnston '09 Integer programming and chemistry
December 1 Kate Sorenson '09 & Kristin Jochems '09

RSA cryptosystems

Spring 2008
February 4 Ismar Volic, Professor An introduction to knots, Part I
February 11 Ismar Volic, Professor An introduction to knots, Part II
February 25 Katie Kinnaird '08 Random walks and tissue engineering
March 3 Stanley Chang, Professor Classification of closed surfaces
March 10 Sarah LaFrance '08 Conway's game of life
March 17 Amanda Curtis '11 Linear algebra, disease spread and DNA
March 31 Caitlin Leverson '10 & Fran Zeller '10 Pseudorandomness in primes
April 7 Caitlin Leverson '10 & Fran Zeller '10 Primes in arithmetic progression
April 22 Caitlin Vaccaro '08 On lambda-permutations of infinite series
April 28 Voula Collins '09 An order to the Baumslag-Solitar groups
May 5 Rebecca Rothkopf '09 Mathematics of computer vision