SCU Mathematics Colloquium Series Schedule

Spring 2001

Talks will be at 4:00 Tuesdays, Room O'Connor 205. There will be refreshments before all talks in O'Connor 31 starting around 3:45pm.

Title: How to play a guessing game with full and half liers?

Abstract: Player A guesses an integer between 1 and *n.* Player B is
required to find the guess by querying A with yes or no answer. If A
answers B's queries truthfully, binary search is the best strategy for A.
We will consider several variations of this problem when A's is allowed
to lie in various ways. This problem has been extensively studied for more
than 20 years since it was raised in the autobiography of the Polish
mathematician Ulam. After surveying old results, we will present
some new results on this problem.

Title: A BS in Math? What next? A journey from undergraduate mathematics to cancer clinical trials research.

Abstract: Many quantitatively oriented students graduate from college without ever having heard of the field of biostatistics, a discipline that applies statistical methods to biologic research. For a student pursuing a masters degree or Ph.D. in this field, there are unlimited job possibilities. Nowhere is biostatistics more visible than in medical research. During this talk, I will discuss the basic types of studies that are required to assess therapeutic strategies for cancer, with emphasis on the role statisticans play in these research efforts.

Title: The Effects of Repeated Sin

Abstract: It is a problem in Polya and Szego, that if *x>0,
x _{1}=*sin(

Some generalizations and extensions will be discussed.

For more information see this link.

Title: Counting Cards using Computers

Abstract: From undergraduate courses in Probablility or Combinatorics, we know that we can use mathematics to determine the exact odds that we'll lose money in a gambling game.

But who wants to lose?

If we can count cards we can change the odds and, on average, win money instead. Of course, doing this isn't necessarily easy because casinos have this tendency to hurl card counters onto the street. To count cards effectively it helps to have toe inputs, teeth inputs, hidden earpieces and buzzers working just right. Come hear how we used these to win blackjack games during the 1980s!

Title: Exponential Sums and Half Derivatives.

Abstract: This talk will be divided into two main
sections. In the first part, we will deal with
generalizations of *e ^{x}* and
cos

Any student who knows how to take a derivative should be able to follow much of this talk.

Title: Finding Stationary Solutions for the Navier-Stokes equations.

Abstract: The partial differential equations that describe the motion of air or water are the Navier-Stokes equations. Although they were written down in the 19th Century, essential mathematical questions concerning existence and uniqueness of solutions to this non-linear system of equations remain unresolved.

After a brief survey, we describe a new method for approximating solutions to the steady-state equations for incompressible fluids using a polynomial basis that automatically satisfies the incompressibility requirement.

Title: The Use of Quaternions in Computer Animation.

Abstract: Quaternions were in vogue during Victorian times, but fell into obscurity early in this century. Oddly enough, these four-tuples have gained renewed attention in the field of computer graphics. This talk will review the history and the surprisingly modern application of quaternions in computer generated animation.

If you have a disability and require a reasonable accommodation, please call Dan Ostrov dostrov@scu.edu, 1-408-554-4551 or 1-800-735-2929 (TTY - California Relay).

The list of talks from previous quarters are available via this archive link.

*Last Updated: 2 May 2001*
Maintainer: webmaster@math.scu.edu