Archive for 2011

Chaos & Culture FTS Teach “Fractivities”

Students (and Professor) make a Sierpinski Triangle with a sheet of paper and scissors.   The students in Tom LoFaro’s First Term Seminar, Chaos & Culturewere assigned the task of developing and presenting a classroom activity to teach a sixth grade student something about fractals.  The students dubbed these lessons “fractivities.”  Here are a few […]

Building a File System From Scratch

When: Monday, November 20, 2011, 2:30-3:20 pm Where: Olin Hall 321 Presenter: Mark Gritter Designing a new file system isn’t a task to be undertaken lightly, but new technologies and new opportunities continue to drive innovation in file systems. Examples like Sun’s ZFS, Data Domain’s SISL, and the Tintri VMstore are all examples of modern […]

LoFaro to Host Minicourse at Joint Math Meeting in Boston

Tom LoFaro will be hosting the MAA mini course Teaching Differential Equations with Modeling at the Joint Math Meetings in Boston January 4-7, 2012. Tom will be collaborating with Mike Huber of Muhlenberg College and Daniel Flath of Macalester College in this endeavor.

Modeling Actual Evapotranspiration: Using Airborne Remote Sensing to Analyze Agricultural Water Stress

When: November 16, 11:30-12:20pm Where: Olin Hall, Room 320 Presenter: Brandon Furey The objective of the land research group in the NASA Student Airborne Research Program was to develop tools to better monitor crop water status. This is useful to farmers to avoid over-watering so that irrigation can be more efficient. Water is becoming an […]

Screening: IBM’s Watson/DeepQA (David Ferrucci)

When: November 9, 2011, 11:30am-12:30pm Where: Olin Hall, Room 320 We will screen a video of Dr. David A. Ferrucci’s keynote address, “IBM’s Watson/DeepQA,” which he gave at the 2011 Federated Computing Research Conference. (QA stands for “Question Answering.”) Ferrucci is an excellent speaker and provides an explanation of how his group at IBM tackled […]

Explorations in generative design

Nervous System is a fantastic experimental design studio unlike most others. They use new technologies to reinterpret natural phenomena, prototyping and mass-producing 3d objects such as light fixtures, jewelry and sculpture from mathematical processes. Most of their designs look as if they were copied from a biology book because, in a way, they were. Various […]

Weighted Graphs, Groups, and 2-Dimensional Topology

When: November 2, 2011, 11:30am-12:30pm Where: Olin Hall, Room 320 Presenter: Prof. Mat Timm of Bradley University A graph is collection of dots, called vertices, with some pairs of vertices joined together by line segments, called edges. A graph is a weighted graph when each end of each edge is labeled with an integer. Each […]

Musings on John McCarthy’s Death

Although John McCarthy died only two days ago, enough words have already been written to render any more superfluous. Yet I can’t resist some personal musings. The very name of this blog, MCS, is a good starting point: the blog of a department of “Mathematics and Computer Science.” Often I’ve been asked why computer science […]

What Elections are Worth Recounting?

When: Wednesday, October 19, 11:30am – 12:20pm Where: Olin Hall 320 Presenter: Max Hailperin Minnesota law provides for publicly-funded recounts of close elections. This raises the question of what exactly constitutes a “close election.” Is the current standard appropriate? Two recent high-profile statewide recounts have drawn considerable attention to this question, though in fact multiple […]

Fractals and Chaos in a Simple Forced Oscillator

When: Thursday, October 13, 4:30pm – 5:20pm Where: Olin Hall 320 Presenter: Jim Walsh, Professor of Mathematics, Oberlin College In this talk the dynamics of a simple model of three charged bodies interacting under an inverse square electrostatic force is presented.  Professor Walsh will illustrate the manner in which fractals and chaos arise in the […]