Archive for 2012

MCS Seminar

Speaker: Ananya Das, Lake Forest College Candidate for MCS faculty position Talk: Efficient Data Encoding In computer science we often encode and store data files in their binary representation. When the data files are very descriptive, such as audio or video files, the binary representations may be inefficiently large. In this talk I will discuss […]

Calculated Clustering–An Application to Childhood Growth Trajectories

When: Thursday, November 29, 2012 @ 3:30PM Where: Olin Hall Room 321 Presenter: Brianna Heggeseth, University of California, Berkeley Through the integration of technology into practically every aspect of our daily lives, it is becoming increasingly possible to collect massive amounts of data on individuals over time. My work revolves around finding meaning and structure in […]

Urn Problems and the Election

Anyone who has studied discrete probability has run into urns containing balls of varying colors, which are withdrawn according to seemingly arbitrary rules, always ending in the same big question that Jakob Bernoulli’s own students surely posed: Why do we even care? For example, suppose three urns are filled with the following balls. Urn 1: […]

Sequential Designs for Non-Stationary Problems

When: Tuesday, November 27, 2012 @ 3:30PM Where: Olin Hall Room 321 Presenter: Marian Frazier, The Ohio State University NASA is designing a new reusable rocket booster and wants to understand how flight characteristics like lift, drag, and pitch will change as a function of speed and angle of attack. Ossur wants to build a stronger […]

MCS Club T-shirt for Sale

It’s been years since the MCS Club has been represented in shirt form on the Gustavus campus. This year’s officers of the laid-back, fun-loving and often nerdy club thought this was unacceptable and started a design contest to choose the new club t-shirt. Many entertaining entries later, the students of the department voted on a […]

MCS Students Attend ACM Programming Contest

Six MCS students went to Macalester College today to participate in the annual ACM Programming Contest. The contest originally started at Texas A & M in 1970. It spread through North America and has branches and chapters throughout the world. “The contest fosters creativity, teamwork, and innovation in building new software programs, and enables students to test their ability […]

An Introduction to Surface Tension (Or Why Raindrops are Spherical)

When: Thursday, October 11, 2012 @ 3:30pm Where: Olin Hall 320 Presenter: Andrew Bernoff, Professor of Mathematics at Harvey Mudd College A common misconception is that raindrops take the form of teardrops. In fact, they tend to be nearly spherical due to surface tension forces. This is an example of how at small scales the tendency of molecules […]

MCS Students Blog from Abroad

Four students majoring in Math and Computer Science are studying abroad this semester and at least two of them are blogging about the experience.  Math major Rebecca Anderson ’13 is writing the blog “Rebecca Goes to China” from Zhuhai, China, and Computer Science major Michael Patterson ’14 has contributed two posts so far to the […]

Analyzing Electronic Poll Books

I used my 2010-2011 sabbatical to delve into the application of computer technology to election administration, specifically what are known as “electronic poll book” systems. I’ve continued working on this since, with the latest outcome being a guest post on Bluestem Prairie showing that the “Center of the American Experiment’s claims for photo ID cost […]

On the Virtues of Monte Carlo Simulation – even for mathematicians (and actuaries)

When: Wednesday, September 19, 2012, 11:30am-12:20pm Where: Olin Hall 318 Presenter: Gary A Hatfield, PhD FSA CFA CERA MAAA Investment Actuary, Corporate Actuarial, Securian Financial Group Over my years as an actuary, I have developed a deep appreciate of the power and value that Monte Carlo simulation brings as tool for gaining insight to various […]