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Past Events › SUM Series

March 2017

Ricky Liu, NC State

March 16, 2017 | 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm EDT

Steve Campbell, NC State, “Who’s in control here?”

March 23, 2017 | 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm EDT

Control theory is an important topic in applied mathematics that is used in a number of disciplines. Its theoretical foundations involve several areas of mathematics. It is also a topic that is less well known at the undergraduate level. In this talk…

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Dan Scofield, NC State

March 30, 2017 | 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm EDT

Solid, liquid, gas – we see these phases of matter all around us. But physicists have discovered exotic phases with strange properties, such as superfluids and superconductors. What kinds of phase transitions happen in an extremely cold, thin sheet of matter? What does…

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April 2017

Mette Olufsen, NC State, “Why don’t we (usually) faint when we stand up?”

April 6, 2017 | 4:30 pm - 5:20 pm EDT

Basic physics suggests that when we stand up, the blood pressure in our brain should drop dramatically. Such a pressure drop should cause us to faint. But most of us don’t faint when we stand up. In this talk I’ll…

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Ephraim Bililign, Taylor Garnowski, William Reese and Brandon Summers, NC State Undergraduate Student Honors Presentations

April 26, 2017 | 4:30 pm - 5:20 pm EDT

1. Ephraim Bililign Title: Measuring the temperature of granular systems Abstract: Granular systems, or collections of athermal mesoscale particles, are immune to temperature in the conventional sense. Thus, to describe the behavior of an jammed assortment of grains, we turn…

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Beverly Setzer, Samuel Weber and Christopher Cardullo, NC State Undergraduate Student Honors Presentations

April 27, 2017 | 4:30 pm - 5:20 pm EDT

1. Beverly Setzer Title: Detecting Hidden Nodes in Neuronal Networks using Adaptive Filtering Abstract: The identification of network connectivity from noisy time series is of great interest in the study of network dynamics. This connectivity estimation problem becomes more complicated…

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August 2017

Nathan Reading, NC State, Rectangulations and Pattern-avoiding permutations

August 31, 2017 | 4:00 pm - 4:50 pm EDT

A generic rectangulation is a tiling of a rectangle by rectangles, with no four rectangles sharing a single corner (think: no Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah). For example: We want to ignore lengths of edges and just look at…

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September 2017

Davis Atkinson, Graham Pash, and Jaye Sudweeks, Modeling the New Jersey Turnpike in 99 Hours

September 14, 2017 | 4:00 pm - 4:50 pm EDT

“When am I going to use this?”      It’s a question every student has asked at least once. The Modeling Contest in Mathematics (MCM), held annually by COMAP, provides a way for undergraduates to apply the knowledge gained from…

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Juanita Pinzon-Caicedo, NC State, Crunched Charms: A Short Intro to Knot Theory

September 21, 2017 | 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT

Knot theory is the subarea of topology that studies math- ematical knots or different ways of placing a circle inside 3- dimensional space. Proving that two knots are distinct (or equivalent) is the main problem knot theorists deal with. In…

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January 2018

Cynthia Vinzant, NC State, Slicing Space

January 25 | 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm EST

Suppose we lazily slice up the SUM series pizza. How many pieces can we make with just a few slices? What if we had a watermelon? Together we will try to answer this prob- lem and explore some of the…

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February 2018

Nathan Reading, NC State, Two triangles in a torus

February 1 | 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm EST

With a very stretchy square piece of paper, you can make a torus: Glue opposite sides of the square together to make a tube and then stretch and bend the tube to bring the two cir- cular ends together. Since…

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Molly Fenn, NC State, Gerrymandering: Math at the Supreme Court

February 8 | 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm EST

Gerrymandering, the act of drawing political maps to achieve a desirable election outcome, has been increasingly in the news as cases wind their way to the Supreme Court and as the country approaches a new census in 2020. In this…

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Ricky Liu, NC State, Zero-knowledge proofs

February 15 | 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm EST

Suppose you want to convince someone that you know the solution to a problem, but you don’t want them to learn any- thing about the solution. How can you do it? Such a protocol is called a zero-knowledge proof. In…

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Cynthia Vincent, NC State, Convex sets and the geometry of numbers

February 22 | 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm EST

Quite a large polygon can squeeze between the integer points in the plane, but what if it has to be symmetric  bout the origin (and avoid all other integer points)? In this talk, I’ll discuss Minkowski’s theorem, which bounds the area of such shapes,…

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April 2018

Sharon Lubkin, NC State, Surprises from modeling lung development

April 12 | 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm EDT

Tissues grow, change shape, and differentiate, function normally or abnormally, get diseased or injured, repair themselves, and sometimes atrophy. This complex suite of behaviors is governed by a complex suite of controls. Nonetheless, we can identify some general principles at work in the…

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