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MATHEMATICS & PHYSICS SEMINAR AT SAINT ANSELM COLLEGE




Contact: Alex Plyukhin


Date: 03 November 2014

Speaker: Dr. David Banach (Saint Anselm College)

Title: Reason Persuades Necessity: Formal Causation and Prior Structural Constraint

Short abstract: We live in a world full of patterns. Waves, swarms, fields, configurations, clouds, and currents are all formal structures that subsist within collections of things. These types of patterns are stable, robust, and resist perturbations; they are the salient patterns that constitute our reality. They reveal a structural or mathematical constraint in the nature of the medium in which they exist, usually space and time. It is the pre-existing structure in space and time of fields and forces that constrains and is revealed in the patterns that emerge in the various sorts of symmetries and synchronizations that account for most of the stable entities in our world. I consider three kinds of examples: (1) Recent results in synchronizations of metronomes and the related synchronies in biological and neurological patterns; (2) Simple forms that arise in Moiré patterns from the movement of lines; and (3) Strange attractors in Chaos Theory. These mathematical forms of space and time represent a Reason that persuades Necessity, as Plato suggested, and governs the changes of the individual objects involved.

Full abstract

Location: Goulet 3100. Time: 4 p.m.

Date: 24 September 2014

Speaker: Dr. Ian Durham (Saint Anselm College)

Title: Particles, anti-particles, and reference frames

Abstract: Suppose there was a corner of the universe that consisted entirely of anti-matter. How could we interact with it given that matter and anti-matter can annihilate one another upon interacting? The answer to this question lies in the notion of a “quantum reference frame” and in one of the deepest symmetries in nature, the CPT symmetry (CPT stands for charge-parity-time reversal). In addition, it makes unambiguously clear what anti-matter actually is. I will frame the problem and present an overview of the solution in “flat” (Minkowski) spacetime.

Location: Goulet 2205 (Perini Hall). Time: 4 p.m.

Date: 28 March 2014

Speaker: Dr. Alex Plyukhin (Saint Anselm College)

Title: Mathematical Models of Molecular Motors

Abstract: Molecular motors are mesoscopic active systems which can propel themselves in noisy environment by converting chemical energy into mechanical work. Such motors are ubiquitous in biological world, pumping ions across the cell membrane and facilitating many vital intracellular transport processes. In recent years, natural biological motors inspired researchers to design artificial nanoscaled motors which may have stupendous potential applications, for instance as drug delivery vehicles. Simple mathematical models of self-propulsion of active Brownian objects will be discussed in which the role of the environmental noise is non-trivial and essential.

Location: Goulet 3103. Time: 4 p.m.

Date: 4 December 2013

Speaker: Dr. Alex Plyukhin (Saint Anselm College)

Title: Special Relativity: Express Introduction and Slightly Beyond

Abstract: The purpose of this talk is twofold. The first goal is pedagogical: I will introduce the basic results of Einstein's special relativity theory in a way which I believe is more concise and direct than any other. The second goal is to present our new results on relativistic Brownian dynamics.

Location: Goulet 3101. Time: 4 p.m.

Date: TBA

Speaker: Dr. Gregory Buck (Saint Anselm College)

Title: Self-Induced Motion of Filaments

Abstract: Filaments are ubiquitous - they appear on every scale studied by science. We present a new equation for the self-induced motion of an attractive or repelling filament or filamentary distribution of matter. The equation applies to filaments of any reasonable shape and mass or charge density and allows us to solve several natural problems. Applications could include celestial distributions such as spiral arms of galaxies, the biofilaments DNA and proteins, and carbon nanotubes.

Location: Goulet 3103. Time: 4 p.m.

31 January 2013

Speaker: Dr. Peter Golubtsov (Moscow State University)

Title: Game-Theoretic Effects in Economy: How Good is Competition?

Abstract: We all know that competition is good for consumers, but not as good for competing firms. But is it always as simple? To examine this phenomenon we will start with a simple example of competition and design the corresponding model "from scratch." We will see that what we designed is a game. Then we will introduce some basic notions of Game theory, analyze our game and confirm that the stronger competition is, the better for consumers. However, since our first model would be too primitive, we will make it more realistic and exciting by allowing it to "live", i.e. by adding dynamics. How would our system behave in the long term? Would consumers still benefit from competition? I will try to address these questions in my talk.

Location: Goulet 3103; Time: 4.00 p.m.

13 November 2012

Speaker: Dr. Susan D’Agostino (Southern New Hampshire University)

Title: Linear Algebra: The Secret of Google’s Success

Abstract: Over the years, world wide web surfers have been presented with various search engines, including Archie, Yahoo!, Altavista, Ask Jeeves and, of course, Google. The goal of all of these search engines has been to provide a ranked list of relevant, reputable results based on the search words. In this talk, we will discuss the linear algebra behind what is arguably a very successful search engine: Google. At the heart of Google’s PageRank algorithm lies one colossal eigenvector that, one could argue, is the secret of Google’s success. This talk will be accessible to undergraduate students; prior knowledge of linear algebra is not necessary.

Location: Goulet 3103; Time: 4.00 p.m.

2 October 2012

Speaker: Andrew Lazowski (Sacred Heart University, Mathematics)

Title: A Hyperbolic Baseball Field and Unusual Dimensions

Abstract: This will be an introduction to hyperbolic geometry. We will introduce hyperbolic space, discuss differences from Euclidean geometry, and then discover how big a hyperbolic baseball field is. In addition, we will answer the question of what makes hyperbolic geometry so important. Lastly, we will discuss dimensions of spaces which leads to good research questions.

Location: Goulet 3103; Time: 4.00 p.m.

27 September 2012

Speaker: Alex Plyukhin (Saint Anselm, Mathematics)

Title: Two microscopic models of Langevin dynamics

Abstract: The Langevin equation, initially suggested to describe Brownian motion, provides an important, general, and relatively simple approach to describe an extremely broad class of phenomena in open systems ranging from quantum decoherence to dynamics of stellar systems. The main idea is that in most cases of interest one does not need to know exact internal forces but only their statistical properties, and the average friction they produce. In this talk I will show that there is a class of models which lead - somewhat unexpectedly - to the same value of the friction coefficient even though their statistical characteristics are different.

Location: Goulet 3103; Time: 4.00 p.m.

06 December 2011

Speaker: Ian Durham (Saint Anselm)

Title: Time, Entropy, and Information: What everyone should know about probability and statistics but probably doesn't

Abstract: 1% of women over the age of 40 who participate in routine screening have breast cancer. 80% of women with breast cancer will get positive mammographies. 9.6% of women without breast cancer also get positive mammographies. Given this information, if a woman over 40 gets a mammogram that comes back positive for breast cancer, what is the likelihood that she actually has cancer? Most doctors ­ almost 85% of them, in fact ­ get the answer to this question wrong. If you want to know why ­ and if you want to know what probability theory really is ­ then come to my talk.

Location: Goulet 3104; Time: 4.00 p.m.

01 November 2011

Speaker: Stephen Shea (Saint Anselm)

Title: Probability as you’ve probably never seen it before

Abstract: How do people think about chance in everyday life? What are the most common queries to search engines containing the phrase “probability of” or “chance of”? Did you know that there is a casino betting strategy where you will leave with more money than you came in with 99% of the time? We’ll discuss these and other (hopefully entertaining) topics in probability.

Location: Goulet 3100; Time: 4.00 p.m.

04 October 2011

Speaker: Stephen Shea (Saint Anselm)

Title: TOPOLOGICAL CONJUGACY ON THE COMPLEMENT OF THE PERIODIC POINTS

Abstract

Location: Goulet 3104; Time: 4.00 p.m.

3 May 2011

Senior math students presentations:

Pat Corbet, NBA road games comparison
Ryan J. Henry, Pressure the ball! A study on playing surfaces and their effects on game play
Andrew Matthews, Molecular dynamics: basic outline and example
Andrew Ross, Computational analysis of laser modes in a hollow, cylindrically symmetric waveguide
Cameron S. Ross, Baseball analysis: 2004 American League championship series
Pamela Scott, How connected are the seniors of Saint Anselm College on Facebook?
Meaghan Sullivan, The importance of the problem solving process in education: A look at how card tricks can foster learning


Location: Goulet 3104; Time: 4.00 p.m.

22 February 2011

Speaker: Barry Sanders (iCORE Chair of Quantum Information Science, University of Calgary)

Title: Whither quantum computing?

Abstract: A quantum computer could be amazing but faces two obstacles: how do we build it and what do we do with it? I discuss and partially answer these questions.

Location: Perini Lecture Hall (Goulet 2205); Time: 3.30 p.m.

25 January 2011

Speaker: Andrew Ross (Saint Anselm)

Title: First-principles investigation of graphene-metal interfaces

Abstract: Epitaxial growth of graphene on Ni(111) substrates is one promising method of large-scale, high-quality graphene wafer production, due to the small lattice mismatch between these two materials. We present results of first-principles density functional theory (DFT) investigation of the structural, electronic, and magnetic properties of graphene/Ni(111) interfaces relevant to experimental studies of graphene growth on nickel substrates. DFT calculations were performed to identify the favored interface geometries and binding sites for different interface configurations. Additional adlayers of Ni and Cu were either adsorbed on top of the graphene/metal interface, or placed between the graphene and substrate to model processes of metal intercalation. It was also found that the interaction between graphene/Ni(111) and the top Cu adlayer is much weaker compared to that for Ni adlayer. The atomic, electronic, and magnetic properties of these interfaces, including induced magnetic moments in graphene/Ni(111) and Cu,Ni/graphene/Ni(111) systems are also discussed.

Location: 3104 Goulet; Time: 4.30 p.m.

15 April 2010

Speakers: David Guerra and Jeffrey Schnick (Saint Anselm, Physics)

Title: Analysis of the Motion of a Bouncing Ball

Abstract: A ball mounted on one end of a slender ten-inch rod, rests on a horizontal disk. The ball is positioned near the perimeter of the disk and other end of the rod is raised and connected to a fixed pivot. Using a motor to spin the disk at a fixed rate results in spontaneous bouncing of the ball. Data of the ball’s motion was acquired and will be presented along with basic analysis of the data. In addition, models of the system and the preliminary results of the models will be presented.

Location: 3104 Goulet; Time: 4.30 p.m.

11 March 2010

Speaker: George Parodi (Saint Anselm, Chemistry)

Title: Can a Chemist Make Molecules Hum? Or Photoacoustic Spectroscopy and Pollen Identification

Abstract: In the late 19th century Alexander Graham Bell discovered the optoacoustic effect. For almost a century it found little practical use, but in the early 1970’s the effect was applied to measure the spectra of samples not amenable to usual methods. In this talk, after a brief review of conventional absorption spectroscopy, the optoacoustic (photoacoustic) effect and its application to the measurement of infrared spectra of pollens will be described. Some preliminary statistical analysis of data collected in our laboratory will be (briefly) described.

Location: 3104 Goulet; Time: 4.30 p.m.