Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Math club gathering donations for Christmas charity project.

Math Club would like to wish you a very happy holiday season! 

We are inviting you help us spread the joy this year by contributing to our collection for Stock-The-Sleigh. We have chosen to donate a Gold Package, consisting of three gifts, for a local teenager between the ages of 13 and 18 whose family is in need this holiday season. All donations are greatly appreciated, no matter big or small, they support those in need.
If you are interested in helping Math Club spread the joy of the holidays, you can:
  • donate directly to Dr. G Swain in Patterson 208
  • donate directly to Dr. C Swanson in Patterson 209 
  • donate when collections go around to some Math and CS courses
  • you may also email Math Club treasurer Brittney Anderson at banders6@ashland.edu or Math Club secretary Stacee King at sking10@ashland.edu to make other arrangements.
We hope that you will help us give back to a local family, and the community during the season of giving. Remember that no donation is too small, and that both Math Club and our local family are thankful for your support.
Have a happy holiday season from Math Club.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Fall Study Break set for December 5 and 6.

All Math and Computer Science students are welcome to attend the Fall Study Break. 

Thursday, December 5 
from 7-9 p.m.  
in Patterson 324
Friday, December 6 
from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. 
in Patterson 204/211. 

Take a break from your studies and enjoy free drinks and brain food. Faculty members who would like to provide food for this event, please sign up in Room 202.

Good luck to all with finals week!

AU students in 2013 ACM-ICPC East Central North America Regional Programming Contest

Eight computer science majors from AU participated in the 2013 ACM East Central North America Regional Programming Contest at the Youngstown University site on November 9, 2013. These students formed two teams and each team was able to tackle one out of nine problems. The AU_purple team (Kees Edwards, Kenny Bogner, and Paul Pernici) was ranked 24 out of 45 teams at Youngstown site and the AU_gold team (Chris Yocum, Cameron Goodson, and Ben Bushong) was ranked 41 out of the 45 teams. Two freshmen observers (Rupesh Maharjan and Alex Gregory) also gained valuable experience in this contest. The team coaches were Boris Kerkez and Paul Cao.

The regional contest is part of the larger International Collegiate Programming Contest, sponsored annually by the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery).  This year's regional contest was held at four different sites and drew 126 teams from 61 colleges and universities throughout western Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, eastern Ontario, and Indiana (excluding the Greater Chicago Metropolitan Area).  Learn more and check out the Problem Set at the ACM's regional contest site: http://www.csis.ysu.edu/acm-ecna/index.html

Monday, November 18, 2013

Math 208 course gains Quality Matters certification

Dr. Darren Wick, professor of mathematics and department chair, submitted his online Math 208 (Elementary Statistics) course for a Quality Matters review at the end of October. The course was awarded the Quality Matters certification seal officially today.

Quality Matters (QM) is a set of standards and a peer review process that Ashland University has adopted to ensure quality in the design of its online and hybrid courses.  QM is a nationally recognized, research-based program that provides us with the framework for doing so in our online and hybrid courses. Courses that are reviewed and meet quality expectations are recognized on the QM website and are eligible to display the QM logo. The program is part of Ashland University's commitment to providing a quality education to all of its students.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Math 450 Senior Seminar presents "Switching for Dollars," Tuesday, November 19

Does it pay to second guess yourself? Attend integrated math senior Joey Ciaccia's senior seminar talk and find out!  

Math 450 Senior Seminar Presents
"Switching for Dollars"
by Joey Ciaccia
Tuesday, November 19
3:05 - 3:55
in Patterson 324

Abstract: Suppose you are handed two identical boxes. One of the boxes contains an amount of money equal to b dollars, and the other box contains 2b dollars. Upon choosing a box you can decide to keep the contents of the box or you can trade for the other box (you can only switch for the other box once). In this presentation, the possible choices you can make will be analyzed and we will use probability to come up with a way to maximize the amount of money you win. Specifically, we will look at discrete distributions, continuous distributions, and utility theory to try to find the answer to when to switch or not to switch.  Everyone is welcome to attend!

* artwork from Wikipedia Common, Obsidian Soul.

Call for Papers for this year's Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Symposium

The Fifth Annual College of Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Symposium is scheduled for Tuesday, April 1, 2014. This yearly event highlights the variety of research, scholarly and creative activities of students throughout the College of Arts and Sciences.  
Participation is open to all students who are declared majors in a program within the College of Arts and Sciences. Students may choose to give an oral presentation, poster presentation, exhibition, or a performance.  
To participate, students must submit an abstract with faculty sponsorship.  The deadline for submitting abstracts is 5:00 p.m. on Friday, January 17, 2014. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Math 450 Senior Seminar presents "Bingo by the Numbers" on Thursday, November 14

Find out how to calculate your actual odds of yelling BINGO! in any given game.  Actuarial Science/Mathematics senior David Devine will guide us through the mathematics of the Bingo card. 

Math 450 Senior Seminar Presents
Bingo by the Numbers
by David Devine
Thursday, November 14
1:40 - 2:30
in Patterson 301

Abstract: Nearly everyone has played the traditional game of Bingo. This presentation will take a deeper look into the mathematics behind this game. Using a geometric probability distribution, we will explore the average number of calls it takes to complete a game of Bingo. Next, we will take a look at the probability of achieving a Bingo on the nth call, and determine how the number of cards in play may affect this probability.

Everyone is welcome to attend! 

Photo by Abbey Hendrickson, Flickr.com, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Math 450 Senior Seminar presents "Car Conflicts Can be Cleared Up with Calculus," Tuesday, November 12

Join pyschology/criminal justice senior Sam Diemer this Tuesday as she explains how calculus could be used to decrease traffic congestion. 

Math 450 Senior Seminar
"Car Conflicts Can be Cleared Up with Calculus"
by Sam Diemer
Tuesday, November 12
3:05 – 4:55
in Patterson 324

Abstract: Traffic affects everyone on a daily basis; it is not only a nuisance, but it is also a necessity. To alleviate some of the issues associated with traffic, lawmakers have consulted mathematicians about how to change traffic patterns. In fact, calculus can be used to determine how traffic laws should be altered to accommodate traffic needs in a particular area. Specifically, we will be addressing the length of a green light at an intersection without an arrow for turning left. Everyone is welcome to attend!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Good Luck to AU Students Competing in ACM Regional Contest this Saturday!

Good luck to our students competing this weekend in the Association of Computing Machinery regional  programming contest at Youngstown University.   This challenging 5-hour competition tests logic and problem solving skills.  It’s a great opportunity to apply classroom knowledge to real industry problems. 

Students participating will be Ben Bushong, Kenny Bogner, Kees Edwards, Cameron Goodson, Paul Pernici, and Chris Yocum.  Freshmen observers/trainees Rupesh Maharjan and Nazmul Rabbi will also attend.  Faculty coaches are computer science professors Paul Cao and Boris Kerkez.  

Best wishes for an educational and fun weekend of social and computer networking!

(Photo shows Joseph Hemperly, Cameron Goodson, and Chris Yocum at last year's competition.)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Math 450 Senior Seminar presents "Making Money While Minimizing Risk" Thursday, November 7

Join senior actuarial science and mathematics major Clay Harris and pick up a few financial pointers. 

Math 450 Senior Seminar
"Making Money While Minimizing Risk"
by Clay Harris
Thursday, November 7
1:40 - 2:30
in Patterson 324

Abstract: All investors want to have high returns, but few new investors know how to accomplish this while minimizing risk. We will look at basic probability models for general investing techniques that try to maximize returns for any type of investment. We will also discuss ways to generate smaller positive returns (but with less risk) within the stock market using pricing models based on regression analysis. This approach will make investing seem very easy.  Everyone is welcome to attend!

Photo by Nazir Amin, posted on Flickr

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Math 450 Senior Seminar presents "Batting Statistics" on Tuesday, November 5

The season may be over, but the statisticians are still working.  Join actuarial science senior Brittney Anderson for a look at the complexities of calculating this basic baseball stat.

Math 450 Senior Seminar
"Batting Statistics"
by Brittney Anderson
Tuesday, November 5
3:05 - 3:55
in Patterson 324

Abstract: Batting averages in baseball are used to determine the chance of a batter hitting the ball. There are different ways to find a batting average - one way is to build a probability model. We will create a probability model to estimate a player’s batting average. We will also look at the different types of bias that can occur because of this probability model. A great deal of logic is involved when determining whether a batter is likely to hit the ball based on their batting average. Although it seems that only basic division is needed to calculate batting averages, we will see that there can actually be much more mathematics involved.  Everyone is welcome to attend!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Math 450 Senior Seminar Presents Stealing Hearts and Stirring Mathematical Debate, Thursday, October 31

It's dichotomous Disney drama! Join senior Jessica Workinger this Thursday for a discussion of the Sleeping Beauty probability problem. 

Math 450 Senior Seminar Presents
"Stealing Hearts and Stirring Mathematical Debate"
by Jessica Workinger
Thursday, October 31
1:40 - 2:30
in Patterson 324

Abstract: This presentation will explore the Sleeping Beauty Problem which is a spin-off of the classic Walt Disney movie Sleeping Beauty. This conditional probability problem has created a lot of controversy among mathematicians. We will analyze the two most common answers and work through the mathematics to discover why one answer is incorrect. Next, we will use a separate, but related, probability problem to discover the real answer to the Sleeping Beauty Problem.  Everyone is welcome to attend!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Math 450 Senior Seminar presents "Tangled Headphones: Knot Theory or Not?" October 29

Do you have a little math in your pocket? Senior Stacee King will discuss whether or not Knot Theory applies to those tangled headphones we're always fighting with.

Math 450 Senior Seminar presents
"Tangled Headphones:
Knot Theory or Not?"
by Stacee King
Tuesday, October 29
3:05 - 3:55 p.m.
in Patterson 324

Abstract: Every day we try to untangle our headphones, and every day we get frustrated that our headphones are tied in knots. But there is something that could help: KNOT THEORY. Knot Theory is the study of knots and their properties. We can accurately describe a knot by its embedded image in 2- or 3-space, as well as whether it can or cannot be undone. We can determine if two knots are isomorphic by looking at both their representations in 2- and 3-space as well as looking at each knot’s related Alexander Polynomial. Most importantly for all of our headphone problems, we can also describe some “moves” that would help us to unknot (or simplify) a knot.  Everyone is welcome to attend!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Math 450 Senior Seminar Presents "Unnoticed Moves in the Tower of Hanoi" Thursday, October 24

It looks simple, but join integrated math senior Phillip Yarian for a look at the mathematical complexities lurking in this classic mathematical puzzle. 

Math 450 Senior Seminar Presents 
"Unnoticed Moves in the Tower of Hanoi" 
by Phillip Yarian 
Thursday, October 24 
1:40 - 2:30 in Patterson 324

Abstract: Since E. Lucas discovered the Tower of Brahma (or Hanoi) in 1883, there have been a few stories regarding how the tower was supposed to be completed. First, we will take a look at the number of moves needed to complete the Tower of Hanoi with n-disks. Next we will take a look at the number of moves that are needed to separate the odd and even disks. Using Number Theory, we will prove how many moves there are for each method. How much difference in the number of moves could there be?
Everyone is welcome to attend!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Math 450 Senior Seminar presents "The Evolution of Cryptography," Thursday, October 17.

Integrated Math Major Kate Fleming takes a look at cryptography throughout history.  

Math 450 Senior Seminar Presents
"The Evolution of Cryptography: From Caesar to Elliptic Curves"
by Kate Fleming
Thursday, October 17
1:40 - 2:30
in Patterson 324
Abstract: Since the time of Julius Caesar, cryptography has been continuously adapted in order to find a cipher that is more difficult to crack than the last cipher. We will briefly explore the history of cryptography by examining different types of cryptosystems. Next we will look at properties of elliptic curves and how they can be used in cryptography. We will also examine an example of elliptic curve cryptography (ECC). What are the benefits of using ECC over the more familiar cryptosystem RSA?  Everyone is welcome to attend!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Math Senior Seminar presents "The Athleticism of Group Theory," Tuesday, October 15.

Integrated Math Senior Brandi Scott will illustrate group theory using tournament elimination as an example. All are welcome to attend!

Math 450 Senior Seminar presents
"The Athleticism of Group Theory"
by Brandi Scott
Tuesday, October 15
3:05 - 3:55
in Patterson 324

Abstract: The idea behind playoffs in any sport is single-elimination knockout, where each team plays games in rounds and has to play each game as if it were their last. For one team, it will be. Knockout tournaments are played in several rounds and the number of rounds depends on the number of teams involved; each round cuts or "knocks out" half of the teams that played. Some teams may have a bye (not play in a given round). While this is easily understood with a little explanation, the group theory involved in the existence and underlying structure of the widely used tournament layout is anything but simple. In this particular talk, we will set our focus on the group theoretical properties of a very specific type of tournament, the unseeded single-elimination knockout tournament.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Math 450 Senior Seminar Presents "The Mathematics Behind Sudoku Puzzles" Thursday, October 10

How many possible boards are there in a Sudoku board?  Join integrated math senior Kyle Hronek for a look at the mathematical limits and possibilities of this popular puzzle game.

Math 450 Senior Seminar Presents
The Mathematics Behind Sudoku Puzzles
by Kyle Hronek 
Thursday, October 10
1:40 - 2:30
in Patterson 324

Abstract: Sudoku is a puzzle game that everyone has either attempted or completed. This talk will use  permutations and symmetries from group theory to show you all of the possible layouts of a Sudoku board. We will look at the ordering of grids and squares, to see how many different boards there actually are and determine if symmetries effect that count. We also will take a look at possible patterns within a board and their effects on the board’s permutations. How many possible boards are there in a Sudoku board? What patterns affect the groupings? What is the most and least amount of clues a puzzle can have and still be solved? Join us for an exploration of answers to these questions. Everyone is welcome to attend!

photo: Margie Hill

Friday, October 4, 2013

Classroom Changes

Please note:

The following room changes for Math 305, 218, 223C, and 417 will be effective as of Monday, October 7, 2013 and continue for the remainder of the semester.  

Math 305A (Calculus II)    
meeting time: MWF 1:00-1:50, Th 1:40-2:30 
moving: from PTC 324 to KET 226

Math 218A TTh (Geometry for Middle School Teachers)
meeting time: 1:40-2:55
moving: from KET 226 to PTC 324

Math 223C  (Discrete Math I)
meeting time: MWF 2:00-2:50 
moving:  from KET 226 to PTC 324

Math 417A (Intro to Analysis)
meeting time: MWF 1:00-1:50
moving: from KET 226 to PTC 324

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Senior Seminar Presents "How to Move Your Brick Collection," Tuesday, October 8

Senior integrated math major, Megan Raber will show how math can predict different ways to fill a container -- handy if you have a lot of bricks to move.

How to Move Your Brick Collection
by Megan Raber
Tuesday, October 8
3:05 - 3:55
in Patterson 324

Abstract: When given a box to pack with bricks, not everyone will stack the bricks in the box the same way. Some may stand the bricks up, some may lay the bricks down flat, and some may even do a combination of both. When given a box, how many different ways can you place the bricks in the box to pack it? Using direct counting and linear algebra we will create an equation to determine how many ways we can pack a 2x2xn box with 1x1x2 bricks. Everyone is welcome to attend!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Senior Seminar presents “'Proof'ing Sudoku is Fun" on Tuesday, October 1

Senior Jacob Cook will fill us in on how math and logic are used in creating and solving this popular number puzzle.  

Math 450 Senior Seminar Presents
“Proof”ing Sudoku is Fun
by Jacob Cook
Tuesday, October 1
3:05 - 3:55
in Patterson 324

Abstract: Sudoku is a logic puzzle that has grown in popularity over recent years. When we look closer we see that there is math and logic involved in not only being able to define the puzzles, but in solving the Sudoku as well. We will explore proofs of several methods that can be used to find a cell’s identity. There is also a great deal of mathematical defining that takes place when we look at special variants of the Sudoku. Though there seems to be an innumerable amount of possible grids and variations for Sudoku, mathematics can be used to define and limit these variations so they are doable. We see that Sudoku really is math; but it’s not just math, it’s fun! Everyone is welcome to attend!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Problem of the Month Solutions are due Friday

Reminder: Solutions to September's "Problem of the Month" should be turned in to Dr. Swanson by this Friday, September 27.  Copies of the problem were e-mailed to math and computer science majors and left in Patterson 211.  Solutions will be posted.  Good luck!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Senior Seminar Presents "Sailing with Spherical Trigonometry" Thursday, September 26.

The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, right? Join integrated math major Katelyn Mittelstaedt and find out why that's not always the case.  

Sailing with Spherical Trigonometry
by Katelyn Mittelstaedt
Thursday, September 26
1:40 - 2:30 p.m.
in Patterson 324

Abstract: We’re sailing from California to Hawaii and we want to take the shortest route possible. We will explore the derivation of the Latitude Equation of the Mid-longitude derived using spherical trigonometry. Next we will apply the equation using the coordinates of our locations to calculate the mid-longitudes. The mid-longitudes will allow us to be sure that we are following the great circle path from one destination to the other. Join us to sail the great circle from California to Hawaii and see why the shortest path really isn’t a straight line. Everyone is welcome to attend these seminars!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Math and Computer Science Fall Picnic

Don't forget to join us Sunday evening, September 22, on the Quad for lawn games, food, and fun with fellow math and computer science students and faculty. 

Math & CS Fall Picnic
Sunday, September 22nd 
4:00 - 7:00 p.m. 
on the Quad at A.U. 
Fun, Games & Fellowship start at 4:00 
 Dinner at 5:00 

Senior Seminar Presents: "Mathematical Epidemiology and Combating Diseases" on Tuesday, Sept. 24.

Any good plague thriller movie features a scene where they predict the spread of a lethal Hollywood disease.  At Tuesday's Senior Seminar, biotechnology senior Joshua Allman explains how this works in real life and how the information can be used to combat the spread of disease.

Mathematical Epidemiology and Combating Diseases 
by Joshua Allman 
Tuesday, September 24 
3:05 - 3:55 p.m.
in Patterson 324

Abstract: The field of mathematical epidemiology is dedicated to developing mathematical models that describe how diseases act on populations, and is a critical element in devising strategies to combat epidemics. Mathematical epidemiology played a significant role in the eradication of smallpox. Its significance continues to increase as new resources, treatments and computing power become available to health officials. Some general methods for developing mathematical epidemiological models will be presented along with applications of those models to fight infectious diseases.  All are welcome to attend these seminars. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Senior Seminar Series presents "The Code to Life" on Thursday, September 19

Have you ever used the internet, a cell phone, or done online shopping? Then you have used cryptography. Join Senior Sara Reidler as she provides a look into the mechanics of these security processes. These seminars are open to anyone with an interest in Math topics.  

The Code to Life
by Sara Reidler
Thursday, September 19 
1:40 - 2:30
in PTC 324

Abstract: Have you ever used the internet, a cell phone, or done online shopping? Then you have used cryptography to get information from one location to another without someone in the middle reading the information. Cryptography is the science of the hidden message, often called “secret writing.” To encrypt your message both the sender and receiver use the same key. This talk will use group theory to explain the process of the Diffie-Hellman key exchange and help us understand why no one can intercept the key in the middle.

It's TIME for the Fall Picnic

The 2013 Math and Computer Science Fall Picnic is this Sunday, September 22, 4-7 p.m. on the AU Quad.  

Math students, faculty staff and friends are all welcome to meet on the quad, beginning at 4:00 for games, fellowship and fun.  Dinner time is 5:00 p.m.  Faculty are asked to bring a side dish to share.

According to early weather reports, we'll have a perfect fall day for it.  If you plan to come, you can sign up with your math professors or on the door of Patterson 202.

Hope to see you there!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Senior Seminar Series presents "The Winning Shot" on Tuesday, September 17

Explore the mathematics behind the perfect free throw with senior Alexandria Eubank.  These seminars are open to anyone with an interest in Math topics.  This one might just "improve your game" too!

Math 450 Senior Seminar Presents
The Game Winning Shot
Alexandria Eubank
Tuesday, September 17
3:05 - 3:55
in PTC 324

Abstract: The parameters of making a free throw in basketball can be calculated using the angle of elevation, the initial velocity of the ball, the position of the ball’s center, and gravity. The player only has control of the angle of the elevation and the force that the ball is thrown. We define a successful free throw using upper and lower bounds for the initial velocities possible for a given angle of elevation. Using parametric equations from physics, we then investigate changing parameters (height of the person, size of the ball, and distance from the rim) within this definition. Finally, using geometry and computer programs, the best angle of elevation and the best initial velocity are found for a perfect swoosh shot.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Math and computer science drop-In tutoring is available to help students.

If you're struggling with a math or computer science course, help is available.  Drop-in tutoring is available in Kettering Room 219 for this fall's math courses.  

Individual tutoring is also available upon request for all 100 and 200 level mathematics courses.  If drop–in tutoring is available we ask that you attend drop-in tutoring before requesting an individual tutor.  To request individual tutoring, go to the Center for Academic Success and click on "request a tutor."  See your professor for help also!

Drop in tutoring for Computer Science 121 is in Patterson 211 on Wednesdays from 4-5:30 p.m. and Thursdays from 7-8:30 p.m.

Drop-in tutoring for Math courses are listed below and are all held in Kettering Room 219.

Math  201 Applied Calculus
7:00 - 8:30 p.m. every Monday and Thursday

Math 205 Calculus I
7:00 - 8:30 p.m. every Monday - Thursday

Math 208 Elementary Statistics
7:00 - 8:30 p.m. every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday
2:00 - 4:00 p.m. every Thursday

Math 217 Theory of Arithmetic and Geometry
7:00 - 8:00 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday

Math 223 Discrete Math I
2:00 - 4:00 p.m. every Tuesday
7:00 - 8:00 p.m. every Wednesday

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Fall Picnic Time!

The 2013 Math & Computer Science Fall Picnic is set for Sunday, September 22.  Sign up sheets will be available soon in your math classes and in Patterson 202.  Join us on the Quad for fun, games and fellowship starting at 4:00 p.m.  Dinner will be served at 5:00 p.m.  Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

AU Graduates Land Teaching Assistantships at Miami University

Caitlin Music was awarded an Assistantship at Miami University for their 2-year Master's in Statistics program.

Catilin writes 
I am a little nervous, but overall I am extremely excited to be a part of the program.   I want to thank you all for writing reference letters for me, and for being great professors.  I would not be here if it were not for you!

Another AU Math graduate, Anna Payne (class of 13) is also in the classroom at Miami University. Anna will be teaching pre-calculus this fall.

Best wishes to these two on a great first semester at Miami!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Kenny's Internship at Bird Technologies

Kenny Bogner
Kenny Bogner is interning this summer with Bird Technologies in Solon, Ohio.  Along with the normal assignments of an internship, he has had the opportunity to work on a new project that Bird is making and has a big role on the software side of the project.  He gives credit to the Computer Sciences classes he has taken at Ashland University, as they have built upon each other and given him the knowledge needed to contribute to this experience.  It really is a great internship and I enjoy the challenges they put before me (as well as writing software, of course).”

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Ben's Summer Projects

Ben Bushong
Ben Bushong has been working at the AU:OIT this summer along with doing personal projects.
He has been doing his own research on how telecommunication and WiFi signals are sent and received in addition to learning how to generate and convert electrical energy by different means and from different sources.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Morgan Interns at Spire Advertising

Morgan Mirtes has a summer internship at Spire Advertising in Ashland, Ohio as a Programming Intern.  The main responsibility for this position is assisting the lead programmer in web programming projects.  She gives credit to the AU courses in Programming I & II, and Web Design that have helped her succeed at this internship.  Morgan has enjoyed the opportunities to learn new things and put them into practice.  “Everything I do makes the company’s operations all that much better!”