# Colloquia

**The Next Colloquium:**

**The Next Colloquium:****Wednesday, October 14, 2015 at 4:00 p.m. in Lytle 228**

**Dr. James Hammer, Cedar Crest College**

**Upcoming and Past Colloquia:**

**Upcoming and Past Colloquia:****2015-2016**

**2015-2016**

**Tuesday, September 15, 2015 at 4:00 p.m. in Boehm Hall 261**

**"Unsolved! History's Greatest Ciphers"**

**Dr. Craig Bauer, York College **

While developments in cryptanalysis have forced enciphering techniques to become more and more sophisticated, there remain scores of ciphers stretching back to antiquity that remain unsolved. These were created variously by professional cryptographers, amateurs, artists, killers, and victims. In some cases the identity of the author is also unknown. The talk covers many of these mysteries, along with some mathematics that provides a glimmer of hope for those seeking the solutions. These solutions could reveal the identity of a serial killer or spy, provide the exact location of buried treasure worth millions, expose a secret society, illuminate our understanding of ancient history, or even rewrite the history of science.

**Thursday, September 10, 2015 at 4:00 p.m. in Lytle Hall 228**

**"Numerical ranges: from matrices to pretty pictures"**

**Dr. Patrick Rault, State University of New York at Geneseo **

In Philadelphia there are coin machines which take two quarters and a penny and output a flattened penny with an impression of the Liberty Bell. Mathematical functions share this sort of property, and in this talk we will specifically be learning about dot products and matrix products. The Numerical Range is a map which uses these products to define a function, like the Liberty Bell coin machine, which inputs a matrix and outputs a two-dimensional picture in the complex plane. These pictures include ellipses, triangles, and some bizarre egg-shaped curves. We will discuss some number theoretic results by the speaker's students, as well as a deep integer invariant of these matrices which we call the Gau-Wu number.

**2014-2015**

**2014-2015**

**Friday, April 10, 2015 at 6:15 p.m. in Boehm Hall 145**

## Eighth Annual Thomas Pirnot Lecture in Mathematics

*"My Favorite Integer Sequences, or, Confessions of a Sequence Addict"*

**Neil J.A. Sloane, Ph.D., Founder of the On-Line Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences (OEIS) and President of the OEIS Foundation**

The On-Line Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences (or OEIS, oeis.org) is a free web site that contains information about a quarter of a million sequences, and is often called one of the most useful mathematical sites on the Web. I will discuss some of my favorites, including the van Eck, Zizka, Fredkin, Quet, Kelly, Yellowstone, etc. sequences. There will be music, movies, and a number of unsolved problems. Warning: some of these may prevent you sleeping at night.

**Thursday, January 29, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. in Lytle Hall 218**

**"Learning Communities: Theory, Models, Applications, etc."**

**Dr. Gil Clary, Dr. Gail Craig, and Dr. Robert Ziegenfus**

For the first colloquium of the semester, we will hear from a panel consisting of Dr. Gil Clary, Director of the Office of Assessment, Prof. Gail Craig, Director of TRiO Student Support Services, and Dr. Robert Ziegenfus from the Department of Geography on the topic of Learning Communities. Dr. Clary will lay the theoretical foundations of the concept of a learning community. Dr. Craig will follow by discussing how she runs a learning community in the Student Support Services Program. Finally, Dr. Ziegenfus will discuss different learning community models and pragmatics and challenges of implementing a learning community. This colloquium is being organized by the Department of Mathematics Retention Committee with the goal of enhancing the learning experience of our students. To that end, we welcome all faculty and students to attend and offer feedback.

**Thursday, December 4, 2014 at 3:00 p.m. in Boehm Hall 260**

*"Glitzy Math: The Mathematics of Computer Graphics"*

**Dr. Tom Pirnot, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics, Kutztown University**

Dr. Pirnot will give an introduction to the mathematics used to create the astonishing graphical objects seen in today's popular animated movies and video games. He will explain how relatively elementary mathematics such as algebra, geometry, linear algebra, and calculus can be used (billions of times!) to create, render, and view the amazing and beloved characters such as Buzz Lightyear from *Toy Story *to Anna from *Frozen.* Disclaimer: To be honest, he will not actually show you how to create a whole animated movie in one hour; he will just explain some of the interesting math behind the glitz.

**Thursday, October 2, 2014 at 3:00 p.m. in Lytle Hall 228**

*"Fun with Factoring Fantastic Forms"*

**Brian Kronenthal, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Kutztown University**

This talk is all about factoring polynomials, but not everyday ones like x^{2}+3x+2. We will be looking at polynomials which have more than one variable and whose exponents in every term add to two. For example, consider 2 X^{2} + 3 X Y + Y^{2} + 2 X Z + Y Z; can you figure out whether or not it factors (without a computer or calculator)? These special polynomials are called **quadratic forms**. We will discuss several criteria that help us determine, without using technology and without guessing and checking, which quadratic forms factor and which do not.

**2013-2014**

**Thursday, April 17, 2014 at 3:00 p.m. in Lytle Hall 214**

**"Catalan Numbers"**

**W. H. Tony Wong, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Kutztown University**

The associative law of addition in real numbers tells us that (1 + 2) + 3 = 1 + (2 + 3). In other words, there are two ways to put the parentheses in the expression 1 + 2 + 3. If there are four numbers adding up, e.g., in the expression 1 + 2 + 3 + 4, how many ways are there to put the parentheses ? How about 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5?

The answers to the above questions are called Catalan numbers. Catalan numbers appear in countless combinatorial problems, and some of them will be introduced in this talk. We will show a couple interesting pictorial proofs of bijections in combinatorics.

Part of the materials in this talk originates from my Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) at Cornell University 2007.

## Wednesday, March 12, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. in Boehm Hall 260

## Seventh Annual Thomas Pirnot Lecture in Mathematics

*"Pondering Packing Puzzles: Research in Recreational Mathematics"*

**Derek Smith, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Mathematics, Lafayette College**

Here is a puzzle for you: Is it possible to assemble six 1 x 2 x 2 blocks and three 1 x 1 x 1 blocks into a 3 x 3 x 3 cube? If so, in how many ways can this be done? Don't look up the solution! Try to figure this out on paper or with a model first. But let me tell you that this is the Slothouber-Graatsma-Conway Puzzle, often called the smallest non-trivial 3-dimensional block-packing puzzle.

I will describe an infinite family of packing puzzles that includes the Slothouber-Graatsma-Conway Puzzle, and I will prove a nice result about them. I will also introduce you to Burr Tools, a cool computer program that helps with investigations of packing and other types of puzzles.

**Thursday, November 21, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. in Lytle Hall 228**

**Thursday, November 21, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. in Lytle Hall 228**

*"Those Summer Math Nights"*

**Mr. Zachary Bales and Ms. Lauren Williams, Kutztown University '14**

In this talk we will encourage students to participate in summer research programs. We will proceed chronologically through the steps of searching and applying for various summer research programs. We will also briefly discuss our acceptance and experiences into the Summer Institute for Training in Biostatistics (SIBS) at both the University of Pittsburgh and University of Iowa. We will emphasis that although Kutztown University of Pennsylvania is not as well-known as Ivy League schools, admission panels are looking for the diamonds in the rough. Our talk will conclude with tips and resources to alleviate any concerns about summer program research and applications processes and open up the discussion for questions.

**Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. in Lytle Hall 228**

*"Beliefs of Mathematics Majors"*

**Joshua Goodson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Kutztown University**

This talk will discuss a study on the beliefs that mathematics majors and mathematics majors pursuing secondary certification have regarding mathematics. In particular, the study looks at the influence of an introduction to proofs course and mathematics research on their beliefs. Teachers beliefs about the content that they teach play a role in how they present the material to their students. Knowing what those beliefs are and what affects them can inform the instruction of future teachers. Beliefs were measured using the Conceptions of Mathematics Inventory, which includes seven categories each with eight questions. Findings as well as ideas for future research will also be discussed.

**2012-2013**

**2012-2013**

**Wednesday, March 26, 2013 at 3:30 p.m. in McFarland Student Union Building 250**

**Sixth Annual Thomas Pirnot Lecture in Mathematics**

*" Cantor and the Paradise He Gave Us"*

**Robert Vallin, Ph.D., Professor of Mathematics, Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania**

**Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 3:00 p.m. in Lytle Hall 214. **

*"Hopf Algebra Structure of Generalized Scissors Congruence Groups" *

**Jianqiang Zhao, Associate Professor of Mathematics, Eckerd College**

**Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 3:00 p.m. in Lytle Hall 214. **

*"Individual Based and Dynamic Energy Budget Models" *

**Baldvin Einarsson, University of California at Santa Barbara**

**Friday, February 15, 2013 at 3:00 p.m. in Lytle Hall 214. **

*"Decomposing Graphs into Stars and Hyperstars " *

**D.P. Roberts, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Illinois Wesleyan University**

**Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 3:00 p.m. in Lytle Hall 214. **

*"The Hopf Algebra of Sashes " *

**S.E. Law, North Carolina State University**

**Tuesday, February 5, 2013 at 3:00 p.m. in Lytle Hall 214. **

*" Spying on Cages, Generalized Quadrangles, and Moore!" *

**B.G. Kronenthal, University of Delaware**

**Thursday, November 1 2012 at 11:00 a.m. in Lytle Hall 228. **

*" Blood, Sweat, and Tears: the Cable-Trench Problem and some Applications " *

**Dr. Eric Landquist, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania**

**Thursday, October 18, 2012 at 3:30 p.m. in Lytle Hall 228. **

*" Braids, Permutations, and Games" *

**Dr. Jennifer Franko Vasquez, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, University of Scranton**

# 2011-2012

**Tuesday, March 27, 2012 at 5:00 p.m. in Boehm Hall 261**

**Fifth Annual Thomas Pirnot Lecture in Mathematics**

**a MILK Lecture**

*" Adventures with The Moore Method as a Student and Teacher"*

**Dr. E. Lee May, Distinguished Professor of Mathematics, Salisbury University**

**Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. in Lytle Hall 228. **

*" On the Collatz Conjecture," a MILK Lecture *

**Mr. Patrick Wiltrout, Kutztown University '11**

**Thursday, March 1, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. in Lytle Hall 228. **

*" On Cardinality of Sets: What does `Big' or `Small' Really Mean?", a MILK Lecture *

**Mr. John Paul Jablonski, Kutztown University '13**

**Thursday, February 23, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. in Lytle Hall 228. **

*" Research Experience for Undergraduates- Research Report," a MILK Lecture *

**Mr. Clinton Watton, Kutztown University '13**

**Thursday, February 16, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. in Lytle Hall 228. **

*" From Finite Geometries to Translation Planes" *

**Dr. Craig Culbert, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania**

**Thursday, November 17, 2011 at 11:00 a.m. in Lytle Hall 228. **

*" Aspects of Some Intersting Sets: A Primer" *

**Dr. Padraig McLoughlin, Associate Professor of Mathematics, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania**

**Tuesday, November 8, 2011 at 5:00 p.m. in Boehm Hall 260. **

**"Thoughts on a Modified Moore Method Course in Undergraduate Analysis," A MILK Lecture **

**Dr. Alex Meadows, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, St. Mary's College of Maryland **

**Tuesday, November 8, 2011 at 11:00 a.m. in Lytle Hall 228. **

*" Chomp, Chomp, Bechewy Chomp: Math and Games " *

Dr. Alex Meadows, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, St. Mary's College of Maryland

**Thursday, October 20, 2011 at 11:00 a.m. in Lytle Hall 228. **

*" Research Experience for Undergraduates- Research Report," a MILK Lecture *

**Ms. Ashley Dougherty, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania '12 **

**Thursday, October 6, 2011 at 11:00 a.m. in Lytle Hall 228. **

*" Using Math to Make Games fun" *

**Dr. Ryan Gantner, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, St. John Fisher College**

* *

Archives of previous colloquia are available here.

Mathematics Inquiry Learning at Kutztown (MILK) Lectures are funded by the generous support of the Academy for Inquiry-Based Learning, The Educational Advancement Foundation, and Mr. Harry Lucas, Jr.