Geneseo Mathematics Colloquium Schedule

Fall 2008

Thursday, September 11, 4:00 - 4:50 pm
Newton 203
Chris Leary, SUNY Geneseo

Fractals, Average Distance, and the Cantor Set

After briefly introducing fractals and some of their properties, we introduce the idea of the average distance between points of a set.  We will construct the famous Cantor Set and use it as an example of a fractal and finish by computing the average distance between the points of the Cantor Set.  The material of this talk was developed over the summer with Dennis Ruppe, a math major here at Geneseo.

Prerequisites:  Calc I would be nice, but not essential.  A trusting personality is both nice and essential.

Thursday, September 25, 4:00 - 4:50 pm
Newton 203
Daniel Birmajer, Nazareth College

The arithmetic of formal power series over the integers

We study the arithmetic (units, irreducible elements, unique factorization, etc.) in the ring of formal power series (in one variable) with integer coefficients, and discuss some irreducibility criteria. We will examine in some detail whether or not a quadratic polynomial is irreducible as a power series.

Thursday, October 9, 4:00 - 4:50 pm
Newton 203
Bob Rogers, SUNY Fredonia

New Tricks for Old Curves

Even though conic sections have been studied for at least 2400 years, they still prove to be useful in our modern world.  This talk will provide examples of current uses in medicine, global positioning systems, and optics and explore potential uses in quantum computing.

Thursday, October 23, 4:00 - 4:50 pm
Newton 203
Claudiu Mihai, Daemen College

Generalization of Some Optimization Problems

In this talk we present several optimization problems from Calculus books that can be more easily solved by generalizing them.  For example, maximizing the area inside a triangle, or maximizing the area inside a parabola region. Similar results will be shown for problems involving volumes. Some surprising results will be presented.

Thursday, November 13, 4:00 - 4:50 pm
Newton 203
Darwyn Cook, Alfred University

Geometry and Art

We will look at the relationship between geometry and perspective art. In particular we will show why vanishing points exist and how to figure out where they occur. We will use that information to create some simple pictures using Microsoft Excel and we will also develop a method for viewing art pieces.

Wednesday, November 19, 1:30 - 2:45 pm
Newton 202
Jeff Johannes & Gary Towsley, SUNY Geneseo

A Concise History of Calculus

A lively overview of over two thousand years of calculus history.  Not only who-did-what along the way, but the cultural and sociological causes and effects of the calculus.  Strongly recommended for anyone who has taken or is taking calculus.