Mathematics and Computer Science Seminars

The Mathematics and Computer Science Seminar topics range widely, but typically focus on original research, technical exposition, snapshots of working life, or teaching.

Seminar Schedule (Fall 2019 - Spring 2020)

Seminar attendees are invited to gather at 15 minutes prior to the talk to partake of light refreshments and to socialize.

9/23, 2019

Opportunities in Math, CS, and Physics

David Latimer (physics), Jake Price (math), Adam Smith (CS), and Courtney Thatcher (math)

University of Puget Sound

4pm, Thompson 395


Are you interested in summer programs in math, CS, or physics but don’t know where to start? Would you like be more involved during the semester but don’t know what activities exist? Are you interested in graduate school but don’t know how to prepare? Do you wonder what jobs are available after you graduate? Come to the first talk of the semester and hear about opportunities in math, CS, and physics. There will be plenty of time for questions, too.

10/14, 2019

An Introduction to Configurations, k-Configurations, and Superconfigurations
Benjamin Peet
Department of Mathematics

St. Martin’s University

4pm, Thompson 395


This presentation will begin by exploring the definition of a configuration of points and lines. That is, an arrangement of points so that: 1) no pair of points are on more than one line, 2) each point is on the same number of lines as any other, and 3) each line has the same number of points. We will then proceed to an investigation of what an extension to a "configuration" of points and planes
might look like. These will be referred to in general as k-configurations. Finally, the notion of a superconfiguration of points, lines, and planes is introduced, where the points and lines form a (1-) configuration; the lines and planes form a (1-) configuration; and the points and planes form a 2-configuration. A number of examples will be presented throughout as well an exploration of the computational aspects of finding configurations and their automorphism groups.

11/4, 2019

A Glimpse into Machine Learning at AWS
Chris Swierczewski
Amazon Web Services

4pm, Thompson 395


What is it like to be a scientist at Amazon Web Services? In this talk I will share my experience at AWS through a wide variety of problems I have worked on, showing that there is more to working in machine learning than just neural networks. I will begin with a broad overview of the kinds of problems worked on by scientists all across AWS. Then, I’ll dive into three problems I worked on, personally. The first is the use of tensor decompositions to do topic modeling, a subfield of natural language processing. Second, is an anomaly detection algorithm based on using trees for density estimation. And third is using graphs and clustering to improve upon K-nearest neighbors search. 

11/11, 2019

Different difference quotients (Finite difference: from PDEs to computer vision)
Yajun An, Ph.D.
University of Washington Tacoma

4pm, Thompson 395


We have all learned derivatives and their difference quotient definition in differential calculus. Now with the help of computer algorithms, we can do a lot of cool things with them. In this talk, we will explore some of their applications, including simulating waves, detecting edges in a digital photo, and more. We will show a couple of examples of each application.




12/09, 2019

Jeremy Upsal
University of Washington


4pm, Thompson 395