Mathematics Department


Upcoming Seminar

September 29, 4:30 PM in Physics 123
Student research projects

Most Thursday afternoons during the academic year, the Reed College Department of Mathematics hosts a math talk. The talks are directed to our mathematics majors but are usually accessible on a variety of levels. Refreshments are served before the talks.

2016-17 Schedule


4:30-5:20pm in Physics 123 (unless marked otherwise). Directions to Reed.

Sept 1Meeting with majors.
Sept 8Private Data Analysis
Adam Groce, Mathematics Department, Reed College
Today governments, universities, hospitals, and companies all maintain huge databases of private information. That information, if it could be analyzed, holds the key to a remarkable array of potential discoveries in medicine, social science, and other areas. However, the private nature of the data limits much of this analysis. The field of private data analysis seeks to provide tools for analyzing such data while protecting privacy. However, before such tools can be created, it is necessary to formally define the desired notion of "privacy." We will begin by talking about what definition is appropriate, and then we will look at how certain analyses can be carried out under the constraint of protecting privacy.  Finally, I'll give a brief overview of recent developments in this field and what sort of challenges remain to be solved.
Sept 15Set Theory via the Polynomial Method
Joe Buhler, CCR/Reed College
Sept 22A Curious Monoid
Keith Pardue, NSA
I will describe a curious monoid* \(U\) whose elements are certain trees with colored leaves. My collaborator and I discovered this monoid through a speculation in category theory, and we were surprised and enchanted by the rich combinatorial structure that we found. I'll finish with a basic question about \(U\) that we have not been able to resolve.

* A monoid is a set \(M\) with a binary operation \(M\times M\to M\) that is associative and has an identity. Elements of a monoid need not have inverses, as they must have in a group.
Sept 29Student research projects
Oct 6Paramodularity computations for squarefree level
Jerry Shurman, Department of Mathematics, Reed College
The Paramodularity Conjecture of Brumer and Kramer is a degree \(2\) modularity conjecture.  The analytic space in the conjecture is \({\mathcal S}_2(\operatorname{K}(N))\), the space of weight \(2\), level \(N\) Siegel paramodular cusp forms.  Earlier computational work confirmed the conjecture for prime \(N\) up to \(600\), and now new work has confirmed it for nonprime squarefree \(N\) up to \(300\). The interesting new cases are \( N=249, 295\), where one form exists beyond the additive (Gritsenko) lift space of the Jacobi form space \(\operatorname{J}_{2,N}^{\rm cusp}\), as predicted by the existence of suitable abelian surfaces for those \(N\), the relevant arithmetic objects.
Oct 20Fall break
Oct 27TBA
Natalie Hobson, Department of Mathematics, University of Georgia
Nov 3TBA
Mona Merling, Department of Mathematics, Johns Hopkins University
Nov 10TBA
Olya Mandelshtam, Department of Mathematics, UCLA
Nov 17TBA
Alexander Dimitrov, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Washington State University, Vancouver
Nov 24Thanksgiving
Dec 1TBA
Doug Nychka, National Center for Atmospheric Research


4:30-5:20pm in P123 (unless marked otherwise). Directions to Reed.

Jan 26TBA
Muthuramakrishnan Venkitasubramaniam, Department of Computer Science, University of Rochester
Feb 2TBA
Mark Sapir, Department of Mathematics, Vanderbilt University
Feb 9TBA
Feb 16TBA
Feb 23TBA
Anurag Singh, Department of Mathematics, University of Utah
Mar 2TBA
Mar 9TBA
Lyudmila Korobenko, UPenn/Reed College
Mar 16Spring break
Mar 23TBA
Mar 30TBA
David Ayala, Montana State University
Apr 6TBA
Apr 13TBA
Apr 20TBA
Apr 27TBA

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