Mathematics Department

Colloquium

Upcoming Seminar

September 27, 4:40 PM in Eliot 314
Bitcoins and Blockchains
Adam Groce, Reed College

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin attempt to create an electronic "object" that functions as the equivalent of cash, allowing people to carry out electronic transactions without the need for an intermediary (like a bank or credit card company).  This talk will explain what these cryptocurrencies are and the blockchain technology that makes them work.  The focus will be on understanding the really innovative cryptography that makes them function, but we'll also talk about the economic and policy issues that they raise.  A good technical understanding of how cryptocurrencies really work is crucial if one wants to separate their true promise from the groundless hype.

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.

2018-19 Schedule

Fall

4:40-5:30pm in Eliot 314 (unless marked otherwise). Directions to Reed.

Aug 30Meeting with Majors

Topics to be discussed:
Faculty evaluation procedure
Senior thesis project
Graduate schools
…and, whatever else comes up!

Photos will be taken of junior & senior mathematics majors for the department bulletin board.

All students welcome. Refreshment will be provided.

Sept 6AI is Coming.....
David Krueger, University of Montreal

How can we build advanced artificial intelligence (AI) systems that behave as we intend and expect? ("AI alignment") How can we know whether the AI we've built is safe? ("AI safety")  What will happen if it's not?  Although nobody knows if or when we will develop human-level artificial general intelligence (AGI), recent progress in machine learning (ML), in particular deep learning (DL) and reinforcement learning (RL) have led to a massive surge of interest in AI, with billions of dollars going into research with the explicit aim of building AGI.  This has coincided with increased concern over the transformative social impacts of AI technology, most notably the possibility of human extinction ("AI-Xrisk").  I'll give background on machine learning and AI alignment, safety, and Xrisk; and I'll talk a bit about my research in these areas.

All are welcome. Free and open to the public.  Refreshment will be provided

Sept 13Summer Research Presentations

Reed students will present overviews of research in mathematics, statistics, and computer science they completed during summer 2018:

Ira Globus-Harris and Marika Swanberg - Differentially private analysis of variance

Simon Couch and Zeki Kazan - Differentially private non-parametric hypothesis testing

Maxine Calle - Putting the "k" in curvature: k-plane constant curvature conditions

Henry Blanchette - Citations and collaborations among computer systems publications

Sept 20Summer Research Presentations

Reed students will present overviews of research in mathematics, statistics, and computer science they completed during summer 2018:

Zichen Cui - Minimally intersecting filling pair origamis

David Tamas-Parris and Livia Xu - Generators and relations for the equivariant Barratt-Eccles operad

Yevgeniya Zhukova - A look at the functors Ext and Tor

Nick Chaiyachakorn - De Rham cohomology is singular cohomology: de Rham's theorem

Sept 27Bitcoins and Blockchains
Adam Groce, Reed College

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin attempt to create an electronic "object" that functions as the equivalent of cash, allowing people to carry out electronic transactions without the need for an intermediary (like a bank or credit card company).  This talk will explain what these cryptocurrencies are and the blockchain technology that makes them work.  The focus will be on understanding the really innovative cryptography that makes them function, but we'll also talk about the economic and policy issues that they raise.  A good technical understanding of how cryptocurrencies really work is crucial if one wants to separate their true promise from the groundless hype.

Oct 4José Manuel Gómez, Universidad Nacional de Colombia
Oct 11Naiomi Cameron, Lewis and Clark College
Oct 25Ellen Eischen, University of Oregon
Nov 1John Doyle, Louisiana Tech University
Nov 8Courtney Thatcher, University of Puget Sound
Nov 15Stephan R. Garcia, Pomona College
Nov 29Daniel Dugger, University of Oregon

Spring

4:40-5:30pm in Eliot 314 (unless marked otherwise). Directions to Reed.

Jan 31Spyridon Michalakis, California Institute of Technology
Feb 7Blair Davey, City College of New York
Feb 28Jonathan May, University of Southern California
Mar 14Niles Johnson, Ohio State University
Apr 11Nathan Ilten, Simon Fraser University
Apr 18Adam Smith, Boston University
May 2Mike Hill, UCLA

Contact Us

Phone: 503-777-7710
Fax: 503-788-6691

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