Colloquium Archive

Tom Corwin '69 (Corwin Associates)

Friday, November 13, 2015

Mendel Hall Room 154, 2:30-3:30

Title: The Mathematics of Search: Theory and Operational Examples


I will review the basic tenants of Optimal Search Theory and discuss its application to real-world searches. These include:

  1.  The search for the H-bomb lost off Polomares Spain — 1966

  2.  The search for the USS Scorpion — 1968

  3.  Clearance of the Suez Canal — 1974

  4.  ComSubPac Submarine searches — 1975 through 1977

  5.  Search for the  Miramar F-14 — 1976

  6.  Search for the USS Central America — 1988

  7.  Air France 447 — 2009

  8.  Malaysian Air 370 — 2014

Robert Buchanan (Millersville University)

Friday, November 20, 2015

Mendel Hall Room 154, 2:20-3:30

Title: The Mathematics of Wagering

Abstract: Parimutuel wagering is a form of gambling in which the payoff of a bet is determined in part by the collective wagers of all the bettors. Parimutuel wagering in common in horse racing and lotteries. The past performance of horses and jockeys can be analyzed to model the probabilities associated with future performance outcomes. When private estimates of race outcome probabilities differ from the collective public’s estimates as measured by their wagers, bets may be made which have a positive rate of return. The amount wagered and the outcomes wagered on must be carefully chosen to optimize the utility of the bettor’s bankroll. Information present in the win betting pool can be used to estimate probabilities of outcomes in the exotic betting pools.

This talk will touch on topics in statistical modeling, parameter estimation, and nonlinear, numerical constrained optimization. It will be understandable by undergraduate mathematics students.


David Chuss '97 (Villanova University)

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Mendel Hall 154, 2:30-3:30

Title: Searching for the Fingerprint of Inflation in the Cosmic Microwave Background

Abstract: The past two decades have brought a vast improvement in our understanding of cosmology during which the Big Bang paradigm has been quantified using a six parameter model.  The observed geometric flatness of the universe, it's near homogeneity, and the small deviation from scale invariance of the small temperature fluctuations in the cosmic microwave background (the relic radiation from the early universe) have hinted that the universe underwent a period of brief, rapid expansion in the first fraction of a second.  This expansion, called "inflation," is predicted to produce gravitational waves that would have imprinted a faint but distinct polarization pattern in the cosmic microwave background.   The Cosmology Large Angular Scale Surveyor (CLASS) is currently being constructed in the Atacama Desert to search for this signal to test the inflation paradigm. I will review the state of the art of our current understanding of cosmology and discuss the CLASS instrument capabilities.


Chris Rorres (Drexel University)

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Saint Augustine Center Room 300, 6:00-8:00

Title: The Law of the Lever: Archimedes vs. Mach

Abstract: Over a century ago Ernst Mach, the famous Austrian physicist and philosopher of science, wrote a blistering criticism of Archimedes' celebrated proof of the Law of the Lever. Mach accused Archimedes of overusing his "Grecian mania for demonstration" and succeding in his proof only "by the help of the very propostion he sought to prove". His attack drew the expected objections from many historians and philosophers of science who, in turn, accused Mach of not understanding the subtleties of Archimedes' proof. I will give my own interpretation of this controversy from a mathematician's poin tof view, concluding with my belief that while Archimedes did indeed prove something, it can hardly be called a proof of the Law of the Lever.


Weiwen Miao (Haverford College)

Friday, February 12, 2016

Saint Augustine Center Room 300, 2:30-3:25

Title: New Statistical Tests for Detecting Disparate Impact Arising from Two-Stage Selection Processes

Abstract:Statistical evidence is often critical when a court decides whether an employment practice (e.g. a promotional exam) has a disparate impact on minority candidates. In many cases, the hiring or promotion process consists of two steps. Since disparate impact can occur at each step, parties submitting evidence may use statistical tests at each stage without accounting for a potential multiple comparisons problem. Because different courts have focused on data concerning either one or the other step or a composite of both, they have reached opposite conculsions when faced with similar data. After illustrating the issues, two two-step tests are recommended to alleviate the problem. The large sample properties of these tests are obtained. A simulation study shows that in most situation, the new tests have higher power than the ones in current use.


Erica Graham (Bryn Mawr College)

Friday, April 1, 2016

Mendel Hall Room 154, 2:30-3:25

Title: On Mathematical Models of Metabolic Dysfunction: Diabetes, Cells, and Sleep

Abstract: How are cells, sleep, and diabetes related? Type 2 diabetes, in particular, is a metabolic disease whose very presence results  from a coodrinated dysfunction of cells within the body. Although the disease is well studied, there remain significant gaps in our understanding of its development. Genetic and environmental factors are known to determine individual susceptibility to diabetes. Overnutrition is commonly associated with disease,  whereas circadian disruption is a less known contirbutor to enviironmental susceptibility. Because  diabetes often takes decades to develop, mathematical modeling is a useful tool to study disease progression from various perspectives. In this talk, I will discuss mathematical models of metabolic  dysfunction, in the context of both cellular mechanism and sleep-wake patterns. 


Mark McKibben (West Chester U)

Friday, April 8, 2016

Mendel Hall Room 115, 2:30-3:25

Title: Holey Rocks, Indecisive Fluids, Vanishing Beaches & Fiery Neurons: The Unifying Nature of Implicit Evolution Equations

Abstract: Hidden connections often lurk beneath the surface that, once discovered, enable mathematical models of seemingly disparate phenomena to be studied within a single, unified abstract framework. When the models consist of partial differential equations, the form of this structure is an abstract evolution equation. In this talk, we shall begin by illustrating, in a sequence of steps, how an abstract evolution equation can be derived to unify the study of the models alluded to in the title. Then, we will incorporate environmental noise into the models and develop an even more encompassing stochastic theory governing the evolution of these processes. If time permits, commentary will be given on current and future directions of research in this area, including how one accounts for sharp blows to the system, time delays, and "not-so-nice" noise (e.g., fractional Brownian motion).  


Friday, October 23, 2015
Chris Rorres (University of Pennsylvania)
"Mathematical Modeling of Animal Epidemics"

Friday, January 30, 2015
Dr. Maureen Carroll (Scranton University)
"Games on Planes: Using similar rules to Tic-Tac-Toe to create a variety of strategy games"

Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Dr. Yimin Zhang (Villanova University)
"Restricted Scheffe` Method Using Minimal Cone Approach for Multiple Comparisons"

Friday, November 21, 2014
Paul Berhardt (Villanova University)
 "Joint Modeling: When One Model is Not Enough"

Friday, October 24, 2014
Dr. Jesse Frey (Villanova University)
 "A Powerful New Test for the General Two-Sample Problem"

Friday, September 26, 2014
Dr. Ben Siebold (Temple University)
 "The Analogy of Phantom Traffic Jams and Detonation Waves"

Friday, September 12, 2014
Dr. David Futer (Temple University)
 "The Rental Harmony Theorem"

Friday, September 27, 2013
Dr. Djordje Milićević (Bryn Mawr College)
"Sub_Weyl subconvexity and short p-adic exponential sums"

Friday, September 13, 2013
Dr. Elizabeth Beazley (Haverford College)
 "The Rim Hook Rule: Enumerative Geometry via Combinatorics"

Friday, April 12, 2013
Dr. Shari Moskow (Drexel University)
 "Inverse Problems: Determining the Equation from the Solution"

Friday, February 1, 2013
Scott Patterson (Pfizer Vaccine Clinical Research)
 "Modeling and Interpretation of Vaccine Cross-over Clinical Trials Data"

Friday, November 30, 2012
Tom Corwin, class of '69, founder and CEO of Metron Inc.
 "Search Algorithms."

Friday, November 16, 2012
Professor Amanda Knecht, Villanova University
 "Unirational Parameterizations of Cubic Surfaces"

Friday, November 9, 2012
Dr. Charles Grinstead, Swarthmore College
 "Stories of Probabilities - some (perhaps) non-intuitive resultsin probability and geometry"

Friday, September 28, 2012
Chris Rorres, University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University
 "The Turn of the Screw  - The History and Optimal Design of an Archimedes Screw"

Friday, April 13, 2012
Dr. Mo Yahdi, Ursinus University
 "Mathematical modeling, transmission dynamics and control of antibiotic-resistant infections"

Friday, February 11, 2012
Dr. Klaus Volpert, Villanova University
 "A Two-Parameter Pareto Model for Income Distributions"

Friday, February 3, 2012
Dr. Pam Gorkin, Bucknell University
 "Are you sure that's an ellipse? Poncelet ellipses, Blaschke products, and other mathematical short stories"

Friday, December 9, 2011
John Hessler, Geography & Map Division, Library of Congress
 "Complexity and Chaos In Medieval Cartography"

Friday, November 11, 2011
Dr. Paul Pasles, Villanova University
 "Divergence of infinite series on Hecke groups of large width (with a side of Fibonacci)"

Friday, October 28, 2011
Dr. Amanda Knecht, Villanova University
 "Rational Points on Logical Varieties over Sensible Fields"

Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Dr. Tony Rothman, Princeton University
 "Pi Mu Epsilon Talk"

Friday, April 15, 2011
Jennifer Paulus & Amanda Knecht, Villanova University
 "A invitation to MAGMA"

Friday, April 1, 2011
Scott Patterson, Pfizer University
 "Scaled Average Bioequivalence"

Friday, March 25, 2011
Joseph Mileti,  Grinnell College
 "A Tale of Two Theorems: Calibrating Mathematical Complexity"

Friday, March 18, 2011
Matt Devos,  Simon Fraser University

Friday, February 11, 2011
Klaus Volpert, Ph.D Villanova University

Title: "A Two-Parameter Pareto Model for Income Distributions"

Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Matthew Fury, Ph.  Penn State University
 "ll-posed Evolution Problems"

Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Philipp Yasskin, Ph.D
 "The Mathematics of Knots and Tangles"

Friday, October 22, 2010
Andrew Woldar, Ph.D. Villanova University
 "Mathematics In Service Of Puzzle-Solving"

Friday, September 24, 2010
David Kung, Ph.D.
 "How Math Made Modern Music Mad Irrational"

Friday, March 26, 2010
Ben Galluzzo, Ph.D.
 "Water, water, everywhere, but is it safe to drink?"

Friday, January 29, 2010
Scott Patterson, Ph.D.
 "A Thorough QTc Testing in Bio-Pharmaceutical Development"

Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Paul Lupinacci, Ph.D.
 "A Class of Partially Replicated Two-Level Fractional Factorial Designs"

Friday, November 13, 2009
David Cohoon, Ph.D.
 "The Possibility of Detailed Medical Imaging of Soft tissue withLong Wavelength Radiation, Diagnosis and Therapy Concepts."

Thursday, October 22, 2009
John Commito, Ph.D.
 "Self-organization and power-law clustering in seafloor animals:  the spatial ecology of mussel beds in Maine"

Tuesday, Sept 22, 2009
Sherry Teti, Ph.D.
 "The existence of elliptic periodic orbits in the smoothed Bunimovich Stadium"

Friday, May 1, 2009
Peter Sarnak, Ph.D.
 "Diophantine geometry of Appollomian packings"

Friday, April 28, 2009
Lorelei Koss, Ph.D.
 "Complex Functions with Cantor or connected Julia Sets"

Friday, April 24, 2009
Patrick Cesarz 
 "Non-Unique Factorization"

Friday, February 27th, 2009
Michael Posner, Ph.D
 "Making Valid Inferences in Observational Studies using Propensity Score Analysis"

Friday, February 13th, 2009
Frederick Hartmann, Ph.D.
 "Starlike Univalent Functions"

Friday, February 6th, 2009
Bruce Pollack-Johnson, Ph.D
 "Quality, Time, And Cost Relationships in Project Scheduling"

Friday, January 30th, 2009
Mirela Damian, Ph.D.
 "Geometric and Graph Issues in Wireless Networks"

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008
Timothy Feeman, Ph.D
 "Letting the Cat out of the bag"

Friday, October 31st, 2008
Jesse Frey, Ph.D
 "New Nonparametric Tests for Equivalence"

Friday, April 4th, 2008
Gordon Williams, Ph.D.
 "Generalizing Polyhedra: Beyond Convexity"

Friday, March 14, 2008
Joseph McGowan, Ph.D.
 "Fundamentals of Magnetic Resonance Imaging"

Friday, February 8, 2008
Steve C. Wang, Ph.D.
 "What Caused the Permian Extinction"

Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Paul Pasles, Ph.D.
 "Benjamin Franklin's Numbers"

Friday, November 30, 2007
Klaus Volpert, Ph.D.
 "Pricing Methods for Financial Derivatives"

Friday, October 26, 2007
Abdul Hassen, Rowan University
 "Natural Generalizations of Bernoulli Numbers"

Monday, October 1, 2007
Jo Ellis-Monaghan, St. Michael's College
 "DNA Nano Structures"

Contact Information

Department of Mathematics & Statistics
SAC Room 305
Villanova University
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085 
Tel: 610.519.4850
Fax: 610.519.6928

Dr. Douglas Norton

Marie O'Brien, 610.519.4809
Lorraine McGraw, 610.519.4850