Colloquium Archive

Fall 2015 - Spring 2016


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).  


Fall 2014-Spring 2015


Friday, October 23, 2015
Topic: Mathematical Modeling of Animal Epidemics

Chris Rorres (University of Pennsylvania)


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


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


Friday, November 21, 2014
Title: Joint Modeling: When One Model is Not Enough

Paul Berhardt (Villanova University)


Friday, October 24, 2014
Title: A Powerful New Test for the General Two-Sample Problem

Dr. Jesse Frey (Villanova University)


Friday, September 26, 2014
Title: The Analogy of Phantom Traffic Jams and Detonation Waves

Dr. Ben Siebold (Temple University)


Friday, September 12, 2014
Title: The Rental Harmony Theorem

Dr. David Futer (Temple University)

Fall 2013-Spring 2014


Friday, September 27, 2013
Title: Sub_Weyl subconvexity and short p-adic exponential sums

Dr. Djordje Milićević (Bryn Mawr College)


Friday, September 13, 2013
Title: The Rim Hook Rule: Enumerative Geometry via Combinatorics

Dr. Elizabeth Beazley (Haverford College)

Fall 2012-Spring 2013


Friday, April 12, 2013
Title: Inverse Problems: Determining the Equation from the Solution

Dr. Shari Moskow (Drexel University)


Friday, February 1, 2013
Title: Modeling and Interpretation of Vaccine Cross-over Clinical Trials Data

Scott Patterson (Pfizer Vaccine Clinical Research)


Friday, November 30, 2012
Title: Search Algorithms.

Tom Corwin, class of '69, founder and CEO of Metron Inc.



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



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



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

Fall 2011 - Spring 2012


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



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



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


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


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


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

Fall 2010 - Spring 2011

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


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


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


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


Friday, March 18, 2011
Title: TBA
Matt Devos,  Simon Fraser University


Friday, February 11, 2011
A Two-Parameter Pareto Model for Income Distributions
Klaus Volpert, Ph.D Villanova University


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

Fall 2008 - Spring 2009

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


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


Friday, April 24, 2009
Non-Unique Factorization
Patrick Cesarz '09


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


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


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


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


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


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

Fall 2007 - Spring 2008

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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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

Chair: Dr. Douglas Norton
Staff: Marie O'Brien, 610.519.4809
          Lorraine McGraw, 610.519.4850