The Vanderbilt University Undergraduate Seminar in Mathematics is designed to show some fascinating
and exciting sides of mathematics to 
the undergraduate community at Vanderbilt . During the course of each
semester, we'll 
feature talks by graduate students and professors on a variety of topics in mathematics,
from set theory and abstract algebra to 
analysis and applied mathematics. Each talk will be interesting and
accessible to undergraduates, whether they're math majors or not... yet ;).

Our goal is to show students the beauty and power of mathematical ideas they might not see in their regular coursework. We hope those same students will develop a better idea of, and a keener interest in, what
 mathematics is and what mathematics can do.

Read the Vanderbilt Register Story about the Undergraduate Seminar in Mathematics.

For more information, e-mail us at mathnpizza "at" gmail "dot" com or check out our Facebook Page!

The talks for Spring 2015 will begin on February 3.

Any date without a speaker listed is still available for a volunteer to present on that day.

Please contact us at the
 email address listed if you are interested in giving a talk. 

The talks will be from 6:00-7:00 PM, Tuesday evenings in Stevenson Center 1206

NEWS FLASH: We are extremely pleased to announce that we will have funding this semester!
                           Come join us and eat some delicious pizza!   

Spring 2015 Schedule:             

February 3:  Ryan Solava
Title: This Title is Self-Referential
Abstract:  Self-reference can lead to some fascinating but logic defying examples, such as 
the well-known Epimenides paradox ("This sentence is false"). Despite this, or perhaps
because of it, self-reference has been put to good use in several important results in
mathematics, including the Halting Problem and Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem. We will examine these results and on the way, explore mathematical thinking and it's limits.

February 10: Victor Falgas-Ravry
Title: Chaos Does Not Exist
AbstractIn this talk, I will give a gentle introduction to Ramsey theory, a beautiful area in
extremal combinatorics. The crux of Ramsey theory is that in every large structure we can
find some very ordered substructures. In other words utter chaos does no exist, no matter
what your experiences at university may have taught you.

February 24: Michael Northington 
Title: Math, Music, and Machine Learning
Abstract: Software tools such as Garage Band and Audacity, allow musicians to analyze
and create music, but how do these tools work? In this talk, I will introduce a branch of mathematics called harmonic analysis and its most important tool, the Fourier Transform. 
I’ll show how this can be used to break down a short piece of music into its frequency
components, and (hopefully) show how some techniques from machine learning can be
used to allow a computer to identify what chords/notes are being played based on these frequencies.  

March 10: Zach Gaslowitz
Title: The Prisoner's Dilemma
Abstract: Two bank robbers are arrested and taken to separate interrogations rooms. The
police know that they only have proper evidence for a traffic violation, which carries a hefty
fine but no jail time.  Somehow, though, they offer each prisoner a deal that persuades them
to turn on their partner, and both end up serving time.  This simple example highlights a
perhaps counterintuitive idea in game theory, which pops up in various forms throughout
our daily lives.  We will discuss some of the theory behind it, see a few ways in which it
comes up, and figure out ways we can change the game to get a more satisfying outcome.

March 17: Min Gao
Title: Mathematical Modeling
Abstract: In this talk, I will give a brief overview of mathematical modeling approaches with
 their applications in various medical case studies. Different types of data have different
features which can be visualized and analyzed by certain types of mathematical techniques
such as histograms, scatter plots, and mean/median, variance. We can select appropriate modeling techniques for certain types
 of data to analyze the results and predict future trends.  

March 24Sandeepan Parekh
Title: Polygons and polyhedrons in space and beyond
Abstract: How many regular polygons are there? Equilateral triangles, squares ... as
many as you like.
Surprisingly, the answer to how many regular solid polyhedrons (3D
version of polygons) there are, is a mere 5!
 I shall prove why there are just five of these
Platonic Solids and attempt to argue that there ought to be more,
 hidden in hyperbolic space.

March 31: Charley Conley 
Title: Mr. Newton & Mr. Fusion
AbstractCan a centuries old calculus problem lead the way to a tabletop fusion reactor? 
Take a walk on the applied side in a highly 
interactive presentation and look at some
basic math related to energy production--past,present,and future!
And calculate if the

April 7: Josh Sparks
Title: An "Urn"est Look at Probability Models
Abstract: Like most of the mathematical sciences, we strive to use modeling to mirror the
real-world phenomenon.
In this talk, we shall take the ideas of probability theory and
stochastic processes and develop something called an "Urn Model".
 These models can
turn a simple urn filled with different colors of balls and mimic both discrete and continuous probability distributions that can 
connect to heat dispersion and binomial trials. 


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