September 15 (Monday)
Speaker: Professor Wieslaw Zelazko
Time: 4:00 pm
Location: Olin Science 372
Title: The History of Polish Mathematics
Until the beginning of the 20th Century, Poland had no tradition in mathematics. Suddenly, in the period from 1920-1939 (between the wars), we made quite reasonable progress in some branches of mathematics, culminating with the "Polish School of Mathematics." In my talk, I shall explain this phenomenon.
  • September 19 (Friday) MAA Ping Pong Night
    This friday night from 7:30-9:30 in Kress Basement. All are welcome to attend.

  • September 25 (Thursday)
    Speaker: Toan Phan
    Time: 4:00 pm
    Location: Olin 255
    Title: Distribution of the zeros of polynomials
    Given a complex polynomial whose zeros are on the unit circle, we know the zeros of its derivatives must be inside the circle, but how are they distributed? We will go through various types of polynomials with various distribution of their zeros. Some of the distributions are found in biology, traffic patterns, and every day life.

  • October 9 (Thursday)
    Speaker: Jen Miller
    Time: Noon
    Location: Olin 255
    Title: How Big Can A Polynomial Be?
    Abstract: Consider the supremum norm of a polynomial p(x) considered on an interval [a, b]. This norm just measures how large a polynomial can be (in absolute value) on a closed interval. It is known that among all degree n polynomials with leading coefficient 1 on [-1,1], a special polynomial called the Chebyshev polynomial of degree n achieves the smallest value of the supremum norm, and that smallest value is given by 2^(1-n). We will look at the greatest value of the supremum norm for a certain large class of monic degree n polynomials, as well as some related bounds. This talk should be accessible to anyone who has studied calculus. I will also discuss the REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) program I attended.

  • October 17, Racquet Ball Meeting of the MAA
    7-10 P.M.

  • October 30 (Thursday)
    Speaker: Professor Rob Kantrowitz, Hamilton College
    Time: 4:00 pm
    Location: Olin Science 268
    Title: Matrices and Their Square Roots
    Abstract: If A and B are square matrices, and the square of B equals A, then B is called a square root of A. In this talk, we shall look at several examples of matrices and their square roots. The examples will serve also to motivate discussion of some general facts about square roots of matrices. Only knowledge of basic matrix arithmetic is required.

  • The Putnam Team will meet on November 4 and November 6
    Time: 4:00 P.M.
    Location: Olin 383

  •  November 6 (Thursday)
    Speaker: Professor Helen Doerr, Syracuse University
    Time: Noon
    Location: Olin Science 372
    Title: Learning to Teach and Multimedia Case Studies of Practice
    Abstract: Field experiences are central to most teacher preparation programs, yet learning to teach from such experiences has inherent limitations. Student teachers often find a disconnect between what their university-based methods instructors suggest and what they find in actual classrooms. Furthermore, the complexity of classroom interactions often make it difficult to observe experienced teachers in meaningful ways. The use of multi-media case studies of exemplary practice provides a site for the beginning teacher to examine "good practice" and to untangle the complexity of the classroom. In this talk, I will discuss several ways in which we have used multimedia case study to learn to teach.

  • November 10 (Monday)
    Speaker: Professor Anthony DeJesus, Hunter College
    Time: Noon
    Location: RCHM 116
    Title: Subtractive Schooling, Social Capital and Bridge Building at a Latino Community High School
    Abstract: This research explores the way one Latino community responded to the failure of public schools to adequately educate young people in New York City. Using qualitative and ethnographic methods, De Jesus presents a case study of El Puente Academy, its accomplishments and challenges as derived from historical data and interviews of the school's founders, leadership, teachers, and students. This research reveals that El Puente Academy engages students through a formal and informal curriculum that is based on students' historical and cultural identities, and academic instruction aimed at preparing students for competitive colleges and universities. These practices are based on the Latino values of educación (Valenzuela 1999) and personalismo (Santiago, Arredondo & Gallardo-Cooper, 2002) which privilege high-quality interpersonal relations as a pre-requisite to learning. Despite El Puente Academy's success engaging Latino and African-American students; internal challenges, and forces of gentrification and standardization represent threats to the innovative structures and practices created by El Puente's founders and raise important questions for those interested in community-driven school reform.

  • November 13 (Thursday)
    Speaker: Professor Rich Weida
    Time: Noon
    Location: Olin 255
    Title: Finite Geometric
    Abstract: Everyone "knows" that lines consist of an infinite number of points. What if "everyone" was wrong? This talk starts with the assumption that there is some line with only a finite number of points. Using counting arguments and the basic axioms of geometry, we then explore the resulting geometric space and compare it to the one that we all "know".

  • December 2, 2003 MAA FALL BANQUET
    5:00 P.M.
    Location: Langone Center, THE TERRACE ROOM

  • December 4
    Speaker: Karl Voss
    Time: Noon
    Location: Room 372 Olin Science
    Title: "Hamilton, Gibbs and Why We Write Vectors Like We Do"
    Abstract: We will discuss the lives of Hamilton and Gibbs and the ways each of them wanted us to write vectors. Hamilton promoted quaternion (a generalization of complex numbers) with a singular passion that dominated his life. Gibbs promoted our so-called modern system and was one of the first great American scientists. The talk will be accessible to anyone who knows what a complex number is and what a vector in three dimension is. ALL ARE WELCOME



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