## Mathematics & Computer Science

## Mathematics & CS News

### '14 Spring Semester

**On April 22**, Pi Mu Epsilon reception at Hoffman House for
this year's inductees to the honor society.

** On April 12, **Abigail Stryker '14 and Erica Wenzel '14 presented "A Monte
Carlo Simulation Approach to Determine the Greatest Post-Season Players" at the
Carolina Sports Analytics Meeting at Furman University. This work is part of
their mathematics CUE with Dr. Huber.

** On April 12,** Jarrett Felix '14 finished among the top third of participants
in the William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition. The competition is open
to undergraduates in the United States and Canada and consists 12 questions,
which participants have six hours to complete. It is considered the hardest math
exam in the world.

** On April 1, **Three exceptional Learning Assistants, Kelly Cann '15, Rebecca Golden '14, and
Rachel Halpern '14 (Math Major), presented "Reconsiderations for Success in Gateway Classes"
at the PA/NJ College of Reading and Learning Association Conference on Friday,
March 28th, 2014. In partnership with Jenna Azar, Senior Year Experience and
Learning Assistant Manager, and Monica Cocca, Tutorial Coordinator, the
team presented compelling data about the Learning Assistant Program at
Muhlenberg and encouraged dialogue about how and why peers can be effective
agents of change in gateway courses.

**On March 29,** Several Muhlenberg students and faculty attended the Lehigh Valley Computer Science Celebration at Moravian College. Bill Dolan '14
presented a poster "Library Research Security," based on a project with Tim
Clarke, Head of Library Systems. Lewis Gilzeane 14 presented a poster "20 Steps
to Heaven."

**On March 20**, Colloquium Series presentation by Dr. Gabriel
Feinberg of Haverford College: Pythagorean Triples and Geometry. A Pythagorean
triple is a triple of positive integers a, b, and c such that a2+b2 = c2. Some
well-known examples include (3,4,5), (5,12, 13), and (8,15,17), but there are
infinitely many more. In this talk, we will see two methods for describing all
Pythagorean triples, and the geometry behind them. The first method will be
classical, relying on Euclidean geometry, while the second will appeal to ideas
from non-Euclidean geometry.

**On March 5**, (At Temple University) Presentation by Daniel
File, visiting assistant professor of mathematics. This is part two of a
two-part lecture at the Temple University Number Theory Seminar. His talk is
titled "Test Vectors and Central L-values for GL(2) II.

**On February 26**, Colloquium Series presentation by Dr.
Robert Vallin of Slippery Rock University on Mathematical Card Magic: A rising
swell of research is being devoted to topics such as juggling, the game of SET,
Sudoku & KenKen Puzzles, and more. What unites these topics is that they
fall under the umbrella term Recreational Math. This talk will look at the
recreational topic of playing card tricks that are based on mathematical ideas.
We will show some tricks, explore the mathematics behind them, and see how they
can lead to something new under the sun.

**On February 26**, (At Temple University) Presentation by
Daniel File, visiting assistant professor of mathematics. This is part one of a
two-part lecture at the Temple University Number Theory Seminar. His talk is
titled "Test Vectors and Central L-values for GL(2) I. He will give two lectures
describing recent work with Kimball Martin and Ameya Pitale in which they
compute the central value of the base change L-function for a cuspidal
automorphic representation of GL(2).

**On February 21**, Colloquium Series presentation by Dr.
Patrick Williams of Muhlenberg College: Mathematics On Your Mind. Wondering what
those math courses are preparing you for? A career in neuroscience, of course!
In this talk, I'll introduce a few of the many ways in which interesting
mathematical challenges—and mathematicians—permeate the field of
neurophysiology. We'll focus on one critical issue, dimensionality reduction,
and look at how it factors into the creation of a brain-controlled
neuroprosthetic limb.

**On February 7**, Colloquium Series presentation by Allison
Davidson of Purdue University: What Makes a Pólya Urn Scheme Tenable and Why Is
That Important? Pólya urns are statistical models that use colored balls to
simulate a growth or decay process. Pólya urns that can be repeated
indefinitely, regardless of the events that take place, are known as tenable
urns. In identifying the specific conditions required for tenability, one can
assess the tenability of any Pólya urn scheme, and thus the sustainability of
the specific growth or decay model it represents.

**On February 3**, Colloquium Series presentation by Dr. Thomas
LoFaro, Clifford M. Swanson Professor of Mathematics at Gustavus Adolphus
College: Finding Hubs & Authorities from Network Connectivity. Jon
Kleinberg's HITS (Hypertext Induced Topic Search) algorithm was originally
designed to rank web pages in a manner similar to the PageRank algorithm used by
Google. HITS assigns a pair of weights to each page that measures both the
quality of the information on the page (the authority weight) and the access to
information that it provides (the hub weight). This feature makes HITS
applicable to the analysis of social networks and other non-internet specific
networks. In this talk I will describe the HITS algorithm, discuss network
structures where HITS fails to converge to a meaningful result, and propose a
modification to the algorithm that addresses this shortcoming.

**On January 27**, Colloquium Series presentation by Dr. Robert
Bosch, Robert and Eleanor Biggs Professor of Science at Oberlin University: Opt
Art. Optimization is concerned with optimal performance—finding the best way to
complete a task. It has been put to good use in a great number of diverse
disciplines: advertising, agriculture, biology, business, economics,
engineering, manufacturing, medicine, telecommunications, and transportation (to
name but a few). In this lecture, we will showcase its amazing utility by
demonstrating its applicability in the area of visual art, which at first glance
would seem to have no use for it whatsoever! We will begin by describing how to
use integer programming to construct a portrait out of complete sets of double
nine dominoes. We will then describe how high quality solutions to certain
large-scale traveling salesman problems can lead to beautiful continuous line
drawings. We will conclude by presenting other examples of Opt Art—art
constructed with the assistance of optimization techniques.

### '13 Fall Semester

**On November 16-17**, Andrew Tullo '14, Chris Zumberge '14,
Sam Tolkin '14, Holly Bertolet '15, Mike Filippone '15 and David Reinert '16
participated in the 2nd Annual Lehigh Valley Startup Weekend at Ben Franklin
Techventures at Lehigh University.

**On November 13**, Dr. WIlliam Dunham, Koehler Professor of
Mathematics at Muhlenberg College, closed out the fall colloquium series with,
"Lunchtime with Euler." Dr. Dunham notes that, "Among history’s greatest
mathematicians is Leonhard Euler (1707-1783), the Swiss genius who produced an
astonishing 25,000 pages of pure and applied mathematics of the very highest
quality. In this talk, we sketch Euler’s life and describe a few of his
contributions to number theory, algebra, and other branches of mathematics."

**On November 3**, Dr. Elyn Rykken, Dr. Dan File, and three
Mathematics Majors: Jarrett Felix '14, Bryan McComb '14, and Benjamin Nassau
'15, of Muhlenberg College, attended the 23rd Annual Lehigh Valley Association
of Independent Colleges (LVAIC) Mathematics Competition held this year at
Lafayette College. The contest consists of a three-hour test where students need
to work together as a team to solve the problems. It is open to students from
Cedar Crest College, DeSales University, Lafayette, Lehigh University, Moravian,
and Muhlenberg College.

**On October 23**, Dr. Florence Appel or Saint Xavier
University presented a colloquium on "Teaching Computer Ethics Issues" to the
campus. She noted that, "Society's widespread use of and reliance on digital
technology has brought a number of interesting and challenging ethical issues to
the attention of computer science educators and their students. From practices
that threaten personal privacy and security, to thorny issues surrounding the
protection of intellectual property, issues abound and pose a minefield for
students who are future professionals in a number of fields that involve regular
implementation of computers and digital communication technology. Educators have
a responsibility to prepare students for this reality. We will explore several
serious computer ethics issues, identify resources and try our hand at various
pedagogies that may encourage our students to address these issues critically
and creatively."

**On October 8**, Dr. Elizabeth McMahon of Lafayette College
presented a Colloquium on "Mathematics and the Game of SET." The card game of
SET is played with a deck of 81 cards, and quite a lot of mathematics can be
explored using the game. The presentation covered questions in combinatorics,
probability, linear algebra, and especially geometry using the Game of SET. As
Dr. McMahon notes, "The deck is an excellent model for the finite affine
geometry, and provides an entry to surprisingly beautiful structure theorems for
that geometry."

**On September 27**, student researcher(s) present and discuss
their summer research experiences during the Summer Research Poster Session.

**On September 19**, William Dunham, Koehler Professor of
Mathematics, spoke at the Mathematics Colloquium at West Chester University. His
title was "An Afternoon with Euler."

**On September 18**, How I Spent My Summer Vacation… Summer
Research Done by Math and Computer Science Students with Macauley Breault '15,
Jarrett Felix '14, Bryan McComb '14 and Erica Wenzel '14.

**On September 10**, Dr. Kimball Martin of the University of
Oklahoma opened the fall colloquium series with "How often should you clean your
room?" Or how to mathematically quantify the notion of how often you should
clean your room, which means how to optimally balance the time you spend
searching for things and the time you spend putting things back.

### '13 Spring Semester

**On April 13**, Courtney Hunsberger '15 and Melanie Panosian '13 gave talks entitled "Loss Aversion and Baseball" and "Penny Auctions and Prospect Theory," respectively, at the Garden State Undergraduate Mathematics Conference at Felician College in Lodi, NJ. For more information about their projects click here.

**On April 11**, Bryan McComb presented the paper "Traveling on the O.R Express: An Excursion in Commuter Rail Design" at the 2013 National Conference on Undergraduate Research at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. This paper stems from two semesters of independent research with Dr. Linda McGuire. For more information about this project click here.

**On April 6**, Andrew Tullo '14 and Mike Borowsky '16 won first place in the programming contest at the Lehigh Valley Computer Science Celebration. Lindsay Coburn '14 and Tim Gee '14 also attended and competed.

**On Feb 22**, Muhlenberg College Department of Mathematics and Computer Science hosted the 2013 Annual High School Mathematics Competition. The winner of the Competition was Parkland High School, and runner up was Moravain Academy. For information and pictures about the Competition click here.

**On January 25-27**, Erica Wenzel and Abigail Stryker attended the 2013 Nebraska Conference for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

**On January 9-12**, Nicole Fiorentino and Melanie Panosian presented posters of their REU projects to the 2013 Joint Mathematics Meetings at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California. For more information about their REUs click here. For pictures of event click here.

### '12 Fall Semester

**On Nov 15**, Dr. Byungchul Cha, presented "It's Easy as ABC," a guided tour for some interesting number theory problems, easy to understand, but hard to solve.

**On Nov 3**, Scott Goldstein '13, Sam Tolkin '14 and Macauley Breault '15 were "Tournament Finalists" in the VEX Robotics competition held at the College of Southern Maryland. They received a trophy for their efforts.

**On Oct 2**, Dr. Kevin Hartshore, Professor of Mathematics at Moravian College, presented "Game, Set, Math!" The elegance of the game Set is found in the connection between simple game play and deep mathematical ideas. He explored some of the interesting properties of the game and shared the results of his study. This explored topics in discrete mathematics, linear algebra, geometry, and group theory.

**On Sept 20**, Katie Casty '14, Nicole Fiorentino '13, and Melanie Panosian '13 presented "A Summer of Mathematics." Each speaker gave a brief description of the REU they completed over the summer and answered questions about their experiences.

**On Aug 14**, Clif Kussmaul, Associate Professor of Computer Science, led a workshop on Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL) at "Reboot, Renew, Retreat", a conference for K-12 computing teachershosted at Villanova University.

**From July 4-5**, William Dunham, Koehler Professor of Mathematics, presented "Meet Uncle Isaac," a pair of lectures on the mathematics of Isaac Newton, presented for the students of MathPath, Mount Holyoke College (MA).

**On June 1**, Associate Professor Clif Kussmaul and students Tim Gee '14, Mike Walsh '14, and Laurainne Ojo-Ohikuare '14 organized a 1-day workshop at Muhlenberg on Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL), which was attended by faculty, staff, and students from a range of disciplines and institutions. The workshop was supported by a NSF TUES grant.

### Archive

### '12 Spring Semester

**On April 28**, members of the Muhlenberg Percussion Ensemble performed composed by Jacob Abrams for instrument designed and built by Abby Stryker '14, Erica Wenzel '14, and Ryan Gross '15, and supervised by Clif Kussmaul.

**From Apr 27-28**, Clif Kussmaul, Associate Professor of Computer Science, and Tim Gee '14 attended the Consortium for Computing Sciences Northeastern Meeting at Quinnipiac University. Clif lead a workshop on "Learning FOSS collaboration tools & techniques through guided inquiry activities" and Tim presented a poster on "POGIL activities for Arduino".

**On Apr 24**, teams competed in the 2012 Muhlenberg Innovation Challenge. First place went to bacCheck: A Smartphone Sobriety Test, developed and presented by Matthew Horn '14 , Averill Morash '14 and Timothy McClung '12. Third place went to Solar Cell Case: A solar powered cell phone charger,developed and presented by Trevor Cardo '15 , Mike Filippone '15 , Ben Burwell '15 , and Cora Wallace '15.

**On April 14**, William Dunham, Koehler Professor of Mathematics, presented "Two (More) Morsels from Euler," an address before the Spring Meeting of the MAA's Seaway Section, Hamilton College (NY).

**On April 14**, computer science students & faculty attended an LVAIC CS meeting at Moravian College. Tim Gee '14 and Colin Zelin '15 presented posters on current CS projects. Matt Horn '14 and Andrew Trautman '15 placed first in the team programming contest by being the only team to solve all 6 problems.

**On April 6**, William Dunham, Koehler Professor of Mathematics, presented "A Celebration of Euler," an invited lecture recognizing the retirement of Professor William Priestley of the University of the South, Sewanee, TN.

**On March 4**, Byungchul Cha, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, presented a lecture at the Algebra and Representation Theory Seminar at the University of Oklahoma. The title of his talk was “Prime number races in function fields”

**In Feburary**, Clif Kussmaul, Associate Professor of Computer Science, attended the ACM SIGCSE Conference in Raleigh, NC. His CS-POGIL grant project was highlighted in the NSF Project Showcase. He presented a paper and co-organized a special session on POGIL in CS, and he co-presented a poster on ways students and faculty can contribute to free & open source software.

**On Feburary 25**, The Department of Mathematics and Computer Science hosted the 34th annual high school math competition. Schools competing included Parkland,Moravian Academy, Freedom, Southern Lehigh, Wetherley, Northampton, Emmaus, Whitehall and Liberty.

**On January 5**, Penny Dunham, Professor of Mathematics, attended the Joint Mathematics Meetings in Boston, where she presented a paper titled “Food for (Mathematical) Thought” and participated in a mini-course, “Identifying and Addressing Difficult Concepts for Students in the Introductory Statistics Course”

**On January 4**, William Dunham, Koehler Professor of Mathematics, delivered the 2012 Keynote Address “Heron, Newton, Euler, and Barney” before the Special Interest Group on the History of Mathematics as part of the Joint Mathematics Meetings in Boston.

### '11 Fall Semester

**On November 18, 2011**, Muhlenberg Students Scott Goldstein '13, Tim Gee '14, Jon-Frederick Landrigan '13, Jeremey Borut '14, Alex Isinhue '13, and Kyle Houston '13 competed in the VEX Robotics competition held at California University of PA.

**From April 15 - 16, 2011**, Ben Heilman '11 and Clif Kussmaul attended the Consortium for Computing Sciences in College Northeastern Meeting (CCSCNE) at Western New England College. Ben presented a poster on "Representative polling module for Drupal framework" based on his semester project in CSI 210: Software Engineering. Clif gave a tutorial on "Process-Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL) in Computer Science".

**On Apr 9, 2011**, Clif Kussmaul gave the keynote presentation on "Free & Open Source Software in CS & SE Education" at the 26th Annual Spring Conference of the Pennsylvania Computer and Information Science Educators (PACISE) at Shippensburg University.

**On April 2, 2011** Lauren Spirko '11 presented "Strategies for Penny Auctions" at the Garden State Undergraduate Mathematics Conference at Essex County College.

**On Mar 19, 2011**, a group from Muhlenberg attended a workshop at Drew University on Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL), including students Nicole Cronin '14 and Averill Morash '14, alumnus Chelsea Lobdell '09, and faculty Sharon Albert, Jane Flood, Joe Keane, Mark Sciutto, and Clif Kussmaul.

**On January 7, 2011**, Michael Huber presented "Modeling Malaria in Central America" at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in New Orleans, LA.