A triple celebration
From MathsDept
for
David Smith, Joel Schiff and Paul Hafner
Mathematics,
over almost four decades.
This is a celebration of the contributions of three of our longest serving colleagues, who will be retiring from teaching at the end of 2008. Namely David Smith, Joel Schiff and Paul Hafner (alphabetically by first letter of first name).
There will be three talks by distinguished visitors, starting at 2pm, followed by a reception at Old Government House from 4:45pm.
Jonathan Borwein: "The past 60 years in Mathematics"
Time: 2 pm
Abstract:
I shall explore my familial mathematical experiences over the past six decades as a way of investigating idiosyncratically:
- (i) what's changed and what remains much the same and
- (ii) what has been gained and what has been lost.
I shall do this in very roughly decade long tranches.
Robert E. Megginson: "What Has Been Happening in Undergraduate Research Experiences in Mathematics in the United States in the Last Ten Years?"
Time: 2:45 pm
Abstract:
It is well documented that research experiences for undergraduates (REUs) have a positive effect on retaining students in undergraduate STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) majors and then pointing the students toward graduate school. However, as a discipline mathematics has traditionally been one of the holdouts in making REUs available to its undergraduates, though our colleagues in the physical and biological sciences, as well as in engineering, have long embraced them. In part, this has been due to the belief by many mathematicians that undergraduates just do not know enough mathematics to be able to work effectively on a research project. There has been a sea change in this attitude, as models for engaging students in undergraduate mathematics research have become more widely known and implemented over the last ten or more years. This talk will focus on the evolution of the thinking and the models that have emerged, with a particular focus on the impact of REUs on students from groups underrepresented in mathematics in the U.S.
Cheryl Praeger: "The random revolution: how statistics and complexity theory have partnered more traditional mathematics to achieve smarter computation"
Time: 3:35 pm
Abstract:
Advances in modern computational power have led to dramatic changes in mathematics, including solutions to problems in large complex systems, previously considered infeasible. Much of this is due to the use of randomised algorithms. and this is no less true in algebra. The talk describes how powerful Monte Carlo methods developed in various areas of science, especially statistics, have transformed computational algebra, underpinned by the power of the finite simple group classification. The speaker is an algebraist, and several examples from her area will be given as illustrations.
- Jonathan Borwein, FRSC
- Canada Research Chair
- Dalhousie University
- Robert E. Megginson
- Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Mathematics
- Associate Dean for Undergraduate and Graduate Education
- College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
- University of Michigan
- Cheryl Praeger FAA
- Federation Fellow and Professor, Department of Mathematics
- University of Western Australia
- Perth
Members of the Department of Mathematics and special guests
Not required
Ivan Reilly