Atul Vyas Memorial Lecture

  Atul Vyas was an outstanding CMC student who was majoring in Mathematics and Physics. He tragically lost his life in a train crash that occurred on September 12, 2008 in Chatsworth, California. The Mathematics Department at CMC fondly remembers Atul as someone who was equally excited by the power of mathematical abstraction and the possibilities for its applications.  In memory of Atul, the CMC mathematics department will host a yearly lecture series, aimed at a general audience, on the Creative Application of Abstract Mathematical Ideas. Our speakers for the fourth Atul Vyas memorial will be Gizem Karaali and Jesus A. De Loera.

The Mathematics Department at Claremont McKenna College invites you to attend the fourth Atul Vyas Memorial Lectures in Mathematics.

      Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011
   1 – 3:30 pm
    Davidson Lecture Hall, CMC
               Reception at 1:00pm            
       Lecture 1 will begin at 1:30pm     
 
Lecture 1 
Proving Hardy Wrong: Math with a Social Conscience

Famous British mathematician G.H. Hardy (1877-1947) was said to take comfort in the belief that his mathematics was completely useless. According to Hardy, "a science is said to be useful if its development tends to accentuate the existing inequalities in the distribution of wealth, or more directly promotes the destruction of human life." A few years after that sentence was uttered, high level mathematics brought about the explosion of the first atomic bomb over the skies of Hiroshima. In the last decade, financial mathematics and the quants of Wall Street have added yet another line to the list of domains of applicable and applied mathematics. But is it always the case that mathematics should side with the powerful and the wealthy? Is there no reason to doubt that Hardy was right? Is mathematics indeed antithetical to the pursuit of social justice? Or can mathematics become an ally in our pursuit for a better and more just world? The purpose of this talk is to provide some evidence towards a more optimistic answer to these questions. Specific examples will focus on questions about racial profiling and school districting policies.
Speaker:  Gizem Karaali
Assistant Professor of Mathematics
Pomona College A brief reception will take place prior to Lecture 1 and refreshments will be provided.

Lecture 2
Easy to State but Hard to Solve: Adventures in Computational Polyhedral Geometry

Lecture 2 will begin at 2:30pm

Convex polyhedra are familiar objects since our childhood. Indeed, cubes, pyramids, and triangles are common staples in all kindergartens! Unknown to most people polyhedra, in their high-dimensional version, are also widely used in applied mathematics (e.g. operations research, finances, computer networks, and more). Their beauty and simplicity appeal to all, but very few people know of the many easy-to-state difficult unsolved mathematical problems that hide behind their beauty. The purpose of this lecture is to introduce an audience without prior background to some of these fascinating open questions on the frontiers of mathematical research. Speaker:  Jesus A. De Loera
Professor of Mathematics and the graduate groups of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science
University of California at Davis

For more information: Lecture 1, Lecture 2.

Atul Vyas Memorial Lecture

  Atul Vyas was an outstanding CMC student who was majoring in Mathematics and Physics. He tragically lost his life in a train crash that occurred on September 12, 2008 in Chatsworth, California. The Mathematics Department at CMC fondly remembers Atul as someone who was equally excited by the power of mathematical abstraction and the possibilities for its applications.  In memory of Atul, the CMC mathematics department will host a yearly lecture series, aimed at a general audience, on the Creative Application of Abstract Mathematical Ideas. Our speakers for the fourth Atul Vyas memorial will be Gizem Karaali and Jesus A. De Loera.

The Mathematics Department at Claremont McKenna College invites you to attend the fourth Atul Vyas Memorial Lectures in Mathematics.

      Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011
   1 – 3:30 pm
    Davidson Lecture Hall, CMC
               Reception at 1:00pm            
       Lecture 1 will begin at 1:30pm     
 
Lecture 1 
Proving Hardy Wrong: Math with a Social Conscience

Famous British mathematician G.H. Hardy (1877-1947) was said to take comfort in the belief that his mathematics was completely useless. According to Hardy, "a science is said to be useful if its development tends to accentuate the existing inequalities in the distribution of wealth, or more directly promotes the destruction of human life." A few years after that sentence was uttered, high level mathematics brought about the explosion of the first atomic bomb over the skies of Hiroshima. In the last decade, financial mathematics and the quants of Wall Street have added yet another line to the list of domains of applicable and applied mathematics. But is it always the case that mathematics should side with the powerful and the wealthy? Is there no reason to doubt that Hardy was right? Is mathematics indeed antithetical to the pursuit of social justice? Or can mathematics become an ally in our pursuit for a better and more just world? The purpose of this talk is to provide some evidence towards a more optimistic answer to these questions. Specific examples will focus on questions about racial profiling and school districting policies.
Speaker:  Gizem Karaali
Assistant Professor of Mathematics
Pomona College A brief reception will take place prior to Lecture 1 and refreshments will be provided.

Lecture 2
Easy to State but Hard to Solve: Adventures in Computational Polyhedral Geometry

Lecture 2 will begin at 2:30pm

Convex polyhedra are familiar objects since our childhood. Indeed, cubes, pyramids, and triangles are common staples in all kindergartens! Unknown to most people polyhedra, in their high-dimensional version, are also widely used in applied mathematics (e.g. operations research, finances, computer networks, and more). Their beauty and simplicity appeal to all, but very few people know of the many easy-to-state difficult unsolved mathematical problems that hide behind their beauty. The purpose of this lecture is to introduce an audience without prior background to some of these fascinating open questions on the frontiers of mathematical research. Speaker:  Jesus A. De Loera
Professor of Mathematics and the graduate groups of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science
University of California at Davis

For more information: Lecture 1, Lecture 2.