20242025 Academic Year Colloquium Schedule 

September 12, 2024
Title: 
Math to the Power of Art

Speaker:  David A. Reimann
Professor
Mathematics and Computer Science
Albion College
Albion, Michigan

Abstract: 
The exhibition "Math to the Power of Art" contains
sculptural pieces and digital prints that invite you to explore abstract mathematical concepts
through the lens of visual art.
While mathematics and art are often perceived to be incongruous, this exhibition
provides concrete examples of how mathematics and art can be combined
to tell stories of mathematics and the human condition.
Geometry, symmetry, number, randomness, and people are themes that connect pieces in the exhibition.
Number is explored in the pieces "Pi," and the series "One to Two Hundred."
The series "One to Two Hundred" is also meditative; the viewer is encouraged
to silently count from one to two hundred when viewing the ensemble.
The social aspect of mathematics is celebrated in the portraits, each using some important concept attributed to the person.
Geometry and symmetry are fundamental elements in the sculptural pieces, with specific materials
contributing to the meaning.
Randomness is a key aspect of the "Lifelines" series, which provides a space for the contemplation on the meaning of our lives through leading questions encouraging selfreflection.
What other mathematical themes and connections do you see in the exhibition?
By looking for these themes and connections, viewers can gain a deeper understanding of both the art and the mathematical concepts found in the artwork.
This in turn can help bridge the chasm between the abstract world of mathematics and the reality of our human experiences.

Location: 
Bobbitt Visual Arts Center

Time: 
3:30 PM

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September 19, 2024
Title: 
Spiders in Complex Dynamics

Speaker:  Schinella D'Souza
Mathematics
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Abstract: 
Complex dynamics involves the study of iterating functions on, for example, the complex plane. This study has resulted in many fascinating objects including the famous Mandelbrot set. In this talk, we will discuss iteration of quadratic polynomials on the complex plane. We will also present a way to study complex dynamics from a combinatorial point of view. This point of view will make sense of the question of given a finite combinatorial pattern, is it possible to find a polynomial that realizes it? To understand the answer, we will discuss Hubbard and Schleicher's theory of spiders which constructs an algorithm that can implemented by a computer.

Location: 
Palenske 227

Time: 
3:30 PM

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September 26, 2024
Title: 
Preparing for Graduate School in Math and Computer Science

Speaker:  Mauricio Marengoni
Visiting Assistant Professor of Computer Science
Math & CS
Albion College
Albion, MI

Abstract: 
As a number of students from Albion College ended up going to graduate school we will present in this talk some information that will try to answer the following questions:
 What is graduate school?
 How can I get into it?
 How long does it take?
 Is it worth?
We will also discuss in this talk about the process and life as a graduate student.

Location: 
Palenske 227

Time: 
3:30 PM

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October 3, 2024
Title: 
Fast growing functions

Speaker:  Andrés E. Caicedo
Associate Editor
Mathematical Reviews  AMS
Ann Arbor, MI

Abstract: 
Given a property P, suppose that for all n there is an m such that P(n,m). To any such P we can assign the function f given by f(n) = least m such that P(n,m).
I discuss examples of various classical properties P for which the associated function f grows incredibly fast. All these examples can be thought of as saying that certain computer programs halt on every input, and the results are saying, in very strong terms, that the convergence time is highly unfeasible.
For some of these P, this can be used to prove that the statement "for all n there is an m such that P(n,m)" cannot be proved in certain formal systems.

Location: 
Palenske 227

Time: 
3:30 PM

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October 10, 2024
Title: 
Actuarial Science at Ally Insurance

Speaker:  Grace Hoffman '22
Actuarial Analyst
Ally Insurance
Detroit, MI

Abstract: 
Ally Insurance is a substantial and wellestablished presence in the U.S. and Canada as a leading Finance & Insurance (F&I) provider and market leading provider of commercial insurance
products designed to help protect dealership businesses (P&C). Ally employs actuaries to work on pricing, reserving, capital modeling, and reinsurance. In this presentation, Ally Actuaries will give a brief overview on the products that they work on, the typical workload and tasks that an actuary performs, the Casualty Actuary Society and the exam process, as well as what classes and paths they took in college to get to where they are and why math and computer science majors may want to consider the actuarial field.

Location: 
Palenske 227

Time: 
3:30 PM

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October 24, 2024
Title: 
Many roads lead to biostatistics and epidemiology,
opening many ways to explore the world around you and impact health

Speaker:  Laura Scott '85
Research Professor
Biostatistics
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI

Abstract: 
The year I graduated from high school my list of possible careers consisted of three options: doctor, teacher or interior decorator. All of those interests play an integral role in the work I do today.
I will outline my journey from a Chemistry Major at Albion College to a PhD in Cell Biology, to an MPH in Epidemiology and a career in Statistical Genetics that has led me back to the to my biological beginnings. I will describe questions that motivate Epidemiologists and Biostatisticians/Data Scientists and what backgrounds and interests might lead someone to consider one of these as a career.

Location: 
Palenske 227

Time: 
3:30 PM

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October 31, 2024
Title: 
A crashcourse in algebraic topology (with applications!)

Speaker:  Timothy Clark
Mathematics & Computer Science
Albion College
Albion, MI

Abstract: 
Algebraic topology is a branch of mathematics that studies topological spaces via analogies to various algebraic gadgets. Modern approaches to the subject formalize these analogies in the language of category theory, which is sometimes affectionately referred to as general abstract nonsense. In this talk, we will encounter some fundamental ideas from algebraic topology and category theory in the context of Brouwer's fixedpoint theorema classical result on the existence of fixedpoints for continuous selfmaps of a disc. To combat the notion that this is all merely abstract nonsense, we will also endure an advertisement for modern applications related to topological data analysis.

Location: 
Palenske 227

Time: 
3:30 PM

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November 14, 2024
Title: 
Practical Considerations of Large Actuarial Models

Speaker:  Ethan A. Rein
Actuary
Jackson National Life Insurance Company
Lansing, MI

Abstract: 
In recent years, the regulatory environment in which insurance companies operate has introduced a principlesbased approach which allows actuaries to use more judgement in reserve calculations. This change has created exciting opportunities for companies and has also led to a substantial increase in the computing power required to run actuarial models as well as the disclosure requirements for those models.
As computing needs have increased, actuaries must consider where model simplification may be appropriate in order to produce timely financial reports. From a model development standpoint, different simplifications or adjustments may be necessary in order to allow actuaries to work on these models in an efficient manner. Regardless of the motivation for employing model simplifications, actuaries must also measure simplifications to understand their impact on financial results and be able to explain their simplification to auditors and regulators.
This talk will review the practical aspects of running financial reporting models, developing models for future use, and preparing the necessary disclosure items to support the actuarial work performed in those models.

Location: 
Palenske 227

Time: 
3:30 PM

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