Monday, October 16, 2017

Department Seminar

12:45 - 1:45 PM, Thursday, October 19, Gildemeister 329

Light lunch served from 12:15-12:45PM in Department Conference Room (Gild 320)  

Being Awesome in Today’s Workplace  

Brian Hackerson
WSU Alumnus

The rate of change in business today is not slowing down, and as a result the skills necessary to thrive are evolving around us. Being a math major today brings opportunities not in existence even ten years ago, and will probably fuel professions not even known today. The talk will not only cover today’s opportunities for math majors, but will reveal some insights from within a large global corporation on what it takes for awesomeness at work.

Brian is a senior technology leader focused on delivering software and data solutions, working for many large companies over his 29 year career. Upon joining the SEMS (Software Electronic and Mechanical Systems) Lab at 3M in 2006, Brian became interested in Agile methodologies while driving multiple division software and systems programs, both from commercialization and corporate research perspectives. In 2017, Brian was named to lead the Scrum activities in the SEMS Corporate Research Lab to drive speed and quality of execution promoting new business growth. Brian graduated from Winona State University in 1988 with a BS in Mathematics.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Department Colloquium

12:00 - 12:50 PM, Wednesday, October 4, Gildemeister 155

Refreshments served beforehand Gildemeister 135. 

Dynamic Neural Field Modeling  

Dr. Joe Ambrose
University of Iowa/Fastenal
WSU Alumnus

Dynamic field theory provides an explanation for how the brain gives rise to behavior via the coordinated activity of populations of neurons. Dynamic Neural Field models use differential equations to abstract and describe the activity patterns and interactions of such neural populations. In this way, one can simulate and visualize processes such as attention, memory, and change detection, across one or more dimensions such as spatial position or color. These models have been used in a variety of disciplines - from Psychology and Physiology to Robotics. In this talk, I will introduce the motivation, fundamental concepts, and positive results of Dynamic Neural Field modeling as experienced during my PhD research.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Student Study Abroad Seminar

12:00 - 12:50 PM, Wednesday, September 20, Gildemeister 155

Refreshments served beforehand Gildemeister 135. 

My Semester Abroad in Ghana  

Stacey Miertschin

Last semester Stacey studied abroad in Ghana, West Africa, at the University of Cape Coast. Through amazing days and rough days, she learned a great deal both in and out of the classroom about herself, others, and the world around us. She will share her experiences and encourage others to study abroad.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Student Seminar

12:00 - 12:50 PM, Wednesday, September 6, Gildemeister 155

Refreshments served beforehand Gildemeister 135. 


Understanding Elliptic Curves in the Cryptographic World

Michael Holmblad 

Cryptography is a topic that can get really complex very fast. Every cryptographic system is based on some type of problem. Elliptic curve cryptography is based on the discrete log problem using elliptic curves. Elliptic curves have their own group and field properties. The algorithms that come from elliptic curve cryptography are simple to follow, but hard to crack. Elliptic curve cryptography also has several successes and challenges in the corporate world.

 On the Algebra of Rotations in ℝ3: An Exploration of Representations by Quaternions and SU(2) 

Nick Meyer 


The need to represent rotations of objects in 3-D Euclidean space arises daily in many fields: animation, computer vision, and physics, to name a few. Ever since Euler first described his eponymous angles, without giving a tractable method for constructing them, mathematicians have longed for a better system to describe rotations. In 1843, William Rowan Hamilton had an epiphany whilst walking across Brougham Bridge in Dublin with his wife. Therein he inscribed the laws defining the quaternions, forever changing the face of rotations. The quaternions, when limited to having unit norm, form a group under multiplication which is isomorphic to SU(2). This presentation will discuss the interplay between these two groups and will clarify the use of quaternions to represent rotations. We will delve into the relationship between SU(2) and SO(3).

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

2017 Spring Awards Ceremony

Congratulations to all our AWESOME students!

Pi Mu Epsilon Inductees

Mu Sigma Rho Inductees

Departmental Scholarship Recipients

Outstanding Departmental Graduates

University Distinguished Graduates
Le Tang -- Mathematics
Emily Robinson -- Statistics and Math Education
Shane Will -- Data Science

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Student Seminar

12:00 - 12:50 PM, Friday, April 28, Gildemeister 155

Refreshments served beforehand Gildemeister 135. 


Modeling/Predicting Home Runs in Major League Baseball  

Tyler Kelemen 

What goes in to predicting a given players’ home run total for an upcoming season? How much of this can actually be modeled instead of being left up to chance/injury? I am most interested in determining which metrics best predict home run totals for 2017. You may have heard the phrase “pitcher’s league” being said within the last few years. This phrase carries the notion that baseball is becoming more of an offensive struggle with pitching now dominating America’s pastime. What if I told you that last year was the second most prolific home run hitting season in the history of baseball? In order to investigate further, I first looked at predicting 2016 home run totals with all 32 2015 metrics to get a better idea of what variables influence home runs. The only players I was interested in were those that were qualifying players in both the 2015 and 2016 seasons. A qualifying player is one whom has at least 502 plate appearances and there were 89 players whom qualified in both. From there, I fit forward and backward selection models which eventually culminated into fitting a decision tree using the variables remaining from the backward selection model. The prediction formula from the decision tree was then used on the 2016 metrics to predict 2017 home run totals for the 87 remaining players as two players retired.

Dakota County Recidivism 

Andy Hansen 

Re-entry into society presents a wide array of complex challenges for individuals leaving jails and prisons. There are many basic needs that are commonly left unmet for these former inmates upon their release into society. To address the challenges that inmates experience, Dakota County government agencies have create a re-entry assistance program that will provide services tailored to each individual’s needs. The goal of the program are to increase self-sufficiency and assist individuals in setting goals to succeed in re-entry. Dakota County corrections hypothesizes that the new re-entry assistance program is effective at creating smaller rates of recidivism compared to those who are not receiving the assistance. Data was gathered on inmates who received the re-entry program (RAP) and those who did not receive the assistance. A formal statistical analysis has been performed and found that there is no evidence to conclude that there is a significant difference among recidivism rates among those receiving re-entry assistance and those who are not. Other variables were collected for suggestions on whom to provide/award the Re-entry assistance program to.