Mathematics Colloquium

Calendar of upcoming talks available here

The Mathematics Colloquia is a series of talks by the Willamette University Math Department and visiting speakers. These talks are aimed at faculty and undergraduate math students and will introduce the audience to fun, interesting applications of undergraduate mathematics, as well as more advanced topics in mathematics research. Unless otherwise noted, Colloquium talks will be held Thursdays at 4:00pm in Ford Room 102. Refreshments will be provided. We hope you can join us! If you would like more information, please contact Prof. Erin McNicholas.

Colloquium Schedule 2013-2014

Thursday, April 17th, Ford Hall 102 at 4:00pm 

Liz McMahon, Lafayette College

Mathematics in the Game of Set

The card game SET is played with a special deck of 81 cards.

The game has a lot of mathematics hidden within. We’ll look at questions in combinatorics, probability, linear algebra, and especially geometry. The deck is an excellent model for a finite affine geometry, and we will use the game to explore that geometry. If you’d like some practice before the talk, go to for the rules and a Daily Puzzle. 
(If you saw talks on SET last year, this talk will contain new information.)

Abstracts Archive

Past 2013-14 Talks

April -

4/10 Gary Gordon, Lafayette College
Pick a Tree, Any Tree

March -

3/13 Paul Cull, Computer Science, Oregon State University
Solving Towers of Hanoi and Related Puzzles

3/7 Matt Anderson
A Prime Producing Polynomial

February -

2/27 Glencora Borradaile, Oregon State University, School of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science
Min Cuts, Shortest Cycles and Planar Graphs, oh my!

2/20 K. Tucker (a.k.a k-TUCK)
Enumeration and Projection Dependence of 1-Singular Knots

2/20 R. Robinson (a.k.a Ray-Robins)
Convergence of Sequences of Polygons

December -

12/5 Jordan Purdy, Mathematics Dept
Spatial Statistics - Logistic Regression, the Autologistic Model and Mountain Pine Beetle

12/4 Samantha Reynolds, Willamette University '14
College Entrance Exam Firms, Nonprofit Efficiency, and Testing Fees

November - 

11/14 Professor Inga Johnson, Mathematics Dept
Topology, Homology and Applications to Data

October - 

10/31 Jeff Schreiner-McGraw and Will Agnew-Svoboda
Unipancyclic  Matroids

10/24 Nancy Ann Neudauer, Pacific University 
What is a Matroid? Investigations of asymptotic enumeration in matroids

10/3 Yumi Li, Math Major
Put Your Thinking CAPS On (Exploring Finite Geometry in the Card Game SET®) 

September - 

9/19 Ryan Wright, Janrain Inc.
Computing the Coming Robot Apocalypse: The math behind Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning