Loyola University Chicago

Mathematics and Statistics

Colloquia, Lectures & Seminars

Tea and Colloquia (Spring 2021)

When: Friday, April 16

Lecture: 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Speaker: Liubomir Chiriac (Portland State University)

Title: On the number of roots of polynomials modulo primes

Abstract: Given a polynomial with integer coefficients, we consider the number of solutions it has modulo prime numbers p. A classical problem in number theory is to study how this quantity varies with p. We will discuss several explicit examples where it is possible to give a simple rule that determines the number of linear factors in terms of seemingly unrelated objects. In the process, we will touch upon some of the very first instances of the Langlands Reciprocity Conjecture. This talk will be appropriate for undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty in all areas of mathematics.

Zoom link: https://luc.zoom.us/j/89406733575


Tea and Colloquia (Fall 2020)

When: Thursday, October 29 | 4:30-5:30 p.m. (CT), Zoom link: https://luc.zoom.us/j/92822043616

Speaker: Dr. Matthews, Professor of Statistics at Loyola University Chicago

Title: Bang the Can Slowly: An Investigation into the 2017 Houston Astros

Abstract: This manuscript is a statistical investigation into the 2017 Major League Baseball scandal involving the Houston Astros, the World Series championship winner that same year. The Astros were alleged to have stolen their opponents' pitching signs in order to provide their batters with a potentially unfair advantage. This work finds compelling evidence that the Astros on-field performance was significantly affected by their sign-stealing ploy and quantifies the effects. The three main findings in the manuscript are: 1) the Astros' odds of swinging at a pitch were reduced by approximately 27% (OR: 0.725, 95% CI: (0.618, 0.850)) when the sign was stolen, 2) when an Astros player swung, the odds of making contact with the ball increased roughly 80% (OR: 1.805, 95% CI: (1.342, 2.675)) on non-fastball pitches, and 3) when the Astros made contact with a ball on a pitch in which the sign was known, the ball's exit velocity (launch speed) increased on average by 2.386 (95% CI:  (0.334, 4.451)) miles per hour.  


When: Thursday, November 12 | 4:30-5:30 p.m. (CT), Zoom link: https://luc.zoom.us/j/92822043616

Speaker: Elton Hsu

Title: Details to follow

Abstract: Details to follow


When: Thursday, November 19 | 4:30-5:30 p.m. (CT), Zoom link: https://luc.zoom.us/j/92822043616

Speaker: Khai Nguyen

Title: Details to follow

Abstract: Details to follow


When: Thursday, December 3 | 4:30-5:30 p.m. (CT), Zoom link: https://luc.zoom.us/j/92822043616

Speaker: Hung Tran

Title: Details to follow

Abstract: Details to follow


Regular Events

For more information, follow the links to the seminar pages.

Past Events

When: Thursday, October 22 | 4:30-5:30 p.m. (CT), Zoom link: https://luc.zoom.us/j/92822043616

Speaker: Wai Tong Fan, Professor of Mathematics at Indiana University Bloomington

Title: Identification and estimation for Markov processes on phylogenetic trees

Abstract: In evolutionary biology, the speciation history of living organisms is represented graphically by a phylogeny, that is, a rooted tree whose leaves correspond to current species and branchings indicate past speciation events. Phylogenies are commonly estimated from DNA sequences collected from the species of interest. In order to obtain accurate estimates in phylogenetic analyses, it is standard practice to employ statistical approaches based on stochastic models of sequence evolution on a tree. For tractability, such models necessarily make simplifying assumptions about the evolutionary mechanisms involved. In particular, commonly omitted are insertions and deletions of nucleotides -- also known as indels. Properly accounting for indels in statistical phylogenetic analyses remains a major challenge in computational evolutionary biology. In this expository talk, we consider two fundamental questions in evolutionary biology and information theory. Namely, reconstructing the ancestral sequence and the phylogeny in a model of sequence evolution incorporating nucleotide substitutions, insertions and deletions. We shall consider the case of dense phylogenies of bounded height, which we refer to as the taxon-rich setting, where statistical consistency is achievable. We give the first polynomial-time ancestral reconstruction algorithm with provable guarantees.


When: Thursday, October 15 | 4:30-5:30 p.m. (CT), Zoom link: https://luc.zoom.us/j/92822043616

Speaker: Gabriel Ngwe

Title: On Computable Numbers

Abstract: A real number is said to be computable if, given a natural number n, there is a procedure that can calculate the decimal expansion accurate to n decimal places. In this talk we give an overview of computable numbers, provide examples of numbers that are not computable, and give some surprising results concerning these numbers.



When: Thursday, September 24 | 4:30-5:30 p.m. (CT), Zoom link: https://luc.zoom.us/j/92822043616

Speaker: Nathan Lopez

Title: A random triangle takes up 15% of its inscribing circle

Abstract: I’ll explore some applications of calculus to geometry, specifically using optimization and the average vale of a function. The talk is aimed at undergraduates who have taken or are currently taking calculus 2 or above.


When: Thursday, September 17 | 4:30-5:30 p.m. (CT), Zoom link: https://luc.zoom.us/j/92822043616

Speaker: Dr. Seguin, Professor of Mathematics at Loyola University Chicago

Title: Generating a Developable Surface from a Space Curve

Abstract: A developable surface is one in which near each point, there is a patch of the surface that can be flattened without distorting it.  Such surfaces include cones and cylinders and appear ubiquitously in engineering applications and architectural design.  Given a space curve, there are two natural ways to generate a developable surface from it. These are the so called tangent developable and rectifying developable surfaces.  In my talk I’ll discuss how these correspond to endpoints of a spectrum of developable surfaces that can be constructed from a space curve.  The talk will contains numerous figures to illustrate the different types of developable surfaces I’ll be discussing.


When: Thursday, September 10 | 4:30-5:30 p.m. (CT), Zoom link: https://luc.zoom.us/j/92822043616

Speaker: Dr. Tingley, Professor of Mathematics and Department Chair at Loyola University Chicago

Title: Structures from Chaos in a NIM Type Game

Abstract: I will discuss an ongoing research project with two 2020 Loyola grads: Ian Cowen and Zen Nguyen. We consider a modification of the famous mathematical game NIM. In our game, a state can be described as a pair of positive integers. Some states are winning, meaning if the game is in that state at your turn you can play to guarantee that you will win, and some are losing meaning no matter what you do a good player can beat you. One can figure out which are which recursively. We wrote computer code to do this for a lot of states, and plotted the losing states in the plane. The result is a shockingly complex picture with beautiful curves. We then study those curves, discussing their properties, and giving various explanations for their existence.


Rataj Lecture: Undergraduate Colloquium (Spring 2020)

When: Monday, February 24

Reception: 3:30-4:15 p.m., Palm Court, Mundelein Center

Lecture: 4:30 - 5:30pm, Cuneo 210

Speaker: Lisa Goldberg, Adjunct Professor of Economics and Statistics at UC Berkeley, Co-Director of Berkeley's Consortium for Data Analytics in Risk and Director of Research for Aperio Group.

Title: Hot Hands: What Data Science Can (and Can't) Tell Us About Basketball Trends

Abstract: Is the hot hand in basketball a real phenomenon or a cognitive illusion? I will describe a data-driven approach to this controversial question and explain how data science, despite its great contribution to sports, can go only so far in addressing some of the difficult underlying issues.


Sarah-Marie Belcastro (Director of MathILy and author of Discrete Math with Ducks) visits Loyola

  • When: Wednesday, March 14, 2018
  • Reception: 4:00-4:30 p.m., Mundelein 204, pies & refreshments provided
  • Lecture: 4:30-5:30 p.m., Mundelein 204, Tiles on Surfaces/ Matching on Grids
  • Details: calendar entry / agiaqui@luc.edu / epeters3@luc.edu

Daniel Sternheimer (Rikkyo University and Universite de Bourgogne) visits Loyola

  • When: Wednesday, March 21, 2018
  • Reception: 3:30-4:15 p.m., Piper Hall, refreshments provided
  • Lecture: 4:30-5:30 p.m., Mundelein 204, The power of physical mathematics
  • Details: calendar entry / agiaqui@luc.edu