The Vanderbilt Undergrad Seminar

The Undergraduate Seminar in Mathematics is a weekly, hour long talk. There you can hear about some of the many deep and interesting areas of mathematics beyond what you would see in the classroom of most math classes. The talks are designed to be accessible to any college student; little to no math background is required. The seminar occurs most weeks on Tuesday from 6-7pm, in Stevenson 1206. Come by and enjoy some pizza and soda before the talk, and hear about something new. We hope to see you there!

This semester’s talks: (This list will be updated as talks are scheduled.)

September 18: Sandeepan Parekh
Title: Polygons and polyhedrons in space and beyond
Abstract: How many regular polygons are there? Equilateral triangles, squares … as many as you like. Surprisingly, the answer to how many regular solid polyhedrons (3D version of polygons) there are, is a mere 5! I shall prove why there are just five of these Platonic Solids and attempt to argue that there ought to be more, hidden in hyperbolic space.

September 25: Hayden Jananthan
Title: This Title is False
Abstract: To some, Gödel’s name is synonymous with the disruption of mathematics in the early 1900s, due in part to his famous ‘Incompleteness Theorems’, which put bounds on the expressiveness of formal systems of arithmetic. Frequently misunderstood and misstated, we will formally describe what Gödel’s First Incompleteness Theorem states and give a sketch of its proof. Analyzing our proof closely, we will find an even more general statement that both deepens and clarifies our original statement of his theorem.

October 16: Michael Montgomery
Title: Knot a Problem
Abstract: If you have ever put a pair of headphones in your pocket, you know what it is like to be confronted with a tangled mess and no clear way to untie it. Much like your knotted headphones, knot theory looks difficult to untangle, but with some mathematical techniques we can begin to unravel it. We will see how to tell knots apart, how to add them together, and show that no knot can be unraveled by adding a second knot

October 23: Glenn Webb
Title: Spatial Spread of Epidemic Diseases in Geographical Settings
Abstract: Deterministic models are developed for the spatial spread of epidemic diseases in geographical settings. The models are focused on outbreaks that arise from a small number of infected hosts imported into sub-regions of the geographical settings. The goal is to understand how spatial heterogeneity influences the transmission dynamics of the susceptible and infected populations. The models consist of systems of partial differential equations with diffusion terms describing the spatial spread of the underlying microbial infectious agents. Applications are given to seasonal influenza epidemics.

October 30: Frank Wagner
Title: TBA
Abstract: TBA

Novermber 6: Ryan Solava
Title: TBA
Abstract: TBA

November 13: Andy Jarnevic
Title: TBA
Abstract: TBA

November 27: Zack Tripp
Title: TBA
Abstract: TBA

Check out all of the awesome talks we have had in the past!