Current Talks

These are the talks for cSplash 2016.

Do Matrices Have Square Roots?

Finding square roots takes work, but at least every number has a square root, even if it may be complex. What about matrices--must they have square roots? And what does that question even mean? (This question comes up in both applied and pure math.)

Prerequisites: 
We'll need basic algebra. For the question I ask at the end of the talk, you might need the definition of the derivative (from calculus!). Nothing else is required, but if know how to multiply matrices, that will make the talk easier.
Professor: 
Sam Ferguson
Difficulty: 
Medium
Room: 
317
Size: 
40
Enrolled: 
14

Introduction to Crowdsourcing and Recommender System

In this lecture, we will first introduce a new platform for collecting wisdom from crowds, which is called ``crowdsourcing". This is a new technique for collecting answers to various questions with a little bit payment. For example, you could use crowdsourcing to collect ratings and recommendations to movies. We will have a brief overview of crowdsourcing, introduce the popular platform called Amazon Mechanical Turk (https://www.mturk.com/mturk/welcome), and unveil the algorithms used in these platforms.

Prerequisites: 
Some algebra (e.g., knowing what the matrix is) will be helpful but not required.
Professor: 
Xi Chen
Difficulty: 
Medium
Room: 
102
Size: 
58
Enrolled: 
12

Introduction to Machine Learning

Machine learning is used all around us: in Microsoft's Kinect, Apple's Siri, Google's self-driving cars, Facebook's face recognition, Amazon.com's recommendations. Come and
discover what it takes to create an algorithm that learns from data.

Prerequisites: 
No prerequisites.
Professor: 
David Sontag
Difficulty: 
Easy
Room: 
109
Size: 
190
Enrolled: 
34

Introduction to Modern Algebra

Modern algebra is the study of sets of things --- like numbers or functions --- combined with operations on those sets. The basic algebraic structure is called a "group," and other structures built on groups are called "rings," and "fields." In this class, we're going to look at what groups are, how they work, how we can classify them, and what real situations we can describe using groups. A focus will be on applications of group theory and algebra to describe other mathematical situations, like permutations and symmetry.

Prerequisites: 
None! Modern algebra is a relatively self-contained field, but experience with sets, and mathematical maturity (any kind of experience) would be useful.
Professor: 
Arnav Sood
Difficulty: 
Difficult
Room: 
312
Size: 
40
Enrolled: 
34

Mathematics and Music: A Common Pursuit

While mathematics and music are now seen as divorced, with math belonging to the left brain and music to the right, the two disciplines were actually developed and taught jointly for many centuries until extraneous factors forced them apart in the Renaissance.

Prerequisites: 
Some basic knowledge of trigonometric functions (sine mostly) is convenient but not necessary. Calculus will be referenced but not applied, so no prior knowledge needed. Knowledge of Western music theory is also convenient, but by no means necessary: enthusiasm is more important.
Professor: 
Vishnu Bachani
Difficulty: 
Easy
Room: 
202
Size: 
40
Enrolled: 
34

Pages