MATH 4993 (15709-100), Fall 2012

Undergraduate Mathematics Seminar I

Catalog Description:
Student participate in a weekly seminar on topics in mathematics that are beyond the material covered in our regular courses. During the first semester the student will develop a proposal for a topic of interest to be presented in the second semester.
Desired Learning Outcomes:
Taking 4993 and then 4994 together:
Undergraduate students will participate and give presentations in a weekly seminar. Topics will vary depending on the interests of the students. All of the topics covered will be advanced material not covered in regularly offered courses. Participation will In addition to mathematical goals, the activities are designed to improve oral and written communication skills. Students in part I (MATH 4993) will develop a proposal for a presentation topic. Students in part II (MATH 4994) will give an hour public presentation and write a final report on the topic.
(MATH 3050 Discrete Math or CS 3000), (MATH 3200 Applied Linear Algebra or MATH 3210 Linear Algebra), MATH 3300 Calculus III, 6 hours MATH 4200-4799, Jr. or Sr. status. In quarter courses, the equivalent prerequisites are (308 or CS 300) and (211, 410, or 411) and 263D and (two other 4XX level courses).
Martin J. Mohlenkamp,, (740)593-1259, 315-B Morton Hall.
Office hours: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 10:45-11:40am, or by appointment.
Web page:
Class hours/ location:
Wednesdays 4:10-5:05pm in 227 Morton Hall.
Your grade is based on attendance 20%, participation 20%, first draft of topic proposal 10%, second draft 20%, and final version 30%. An average of 90% guarantees you at least an A-, 80% a B-, 70% a C-, and 60% a D-.
Attendance is part of your grade. Up to 3 missed classes may be made up by attending Mathematics department research seminars or colloquia.
Participation is part of your grade. Small tasks, such as providing feedback on the work of other students, are included in your participation grade.
Topic Proposal:
Your main goal is to develop a topic on which you can give an hour public seminar in part II of this course. Topic proposals will include: an brief introduction to the topic, sources about the topic, summary of how previously studied mathematics topics are used and an outline of the eventual presentation.
Academic Dishonesty:
Cooperation and the use of outsides sources is encouraged, but you must acknowledge in writing what help you received and from whom or where. Use of sources without proper citation is considered plagerism and may result in failure in the class and a report to the university judiciaries.
Special Needs:
If you have specific physical, psychiatric, or learning disabilities and require accommodations, please let me know as soon as possible so that your learning needs may be appropriately met.


Subject to change.
Week Date Activities etc.
1Wed Aug 29 Introductions, Sources for Topics, Expectations, planning
2Wed Sep 5 Discussion of topics. What makes a topic good?
3Wed Sep 12 Introduction To Derivative Markets, by Eddy Fotsing Kamboh (Ohio University, Mathematics)
4Wed Sep 19 The Graph Menagerie: Abstract Algebra and the Mad Veterinarian, by Nick Pilewski (Ohio University, Mathematics)
5Wed Sep 26 Sums of two and four squares, by Vladimir Uspenskiy (Ohio University, Mathematics)
6Wed Oct 3 Zeroth draft of Topic Proposal circulated to peers; oral arguments for your choice of topic. Design of Topic Proposal template
7Wed Oct 10 A journey into matrix equations AX-XB=C, by Quoc Phong Vu (Ohio University, Mathematics)
8Thurs Oct 18 Colloquium on The FGF Conjecture at 2:10pm or on Spectral Functions, The Geometric Power of Eigenvalues at 4:10pm, both in Morton 122.
9 Wed Oct 24 First draft of Topic Proposal due. Why do your friends have more friends than you have? The exciting world of random networks., by Winfried Just (Ohio University, Mathematics)
10Wed Oct 31 Feedback on the first draft of the Topic Proposal. What makes a seminar talk good? Software tools for writing mathematics.
11Wed Nov 7 1-1+1-1+1-...= 1/2 ?, by Jeff Connor (Ohio University, Mathematics)
12Wed Nov 14 Second draft of Topic Proposal due
13Wed Nov 21 Thanksgiving holiday (no meeting)
14Wed Nov 28 The voter model and the Axelrod model: Social interactions as random walks, by Richard Buckalew (Ohio University, Mathematics)
15Wed Dec 5 Final Topic Proposal due

Martin J. Mohlenkamp
Last modified: Mon Dec 3 16:07:04 EST 2012
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