Department of Mathematical Sciences

Colloquium Series

Purpose: To discuss mathematical research and interdisciplinary problems in all areas of mathematics and applied mathematics. Talks are welcome from faculty, graduate students, and outside speakers from academia and industry. Talks should be at a level accessible to graduate students. Students and faculty at all levels and from all departments are welcome to attend.

Date/Time Speaker Title/Abstract
Friday, May 20

3-4pm

The MAC

Dr. Steven J. Miller

Department of Mathematics and Statistics

Williams College

Title: Results and Research in REUs: Cookie Monster Meets the Fibonacci Numbers. Mmmmmm -- Theorems!

Abstract: After discussing some of my experiences guiding over 300 undergradutes in research projects over the past 20 years, I'll discuss some joint work with students at the Williams SMALL REU program. A beautiful theorem of Zeckendorf states that every positive integer can be written uniquely as a sum of non-consecutive Fibonacci numbers. Once this has been shown, it's natural to ask how many Fibonacci numbers are needed. Lekkerkerker proved that the average number of such summands needed for integers in [F_n, F_{n+1}) is n / (phi^2 + 1), where phi is the golden mean. We present a combinatorial proof of this through the cookie problem and differentiating identities, and further prove that the fluctuations about the mean are normally distributed and the distribution of gaps between summands is exponentially decreasing. These techniques apply to numerous generalizations, which we'll discuss as time permits. The only background required is some elementary knowledge about cookies.

Friday, September 23

3:00-4:30pm

The MAC

Dr. Ugur G. Abdulla

Department of Mathematical Sciences

Florida Institute of Technology

AMS Graduate Chapter at FIT: Opening Ceremony and Colloquium

Title: Topological Dynamics, Sharkovski Ordering and Feigenbaum Universality in Chaos

Abstract: This lecture will give an introduction to topological dynamics of continuous maps on the interval. Sharkovski's striking theorem on the coexistence of periodic orbits and its connection to celebrated Feigenbaum-Collet-Eckmann scenario of the transition from periodic to chaotic behavior of unimodal maps will be discussed. Recent advances made by my research group on Dynamical Systems and Chaos Theory on the fine classification of the periodic orbits through directed graphs and cyclic permutations, and fascinating order on the distribution of periodic windows in the chaotic regime for the nonlinear iterated maps on the interval will be reported. I will discuss some open problems in the field. Talk will be accessible to graduate and advanced undergraduate students.

Friday, October 21

3:00-4:00pm

The MAC

Dr. Roberto Peverati

Chemistry Department

Florida Institute of Technology

Title: How Mathematics and Chemistry Can Work Together to Understand and Predict Nature

Abstract: In this seminar we are going to explore how theoretical and computational chemistry are becoming crucial tools to understand chemical molecules and reactions, and how they are linked to applied mathematics. We will discuss about the quantum mechanics foundations, the many rigorous attempts to approximate the Schrödinger equation, and about the semi-empiricisms that are necessary to apply the theories to such a complex science like chemistry. We will also see how mathematics and information science can help to shape the future of this field, and how we plan to develop a new research program based on these premises in the Chemistry Department here at FIT.

This seminar aims to be the starting point for an open discussion between the two Departments, so that students, researchers, and professors can benefit from the sharing of ideas and projects, and ultimately advance their research opportunities in both fields.

Friday, January 20

3:00-4:00pm

The MAC

Dr. Ugur G. Abdulla

Department of Mathematical Sciences

Florida Institute of Technology

Title: Recent Advances on Optimal Control of Parabolic Free Boundary Problems - Invitation to Research

Abstract: This talk presents recent advances on inverse Stefan type free boundary problems, where some of the coefficients of the PDE or some boundary data on the fixed boundary is missing and must be found along with the temperature and free boundary. I discuss both one-phase and multiphase cases. In one-phase case optimal control framework is employed where missing data and free boundary are components of the control vector. Multiphase optimal Stefan problem is reduced to optimal control problem for quasilinear PDE with discontinuous coefficient. We prove the well-posedness of the optimal control problem and the convergence of the sequence of the discrete optimal control problems to the original problem both with respect to cost functional and optimal control. We prove Frechet differentiability in Besov spaces, necessary condition for optimality, Pontryagin type maximum principle under minimal regularity assumptions on the data. I will formulate some open problems for PhD and postdoctoral research.

Friday, January 27

3:00-4:00pm

The MAC

Dr. Martin E. Glicksman

College of Engineering

Florida Institute of Technology

Title: Pattern Formation: Uncovering Interface Perturbation Fields

Abstract: Solid-liquid microstructures support 4th-order capillary-mediated perturbation fields that locally add or withdraw small amounts of energy. These perturbations importantly self-interact with their interfaces to modulate their motion, and, ultimately, alter their shape and stimulate complex pattern formation. The details of these fields depend sensitively on interface geometry and the anisotropy of interfacial energy. The actual presence of these heretofore undetected Poisson fields was recently exposed by using entropy-functional multiphase-field methods to uncover and measure them. Their intensity distributions were determined by simulating stationary solid-liquid interfaces configured as grain boundary grooves constrained in a uniform thermal gradient. Energy source fields resident on such microstructures were exposed and measured as interface “residuals”, found by subtracting the linear component imposed on non-linearly perturbed-interface potentials. Perturbation source fields so revealed entail persistent self-induced cooling (energy withdrawal) everywhere along groove profiles, a result that confirms prior analytical predictions based on sharp-interface thermodynamics and the calculus of variations. Phase-field simulations provide independent quantitative support for the active presence of cooling fields on grooved solid-liquid interfaces. This study is directed to the long-standing question of what stimulates the formation of microstructures–stochastic or deterministic signals? It also provides a basic understanding of diffusion-limited pattern formation dynamics in nature and technology, possibly extensible to biological morphogenesis.

Friday, March 3

3:00-4:00pm

The MAC

Dr. Stanley Snelson

University of Chicago

Title: Regularity theory for the inhomogeneous Landau equation

Abstract: We will begin by introducing the Landau equation, an integro-differential kinetic model from plasma physics that describes the evolution of a particle density in phase space, in a regime where grazing collisions predominate. We will then discuss recent progress on existence and regularity theory for the spatially inhomogeneous Landau equation, and how this relates to the corresponding theory for the Boltzmann equation and its variants. Finally, we will present recent results, obtained in collaboration with Cameron-Silvestre, on global a priori estimates for weak solutions. Our pointwise upper bounds and Holder estimates, which improve polynomially as the velocity increases, are an important step toward proving the conjecture that solutions remain bounded and smooth as long as the hydrodynamic quantities (mass, energy, and entropy densities) are under control.

Past Semesters

Spring 2016

Fall 2015

Spring 2015

Fall 2014

Summer 2014

Spring 2014

Fall 2013

Spring 2013

Fall 2012