Skip to main content

Mathematics Events

Join the mathematics community for some exciting events this semester! Everyone is invited to participate. 

Upcoming Events

Colloquium: by Colm Mulcahy, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics, Spelman College, Atlanta, GA

Monday, November 21, 2022, 4:30pm in PPHAC 101

Title: One, Two, Many (or a dozen reasons why mathematics isn’t as easy as 1,2,3)

Abstract: Are there really primitive tribes whose system of counting goes: "One, Two, Many", indicating that from three on it’s more or less a blur? Maybe we modern humans are such a tribe. Despite the sophistication we see in ourselves compared with our less advanced ancestors from times long past, it’s surprising how little progress we’ve made in addressing some basic problems in 3D or beyond, or when solving seemingly simple equations in 3 or more variables. For despite our astonishing mastery of some ABCs, such as Air (flight, weather prediction), Biology (medical breakthroughs, DNA) and Communications (phone, video, email), we often struggle to get past 1, 2, 3 in other domains. Or sometimes even to get to 3.

We'll survey a dozen fun topics in shapes and numbers and patterns whose basics and generalization can be explored with little mathematical background, and which speedily lead to "what if" questions ranging from easy to tricky to "we just don't know." Coins, cakes, fruit, bagels, cubes, squares and primes will all make an appearance. The late Martin Gardner, whose legacy is always worth celebrating, knew all too well that such playful queries can both excite students about mathematics and lead to real research at the frontiers of the subject.  There will be satisfying Aha! moments, there will be room for innovative ideas, and million dollar prizes will be discussed. 





Recent Events

Colloquium: by Thomas McAndrew from Lehigh University

Tuesday, March 8, 2022, 12:30pm - Masks are Required

Title: Chimeric forecasting: combining probabilistic predictions from computational models and human judgment

Abstract: Forecasts of the trajectory of an infectious agent can help guide public health decision making. A traditional approach to forecasting fits a computational model to structured data and generates a predictive distribution. However, human judgment has access to the same data as computational models plus experience, intuition, and subjective data. We propose a chimeric ensemble---a combination of computational and human judgment forecasts---as a novel approach to predicting the trajectory of an infectious agent. Each month from January, 2021 to June, 2021 we asked two generalist crowds, using the same criteria as the COVID-19 Forecast Hub, to submit a predictive distribution over incident cases and deaths at the US national level three weeks into the future and combined these human judgment forecasts with forecasts from computational models submitted to the COVID-19 Forecasthub. We find a chimeric ensemble improves predictions of incident cases but adding human judgement weakens predictions of incident deaths. In addition, we found a large set of humans are not needed to improve predictions of incident cases, instead predictions can improve by incrementally adding human judgement. A chimeric ensemble shows promising results for predictions of the spread of an infectious agent.


Colloquium: by Paige Helms from University of Washington

Thursday, November 4, 2021, 12:00-1:00 pm

Title: Lenses and Lattices

Abstract: Many fields of math are enriched by examining concepts through an algebraic and geometric lens, and combining the two for a more full picture of a phenomena. In this talk, we will examine lattices through both an algebraic and geometric perspective, noting along the way how one view can enrich the understanding of the other. In the spirit of using multiple perspectives to better understand the world around us, I will also share my personal and slightly unusual journey in math, and mention some of my personal joys and pitfalls of being a research mathematician. 

This talk will be accessible to all levels.


Colloquium: by Dr. Sherilyn Tamagawa from Pomona College

Tuesday, October 12, 2021, 11:00-12:00 pm

Title: Using Algebra to Understand Knots

Abstract: If you were given two tangled up circles of string, could you untangle one to look like the other without cutting and reattaching the string? How could you tell? Knot theory explores answers to these questions. In this talk, we will discuss the mathematical definition of a knot, a generalization of a knots known as trivalent spatial graphs, and one of the methods we use to distinguish them from each other. Along the way, I will share the journey that led me to working on this project. This talk is intended to be accessible to non-math majors.



When: Thursday, September 30, 2021 at 12:35 p.m.
Where: Sally, Conference Room #335

By: Garrison Koch

Graph pebbling is a mathematical game played on a graph G with no loops or multiple edges. A standard pebbling move consists of removing two pebbles from a vertex and adding one pebble to an adjacent vertex. An assignment graph is a Hasse diagram derived from each sequence of possible pebbling moves. In this presentation, we focus on digraphs G with no bidirectional edges. We investigate assignment graphs and analyze what properties yield certain girths.

Creating Math Lessons with Desmos

Free Virtual Professional Development for Moravian University students interested in Math Education and recent Moravian University alumni interested in Math Education

Presented by Leigh Nataro, Mathematics Lecturer at Moravian University and Desmos Certified Presenter

Level Up your Desmos Calculator Skills (Tuesday, March 30 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM)

In this session you will learn about various ways the Desmos graphing calculator can be used to help students explore various types of functions and relationships between graphs, algebraic representations and tables. The Desmos matrix calculator and Geometry calculator will be showcased and participants will have the opportunity to level up their own skills with a scavenger hunt.


Using Desmos Activity Builder Lessons (Tuesday, April 13  6:30 - 8:00 PM)

In this session you will experience Desmos Activity Builder lessons from the student perspective and see how you can use the various features of the teacher dashboard to leverage student thinking, promote a growth mindset and encourage mathematical exploration.  Features of anonymize, pausing, pacing, snapshots and feedback will be reviewed.


Building Your Own Desmos Activity Builder Lessons (Tuesday, April 27 6:30 - 8:00 PM)

In this session you learn how to modify existing Desmos Activity Builder lessons and create your own. By the end of this session, you will create an exit ticket activity to use with your students. In addition, we will explore existing collections of activities and you will start curating your own collection of activities.

Note: All sessions will be recorded. 


Instructional Strategies to Promote Reasoning and Communication in Statistics

Sidney Leigh Nataro, Lecturer of Statistics at Moravian University, will be giving a talk at the NCTM 2021 Virtual Meeting.  More information to come.

Date of Talk: May 1, 2021

Description:  Reasoning and communicating in statistics can be challenging for any student. For a variety of reasons, students are often unwilling to share their ideas in front of their peers as they are learning new concepts. The instructional strategies presented in this session will help all students to become better at communicating verbally and in writing about statistics concepts, leading to a culture of collaboration where mistakes are valued as part of the learning process.  Come experience several instructional strategies based on the AP Statistics Course and Exam Description, including build the model solution, stand and talk, error analysis, and peer critique.  


Colloquium: by Dr. Candice Price from Smith College

Tuesday, April 6, 2021, 1:00-2:00 pm

Title: Using social network theory to support women in conflict zones.

Abstract: In 2016, James Gatewood and I started working on a model to study the plight of women in conflict zones through the lens of social network analysis. This novel idea was to build a social network within troubled regions to assist in understanding the structure of women’s communities and identifying key individuals and groups that will help in rebuilding and empowering the lives of women. Our first contribution to this idea was a paper titled "Utilizing Social Network Analysis to Study Communities of Women in Conflict Zones". We believe this article can be used as the foundation for a model that will represent the connections between women in these communities. In this presentation, we will explore the ideas in the article as well as the next steps, including some cautionary advice.


Colloquium: by Dr. Reginald McGee from College of the Holy Cross

Wednesday, March 17, 2021 - 4pm

Title: Singled Out: Analyzing single-cell data to identify signaling interactions in leukemia

Abstract: Complex protein interaction networks complicate the understanding of what most promotes the rate of cancer progression. High dimensional data provides opportunities for new insights into possible mechanisms for the proliferative nature of aggressive cancers, but these datasets often require fresh techniques and ideas for exploration and analysis. In this talk, we consider mass cytometry data capturing expression levels of tens of biomarkers in individual cells from acute myeloid leukemia patients. After identifying immune cell subpopulations in this data using an established clustering method, we present a novel statistic for testing differential biomarker correlations across patients and within specific cell phenotypes.


Colloquium: by Dr. Murong Xu from Univ. of Scranton

Tuesday, February 23, 2021 - 4:00 – 5:00pm


Title: "A new clustering method and its application"

Cluster analysis or clustering is the process of segmenting a collection of objects into subsets
or “clusters” such that objects within each cluster are more closely related to one another than
those assigned to different clusters. An object can be described by a set of measurements, or by its
relation to other objects. In addition, the goal is sometimes to arrange the clusters into a natural
hierarchy. This involves successively grouping the clusters themselves so that at each level of the
hierarchy, clusters within the same group are more similar to each other than those in different
groups. Clustering is a common unsupervised learning algorithm for statistical classification.
From the perspective of graph models, clusters are the “dense” subgraphs of a graph. Based on
such understanding, we proposed a new clustering method, which generates a hierarchy that has
a clear clustering structure. The new clustering method stands out due to its ability to include
overlapping members within clusters. In this talk, this new clustering method will be introduced
and its application in social networks and neural networks will be discussed.


Patterns in Permutations

When: Saturday, February 13, 2021 at  9 a.m.
Where: virtual (link on "Schedule of Talks")

Please join the PME Mathematics Honor Society for the Student Mathematics Conference and guest speaker, Dr. Lara K. Pudwell, Associate Professor of Mathematics and Statistics from Valparaiso University

Abstract: A permutation is a list of numbers where order matters. While it is well-known that there are n! ways to put n different numbers in order, there are a variety of follow-up research topics, especially when we study permutations that have specific properties.  In this talk, we will focus on permutation patterns -- that is, smaller permutations contained inside of larger permutations. From a pure mathematics perspective, permutation patterns lead to a variety of interesting counting problems. Looking further afield, we will see how permutations with zero copies of a given pattern arise naturally in computer science, and we will consider a situation where packing as many copies as possible of a pattern into permutations has a surprising connection to physical chemistry.

View the "Schedule of Talks" here.

Antimicrobial Resistance Epidemiology and Applied Mathematics

November 19, 2020 virtual

Guest Speaker: Dr. Casey Cazer, DVM, PhD from Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine

Please join the the Mathematics Department for a Colloquium featuring Casey Cazer.


Disease management and its reliance on statistical theory

October 27, 2020 virtual

Guest Speaker:Dr. Karyn Havas,DVM, PhD(epidemiology), MS (economics) from Cornell University

Please join the the Mathematics Department for a Colloquium featuring Karyn Havas.


Origami-Mathematics: How to fold paper, polymers, and robots

When: Saturday, February 22, 2020 at 9 a.m.
Where: Sally, First Floor

Please join the PME Mathematics Honor Society for the Student Mathematics Conference and guest speaker, Dr. Thomas Hull from Western New England University.

Analyzing the analyzers: understanding variability in forensic decision-making

When: Tuesday, February 18, 2020  from 12 p.m.–1 p.m.
Where: Sally 106

Guest Speaker: Amanda Luby, Assistant Professor of Statistics at Swarthmore College

Please join the Mathematics Department for a Colloquium featuring Amanda Luby.

Blowing Our Minds Using Bubbles to Visualize the 4th Dimension!

When: Wednesday, February 12, 2020 at 4:30 p.m.
Where: Sally, Conference Room #335

By: Dr. Trisha Moller

Come help Finn and Jake (and Dr. Moller) explore the dimensions using knowledge about shadows or projections. We will investigate the characteristics of dimensional shapes and develop patterns to form a hypothesis.  We test out theories by creating our own tesseract (or hypercube) using bubbles. "It's beyond comprehension!" It will blow your mind.