Talks (unless otherwise indicated) are in Davis 301 from 4–5 PM on Mondays. Refreshments begin at 3:30 on the second floor of Davis.

To make sure you get email updates, add yourself to the mathstu (if a student) or mathothers (if not) email groups. Or check the Colby Math&Stats facebook page.

You can see last semester’s schedule.

September 11
Wes Viles and Evan Randles
Colby College
Meet Our New Faculty

Title

Abstract

We welcome you to join us for our first colloquium of the year.  Come meet two of our new faculty members and also learn about the mathematics and statistics electives we will be offering this year.  This is also a great chance to catch up with your fellow students and professors.  Hope to see you there!

 

September 18
No Colloquium
We encourage you to go to the talks on mathematics and gerrymandering at Bowdoin.

 

September 25
Fernando Gouvêa, Colby
Polynomial Endoscopy: What can you know if you can’t find the roots?

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Abstract

This talk is about polynomial equations and their roots, a topic with a long history. We will focus on the period after the 16th century discovery of how to solve equations of degree 3 and 4. It quickly became clear that degree 5 was much more difficult, leading to the question of what might be said about the roots without actually finding them. We will pay particular attention to Descartes’s Rule of Signs and the polynomial discriminant.

 

October 2
Rosa Orellana, Dartmouth
Graphs, Symmetry and Coloring

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Abstract

A graph consists of a set of vertices and a set of edges between the vertices. Graphs are useful to visualize relationships between different objects. In this talk, I will talk about coloring the set of vertices of a graph. In particular, I will define a polynomial that encodes all the possible ways to color the vertices of a graph if we do not allow two vertices to have the same color if there is an edge between them. This type of coloring is called proper coloring. One application of proper colorings is in solving scheduling problems.

The polynomial that we obtain which encodes all possible ways to properly color a graph is called the symmetric chromatic polynomial. The number of variables in the polynomial is the number of vertices. It is called symmetric because it doesn’t change when we permute the variables. In this talk, I will describe several properties of this polynomial and some unsolved problems related to this polynomial.

This talk will not assume any graph theory knowledge.

 

October 6 (Friday!)
Pamela Harris, Williams
Title TBA

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Abstract TBA

 

October 9
Patricia Cahn, Smith
Stranger Strings

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Abstract

How can we describe all spaces of a given dimension? We’ll start by describing 2-dimensional spaces, which look like donuts with any number of holes. Then we’ll learn how to describe 3-dimensional spaces, by using knots to build portals in our familiar 3-dimensional space.

 

October 23
TBA

 

October 27 (Friday!)
Mark Kramer, Boston University
Title TBA

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Abstract TBA

 

October 30
TBA

 

November 6
Chris Chong, Bowdoin
Title TBA

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Abstract TBA

 

November 13
Gregory Dungan, USMA
Title TBA

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Abstract TBA

 

November 27
TBA

 

December 4
Ben Mathes, Colby
Orthogonal Polynomials

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Abstract

Abstract TBA