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Fall 2018 meeting of the Indiana Section of the Mathematical Association of America

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Hanover College


Printable Poster for this event: PDF

Preliminary schedule of meeting: PDF (As of 6 October)

Preliminary List of Abstracts: PDF (As of 30 September)

Tickets for Saturday Lunch are available during on-line registration, through Sunday, October 7. (See the Announcement page for information on by-mail pre-registration.) Subject to our cancellation policy, some lunch tickets may become available at the registration desk Saturday morning.

Lunch Menu: Fajita bar with vegetarian options.

Call for Papers: NOW CLOSED. Deadline was September 21, 2018.
Web-based registration (via NOW OPEN for Late Registration. Early Registration due date was September 21, 2018. (Late Registration also available on-site at the check-in table.)

Invited Talks

Dr. Emilie Purvine

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

How can mathematicians help advance cyber security?

Abstract: The world is getting more interconnected every day. New devices are providing near-constant connectivity for all aspects of our lives. There are devices that we put in our homes like smart thermostats, and ones that we wear on our bodies like fitness trackers or smart watches. There are even wireless enabled medical devices that can be implanted inside our bodies. Our cars and phones also keep us on the grid when we're on the go. It is increasingly difficult to become disconnected in today's society. Together this means that there are even more opportunities to be hacked, and with much higher consequences. Cyber security experts, those with backgrounds in areas like computer science and ethical hacking, are constantly working to monitor and secure these systems and networks. There are vast databases of known attack signatures that can be checked against current behaviors to identify potentially malicious activity. But adversaries are constantly changing their tactics, techniques, and procedures to evade these signature-based detection strategies. This is where mathematicians are helping to advance the field. Cyber systems, when abstracted, look a lot like a mathematical object called a graph. Studying the statistical and topological properties of this graph can help us to quantify when large unexpected changes are being made to the system. Additionally, by understanding which graph properties contribute to weaknesses in current systems we can design stronger ones for the future. In this talk Dr. Purvine will survey the relevant cyber landscape, introduce mathematical models of cyber networks using discrete mathematics, graph theory, and topology, and provide some answers the question asked in the title: "how can mathematicians help advance cyber security?"


Applications of topology for information fusion*

Abstract: In the era of “big data” we are often overloaded with information from a variety of sources. Information fusion is important when different data sources provide information about the same phenomena. For example, news articles and social media feeds may both be providing information about current events. In order to discover a consistent world view, or a set of competing world views, we must understand how to aggregate, or “fuse”, information from these different sources. In practice much of information fusion is done on an ad hoc basis, when given two or more specific data sources to fuse. For example, fusing two video feeds which have overlapping fields of view may involve coordinate transforms; merging GPS data with textual data may involve natural language processing to find locations in the text data and then projecting both sources onto a map visualization. But how does one do this in general? It turns out that the mathematics of sheaf theory, a domain within algebraic topology, provides a canonical and provably necessary language and methodology for general information fusion. In this talk I will motivate the introduction of sheaf theory through the lens of information fusion examples.

*This research was developed with funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The views, opinions and/or findings expressed are those of the author and should not be interpreted as representing the official views or policies of the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government. Approved for Public Release, Distribution Unlimited.


Dr. Jacqueline Jensen-Vallin

Lamar University and Editor of MAA Focus

Let’s Get Knotty

Abstract: My early interest in numbers and patterns lead me down a (nonlinear) path to mathematics, which has led me to the twisty world of knots. Mathematically, knots are non-intersecting closed curves in space. We will use sequences and patterns to explore this world and play with a classic question in knot theory - given a knot diagram, how do I identify the knot? There will be plenty of examples, conjectures, and fun!


Indiana Project NExT Panel Session:

Preparing Students for BIG Careers


Emilie Purvine, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Joseph Eichholz, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
Lisa Holden, Northern Kentucky University
Dhanuja Kasturiratna, Northern Kentucky University

Moderator: Amber Russell, Butler University

Abstract: How can faculty work to best prepare students for jobs in Business, Industry and Government (BIG)? Our panelists share their suggestions from a variety of different perspectives. Employed at a national laboratory, Emilie Purvine has first hand experience of the skills students must develop to be successful. The remaining panelists have all participated in the PIC Math program (Preparation for Industrial Careers in Mathematical Sciences) sponsored by the MAA. Lisa Holden and Dhanuja Kasturiratna worked on a project with American Modern Insurance Group, while Joseph Eichholz worked with Christina Selby (now at John Hopkins University) on two projects: one with Crane Payment Innovations, the other with 84.51 on a project related to direct marketing.

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