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Upcoming Dinner Meetings

Framingham State University, Framingham, Massachusetts

The Fifteenth Annual NES/MAA Dinner Meeting
in Memory of Kenneth J. Preskenis

Dr. Donna Beers, Simmons College
"Who is really in charge? Connecting Graph Theory to Social Network Analysis"

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Abstract: Have you ever wondered who is really in charge? Who is at the center of whatever is trending? Who influences policy decisions? Who motivates groups that bring about change?

Leaders, whether in business, government, or education, are interested in who is at the heart of all that is happening, whether those individuals be trendsetters, revolutionaries or superspreaders of a contagious disease.

In this talk, we provide a brief introduction to network analysis and to the graph theory tools and techniques for detecting the key actors within a social network. With these tools, we will show how to find out who was really in charge among the revolutionaries prior to the American Revolution as well as among the individuals behind 9/11. We will offer examples of projects where students may discover who is in charge by applying graph theory and computational tools to analyze social networks.

Bio: Dr. Beers is the 2015 winner of the NES/MAA Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching, the 2012 winner of the Toby Sloane Award for Student-Centeredness in Teaching at Simmons College, and the 2007 winner of The Mathematical Association of America (MAA) Certificate for Meritorious Service. She is co-author of the MAA Guidelines for Undertaking a Self-Study in the Mathematical Sciences as well as the author of numerous articles in the areas of group theory and group algebras of infinite abelian groups, teacher education and preparation, and the scholarship of teaching and learning.


  • 6:00 - 7:30 p.m. -- Dinner, Faculty/Staff Dining Room, 3rd Floor, D. Justin McCarthy Center
  • 7:30 - 8:30 p.m. -- Dr. Beers's Presentation, Heineman Ecumenical and Cultural Center
  • 8:30 - 9:00 p.m. -- Reception, Heineman Ecumenical and Cultural Center

Buffet Dinner: Assorted dinner rolls with margarine and butter; Tossed salad with Ranch dressing and Balsamic vinaigrette, Italian Marinated Chicken Breast, Pasta with Roasted Vegetables; Steamed Fresh Summer Squash and Zucchini with Fresh Garlic and Herbs; Chocolate Cake, Carrot Cake, Cheesecake with Strawberries; Water; Coffee, Decaf, and Hot Tea.
Reception: Assorted sweet treats with Coffee, Decaf, and Hot Tea.

Price: $23.25 per person

Make checks payable to: Framingham State University Mathematics Department.

More information and a downloadable registration form are available at the Preskenis Dinner website. More information about Ken and the history of the Preskenis dinner is available here.

Deadline for dinner reservations: April 3, 2017
The Preskenis Lecture and Reception are free and open to all; reservations are not required for the Preskenis Lecture or Reception.

Contact: Sarah Mabrouk by e-mail or by phone (508-626-4785).

College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, Massachusetts

The Twenty-fourth Leonard C. Sulski Memorial Lecture and Dinner

Dr. Jordan Ellenberg, University of Wisconsin
"How to use math to get rich in the lottery*

*will not actually help you get rich in the lottery"

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Abstract: For seven years, a group of students from the MIT exploited a loophole in the Massachusetts State Lottery's Cash WinFall game to win drawing after drawing, eventually pocketing more than $3 million. How did they do it? How did the lottery finally catch up with them? And what does this all have to do with probability, geometry, and combinatorics?

About the speaker: Jordan Ellenberg is the John D. MacArthur Professor of Mathematics at the University of Wisconsin. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University under the supervision of Professor Barry Mazur in 1998. He taught at Princeton University from 1998-2005, and has been at the University of Wisconsin since then. His research interests are arithmetic algebraic geometry and number theory.

Aside from numerous research articles in prestigious journals, Professor Ellenberg is the author of a general interest book about the mathematics of everyday life entitled, "How Not To Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking" (Penguin Press 2014). Professor Ellenberg was awarded the 2016 Euler Book Prize by the Mathematical Association of America for this book, which was on the New York Times best seller list for the period June-August, 2014. His Sulski Lecture will be aimed at a general mathematical audience.

Photo by Mats Rudels


  • 4:00 p.m. -- Refreshments, Smith Labs Atrium
  • 4:30 p.m. -- Lecture, Smith Labs, Room 154
  • 6:00 p.m. -- Appetizers and Cash Bar, Hogan Campus Center Suite B
  • 6:30 p.m. -- Dinner, Hogan Campus Center Suite B

Choice of Entrees: Poached Salmon, Chicken Marsala or Vegetarian (Please indicate your choice when you send your check.)

Price: $15.00

Make checks payable to: College of the Holy Cross

Send registration to:

Professor Tom Cecil
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
College of the Holy Cross
Worcester, MA 01610-2395

phone: (508) 793-2719
Deadline for registration: April 10, 2017

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