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Mathematics and Statistics

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Ingrid Daubechies Caps a Semester of Internationally Renowned Speakers

Ingrid Daubechies, the James B. Duke Professor of Mathematics at Duke University, gave the Convocation on May 1, 2013.  Daubechies focuses on the mathematical aspects of time-frequency analysis, in particular wavelets, as well as applications. Her research was the breakthrough which made applications of wavelets to signal processing possible.

Her Convocation focused on her work commissioned by the Van Gogh Museum to detect fraudulent art, work that was featured in a 2008 PBS broadcast of NOVA.

Daubechies is a fellow of the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the McArthur Foundation and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences (USA), and the Academie des Sciences (France). In 2000 she was the first woman awarded the National Academy of Sciences Award in Mathematics. Prof. Daubechies is the first female and current President of the International Mathematical Union.

Other visitors spring semester included:  

  • Associate Professor Bo-Hae Im from Chung-Ang University in Seoul, South Korea. She spoke about elliptic curves in the Math and Statistic Student Seminar;
  • Paul Zorn, past president of the Mathematical Association of America and professor at St Olaf, who spoke to students about "Extreme Calculus;" and
  • Assistant Professor Fernando Gueverra-Vasquez from the University of Utah who spoke on "How to become invisible without a cloak."

In December, Professor Sam Burer of the Tippie College of Business, University of Iowa, presented a lecture on employing optimization techniques in ranking problems with a direct application to college football.

Blanchard Goes GAGA for Compressed Sensing

Asst. Prof. Jeff Blanchard and his collaborator Prof. Jared Tanner (Oxford) recently launched www.gaga4cs.org as the platform for the first release of their compressed sensing software. The software, GAGA: GPU Accelerated Greedy Algorithms for Compressed Sensing, solves large compressed sensing problems with millions of unknowns in fractions of a second by exploiting the power of graphics processing units. Two related www.gaga4cs.org/research have also been submitted in the past year. This ongoing project is the major emphasis of Dr. Blanchard's NSF grant and has spawned three projects involving Grinnell Mathematics and Statistics majors.

Faculty Members Travel Abroad During Spring Break

Professors Jeff Blanchard, Joe Mileti, and Jen Paulhus spent some, or all, of spring break working on research outside of the United States.

Jeff Blanchard visited a collaborator in Edinburgh for a week of intensive writing for an ongoing project. The trip to Scotland paid off with a 50 page paper submitted at the end of Spring Break.

Joe Mileti spent a month and a half in Argentina participating in the Buenos Aires Semester in Computability, Complexity, and Randomness. Between January and June, over 40 researchers in mathematics and computer science across the world came together to present and discuss their work. Joe gave a talk on April 10 about his research on primes in computable rings.

Jen Paulhus was in Santiago, Chile for two weeks beginning a collaboration with a faculty member at the Universidad de Chile. She also gave a talk about her research to graduate students there.

Goldwater Scholarship for excellence in math and science to Alice Nadeau '13

Friday, Mar. 30, 2012 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA -  

Grinnell College student Alice Nadeau has been awarded a Goldwater Scholarship for up to $7,500 toward tuition and other expenses during the 2012-13 academic year. The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship Program was established by Congress to encourage excellence in science and mathematics for American undergraduate students with excellent academic records and outstanding potential.

Nadeau, a third-year mathematics major from Waterloo, Ia., plans to pursue a Ph.D. and teach at the university level. “I am currently trying to explore as many areas of mathematics as available to me,” Nadeau said. “This is important in both teaching and research since connections and correlations can and frequently do come from outside one’s own specific field of study.”

As a Grinnell student, Nadeau serves as a student assistant for the Grinnell Science Project pre-orientation program; works in the costume studio for the theatre department; swims for the varsity swim team; and is an active participant in student government.

Grinnell student Rebecca Mandt, a third-year biology major from Mendota Heights, Minn., was named honorable mention in the competition. She plans a career in biomedical research.

Grinnell College is a nationally recognized, private, four year, liberal arts college located in Grinnell, Iowa. Founded in 1846, Grinnell enrolls 1,600 students from all 50 states and from as many international countries in more than 26 major fields, interdisciplinary concentrations, and pre-professional programs.


Robert N. Noyce ’49 Science Center

The facility includes refurbished teaching and research laboratories, classroom and office space, a science library, a computer laboratory, and several study areas. The addition connects two of the wings with a courtyard in between. The building houses the departments of biology, chemistry, mathematics and computer science, physics, and psychology. Containing modern scientific equipment and instrumentation, the facility has laboratories, classrooms, and seminar rooms, which are equipped with electronic and other modern instructional tools. The building also houses the Kistle Science Library and the Physics Historical Museum. In the northeast section of the building, a greenhouse is used as an instructional and research facility.

Shonda Kuiper, mathematics, awarded the 2012 MERLOT Classics Award

2012 Merlot Classics Award - Stat2Labs

The Sloan Consortium
Newburyport, Ma., United States
August 3, 2012

Dr. Kuiper's creative and engaging games and labs exemplify reform efforts in Statistics Education, and she is highly deserving of a MERLOT Classics Award.

Editor Notes: 

  • The Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching – MERLOT (www.merlot.org) Announces the 2012 MERLOT Awards for Exemplary Online Learning Resources. This program recognizes and promotes outstanding peer reviewed online resources designed to enhance teaching and learning. The award is granted to honor the authors and developers of these resources for their contributions to the academic community. Every year each of the MERLOT Editorial Boards is able to select an outstanding resource from its discipline to receive the MERLOT Classics Award. MERLOT considers this learning material an exemplary online learning resource and it is now recognized as so on the MERLOT website listing. United States, Aug. 2.

  • Shonda Kuiper's textbook, "Practicing Statistics: Guided Investigations for the Second Course" is available, contrary to the information provided in the release.

Person Mentioned: Faculty/Staff- Shonda Kuiper, mathematics

Putnam Team in Top 10% for Second Consecutive Year

Wed, 2012-04-04 14:29 | By Anonymous (not verified)

The Grinnell College Putnam team placed in the top 10% of all participating institutions for the second consecutive year. As reported by the Putnam committee:

"A total of 4440 students from 572 colleges and universities in Canada and the United States participated in the Competition. There were teams from more than 460 institutions"

Grinnell College had 24 students take part in the competition. Our team of three students consisted of David Brown '14, Alyce Eaton '13, and Klevi Xhaxho '12, and our team rank was 40 out of all participating institutions. Congratulations to all the participants and to our team for their excellent performance on the Putnam!