Department Colloquia

The Department of Mathematics and Computer Science has a very active Colloquia series (though COVID definitely threw a wrench in things), bringing in speakers in mathematics, computer science, data science, business and pedagogy. All are welcome. Keep an eye here or on our Facebook page for announcements of upcoming talks. Several of the presentations can be found on our youtube page as well!


April 15, 2024 @ 3:30 pm in SCI 319
Bob Weishaar, VP Small Business Analytics, The Cincinnati Insurance Company
Title: Analytics Opportunities in Property and Casualty Insurance
Abstract:  While insurance has always been a data-driven industry, recent advances in third-party data sources, artificial intelligence, and computer simulation tools have greatly expanded the role and impact of analysts and actuaries. In this discussion we'll survey a variety of technical capabilities being developed and the range of business problems that are being solved. We'll also cover common educational backgrounds and potential career paths available in the industry.

April 1, 2024 @ 3:30 pm in SCI 319
Dr. Aparna Higgins, Professor of Mathematics at University of Dayton
Title: Questions in Pebbling with Results by Undergraduate Students
Abstract:  Working with undergraduates on mathematical research has been one of the most satisfying aspects of my professional life. While guiding undergraduate research, I like to encourage my students to pose "good questions," and then to have a lot of fun trying to answer those questions! In this talk (with some active learning components), we will define pebbling on graphs, and explore some of the interesting questions my students chose to pursue. Their research led to some beautiful results. This talk is accessible to all audiences, and requires no prior knowledge of graph theory or pebbling.

March 18, 2024 @ 3:30 pm in SCI 319
Title: COMP 305 Students:  Group 1
Abstract:  As part of their Research Project in Introduction to Cybersecurity, the following students will be presenting in a fast, briefing-style format.  Although the information in these presentations will mention some technical aspects, it will not get too deep.  So, the content should still be informative and accessible to all attendees, students, and faculty alike, across all disciplines
Witness Barnett ' 25 - Networking Hardening
Tristan Hall ' 25 - DDoS Attacks in the UK
Nick Jones '24 - Johnson Controls 2023 Ransomware Attack
Dominic Root '24 -  WannaCry Ransomware Attack
Jon Wasky ' 24 - The Dangers of QR Codes

February 19, 2024 @ 3:30 in SCI 319
Presenters:  James Petrosky, Ph.D. President & Kirk Fansher, M.S. and MBA Senior Fellow
Title:  National Institute for Deterrence Studies
Abstract:  The National Institute for Deterrence Studies is a nonprofit organization that provides national security analysis, policy solutions, and deterrence education.  It informs involved or interested parties, while advocating for peace through the responsible application of America's vibrant nuclear deterrent.

The organization is based upon three lines of effort for effecting and advancing deterrence thinking:  education, research, and consulting.  Each line of effort includes applications of deterrence practice and development of theory to build and sustain deterrence-minded planners, strategists, and operators.

November 13, 2023 @ 3:30 pm in SCI 319
Katherine Vorpe ('20) - Lead Data Analyst with Concentrics Research
Title: Statistics and Data Analytics in Biomedical Research
Abstract:  Data analysis is critical in making discoveries and decisions on approving medical practices and new drugs to help improve the lives of patients around the world.  We will take a close look at the day-to-day tasks of statisticians and data analysts in biomedical and clinical research.  In particular, we will be discussing what it is like to consult for pharmaceutical companies, different kinds of clinical research, and how types of analysis such as data collection, learning, validation, visualization, an d statistical analysis are used in this field of work.  We will present in-focus applications of these tools, such as how these analytic tools determined slow growth rates and risks for patients that have had ascending aortic aneurysms, and how they are used in clinical trials and market research studies.



April 10, 2023 @ 3:30 pm in SCI 319
Title: COMP 305 Students:  Group 2
Abstract:  As part of their Research Project in Introduction to Cybersecurity, the following students will be presenting in a fast, briefing-style format.  Although the information in these presentations will mention some technical aspects, it will not get too deep.  So, the content should still be informative and accessible to all attendees, students, and faculty alike, across all disciplines.

Marqus Brown '23 - Physical Security
Mario Get '25 - Social Engineering
Aaron Miller '25 - Symmetric Cryptography
Sam Blankley - Asymmetric Cryptography
Dillon Teasel '25 - Virtualization Technology
Thomas Weis '24 - Cloud Security


April 3, 2023 @ 3:30 pm in SCI 319
Title: COMP 305 Students:  Group 1
Abstract:  As part of their Research Project in Introduction to Cybersecurity, the following students will be presenting in a fast, briefing-style format.  Although the information in these presentations will mention some technical aspects, it will not get too deep.  So, the content should still be informative and accessible to all attendees, students, and faculty alike, across all disciplines
Joshua Moore ' 25 - Careers in Cybersecurity
Dominic Cork ' 25 - Incident Response
Kayla Worthington '24 - Worms / I LOVE YOU Attack
Daniel Lyons '24 - Trojan / Agent Tesla Attack
Peter Caine ' 24 - Okta Supply Chain Attack
Justin Norris ' 25 - Botnet
Jibril Mohamed '24 - Threat Actors


January 30, 2023 @ 3:30 pm in SCI 319
Presenter: Dr. Sachith Dassanayaka - Assistant Professor of Data Science, Wittenberg University
Title:  Can Machine Learning Assist Us in Understanding the Structure of the Russian Troll Network on Twitter
Abstract:  Trolls use fake personas and distribute disinformation through multiple social media streams. Given the increased frequency of this social media misused, understanding those operations is paramount in combating their influence. Building on existing scholarship on the inner functions within those influence networks on social media, we suggest a new approach to map those types of operations. Using Twitter content identified as part of the Russian influence network, we created a predictive model to map the network operations. We classify accounts type based on their authenticity function for a sub-sample of accounts and trained Al to identify similar behavior patterns across the
network. Our model attains 88% prediction accuracy for the test set. Validation is done by comparing the similarities with a couple of publicly available troll datasets. The prediction and validation results suggest that our proposed model adequately understands the complexity of the network from different perspectives. On the other hand, visualization of activities allows us to understand the structure of the Russian troll network. The geometry of the network shows that there are noticeable isolations and activity trends regardless of the classification.


May 2, 2022 @ 3:30 pm in SCI 319
Presenter: Senior Computer Science Major Group Projects
Group 1:  Casey Conrad, Logan Hunger & Joanna Stecz
Title:  Implementing Structure From Motion to Generate 3-D Models from Everyday Cameras
Abstract:  Current solutions for generating accurate models require LIDAR scanners which can be expensive, or GPS which can limit the solutions utility in confided regions.  Both solutions require training or outsourcing to be used effectively.  These factors introduce costs that prevent many smaller organizations from benefiting from the insights the models can provide.  Our system will minimize these costs by allowing for end users to use hardware they already possess.  To achieve this, our system will utilize the structure from motion algorithm to develop depth-map for the images' subject.
Group 2:  Austin Brennaman, Ethan March & Jarod Nash
Title:  Using Artificial Intelligence for Facial Similarity Detection

March 28, 2022 @ 3:30 pm in SCI 319
Presenter: Spring 2022 COMP 305 Student Presentations, Wittenberg University
Title:  Data Breach / Attack Case Studies
Abstract:  As part of their Data Breach / Attack Case Study Research Project in Introduction to Cybersecurity, the following students will be presenting in a fast, briefing-style format on causes, costs, and lessons learned of several high-profile cybersecurity attacks and data breaches.  Although the information in these presentations will mention some technical aspects, it will not get too deep.  So, the content should still be informative and accessible le to all attendees, students and faculty alike, across all disciplines.  Students presenting and their topics are are:

  • Austin Brennaman '22 - Exploit Attack Case Study, Twitch 2021
  • Dusti Hayes '23 - Ransomware Case Study, Colonial Pipeline 2021
  • Jack Keri '23 - Data Breach Case Study, Republican National Committee 2017
  • Ethan Marsh '22 - Spear Phishing Case Study, Anthem 2015
  • Lily Pederson '23 - Data Breach Case Study, T-Mobile 2021
  • Dennis Peterson '23 - Data Breach Case Study, Equifax 2017
  • Joanna Stecz '22 - REvil Case Study, Acer 2021

November 15, 2021 @ 3:30 pm in SCI 319
Presenter: Shelby Cummings '13, Assistant Professor of Practice in Statistics, Wittenberg University
Title:  How to Stay Alive:  Methods and Lessons in Health-Related Data
Abstract:  The world around us is filled with more data than an individual could dream to learn about  But how do we use this data to make decisions and predictions?  This talk explores how researchers use health-related data to understand behaviors, evaluate policy change, and even predict where disease outbreaks may occur.  We will discuss both time and space related variables by looking at large longitudinal studies in addition to geo-coded data.

September 27, 2021 @ 3:30 pm in SCI 319
Presenter: Dr. Jaimie Kelley, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, Wittenberg University.
Title:  Bringing Cloud Computing Closer to Home
Abstract:  If the cloud is really just someone else's computer, why does it have to be so far away?  Jaimie's research focuses in bringing cloud computing technology closer to home, generally lowering network delays in user-driven workloads by utilizing nearby servers.  From question-answering systems to wearable computing, her work has been published internationally and her workloads been utilized for outreach across the Midwest.  She is actively looking for students who are interested in volunteering with wearable computing, 3D printing, humanoid robotics, and K-12 outreach.
Bio:  Jaimie Kelley started her career in academia at the other ‘Berg, earning a Bachelor’s of Science in Computer Science and Creative Writing from Heidelberg University. She earned her Master’s Degree and Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering from The Ohio State University. Following her graduation, she was an Assistant Professor for four years at Denison University. In the classroom, Jaimie’s teaching focuses on activities that demonstrate theoretical concepts, and encourage students to learn by doing. Jaimie’s research focuses in bringing cloud computing technology closer to home, by utilizing nearby “fog” servers to decrease networking delays in user-driven workloads.


Presenter: Quang Nguyen, Graduate Student at Loyola University Chicago 
Title:  Something Fishy About Manchester United’s Distribution of Goals Scored
Abstract:  Goal scoring is one of the most exciting and important aspects of the game of soccer. Statistical analysis of soccer goals can be very helpful in predicting the outcomes of soccer matches. This presentation will highlight a portion of my Wittenberg senior honors thesis about the topic of goal scoring. We will look at a statistical model of goals for Manchester United – a football club in the English Premier League. Familiar ideas from Statistics and Probability will be discussed along the way.
Bio:  Quang Nguyen graduated from Wittenberg in 2020 with a B.S. degree in Mathematics and Data Science. He is currently a graduate student at Loyola University Chicago, pursuing an M.S. degree in Applied Statistics. As a lifelong learner and problem solver, Quang is always eager to explore new opportunities to improve his skills and knowledge in the new and exciting field of Data Science. He has a special interest in working with sports data and trying out new statistical software.


Mar 2, 2020
Presenter: Paul Hansford, Assistant Professor of Computer Science / IT Sinclair Community College
Title:  Let Us Talk Data Science
Abstract:  In this talk, I'll share my thoughts on an up and coming data related career area, but rarely discussed.  A data translator, sometimes called an Analytics Translator, but an increasingly important function data professional role.  Analytics Translators bridge the gap between IT, Data Scientists, and Executive business decision-makers, and help move initiatives forward by acting as a liaison and topic expert (deep woman knowledge) to help the organization focus on the right things to achieve its goals.

The key is to focus on the right questions, solve the right problems, and help bring the organization data to action to out compete.  A data translator does not replace a data scientist (or other data roles) but will augment the analytic work as a part of a team.  We will touch new technologies such as automation, artificial intelligence, and robotics and review the idea of data context and interpretation (using humor along the way) with the foundation being the rising importance of data literacy.

Feb 3, 2020
Presenter: Steve Rizzi '85, VP National Capital Region of PAR Government Systems Corporation.
Title:  Ethics in Computer Science - be Prepared to Take a Stand
Abstract:  Twenty years ago, Google's founders developed a search engine.  What started as a technique to rank pages based on the relevancy to search terms became a page recommendation algorithm that would order pages based on a range of criteria - including a page's popularity and other proprietary considerations, including advertising.  At this time, Google adopted the informal motto "Don't be Evil" as a recognition that on a daily basis they were facing ethical dilemmas in privacy and intellectual property management.  Later, Google changed this motto to "Do the right thing" before abandoning it entirely in 2018.  Google's original employees had the right idea - computer scientists are at the cutting edge of a Connection Age where their actions have amplified implications in the lives of millions of people.

Nov 11, 2019
Presenter: Alexis Byers, B.S. '14, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Youngstown State University.
Title:  A Colorful Introduction to Graph Theory
Abstract:  We will explore graph theory through two very famous and intriguing problems.  It b begins in the 19th century with a very simple question whose answer evaded mathematicians for over a century.  Separately, another 19th century problem on sets led to a 20th century problem on decompositions of graphs.  This, in turn, resulted in a graph labeling problem which gracefully led to a 21st century concept on colorings of graphs.  We follow this historical thread and introduce a new concept relating these topics.

Sept 30, 2019
Presenter: Bob Weishaar, VP of Small Business Analytics, Cincinnati Insurance Companies, Cincinnati, OH
Title:  Pricing Analytics in Property & Casualty Insurance
Abstract:  This presentation will provide a brief overview of actuarial opportunities in the property and casualty insurance industry and then dive more deeply into the variety of ways data and analytics are evolving in the pricing of products like personal auto insurance.

Sept 9, 2019
Presenter: Margo Morton '15 - Software Developer at Nationwide Insurance
Title:  The Quantification of Software Quality
Abstract:  Can the quality of software be quantified?  Many people - even industry professionals - believe that code quality is subjective.  Because many people of quality as a nebulous concept it seems like a vague target to hit, instead of a well-defined standard to strive for.  However, I will postulate that there are a finite number of ways to test software for its quality, and that there are only two inputs to such a function: the source code and the runtime environment.  These aspects of quality can then be enumerated and checked manually, or with the help of automated tools!


November 12, 2018
Presenter: Dr. Michelle Cheatham, Assistant Professor, Computer Science and Engineering, Wright State University
Title:  Big Data Without Big Brother
Abstract:  Data anonymization algorithms involve an inherent tradeoff between privacy and utility, but techniques exist that allow some traditional data mining and classification algorithms to generate meaningful results on a dataset without revealing information about the individuals within it. This talk will cover basic data anonymization and privacy-preserving data mining techniques at an introductory level, along with a description of recent work in this area by myself and others. This content is adapted from a course on Privacy Aware Computing offered at Wright State University.

Dr. Michelle Cheatham is an Assistant Professor in the Computer Science and Engineering Department at Wright State University. Her research focuses on semantic data integration and privacy concerns of the Semantic Web, and she co-directs the Data Semantics (DaSe) Laboratory together with Pascal Hitzler. She has taught graduate level courses on Information Security and Privacy Aware Computing. Michelle is also passionate about undergraduate education. She is the course coordinator for the first and second semester programming courses at Wright State, as well as the sophomore course on data structures and algorithms. 

October 8, 2018
Presenter: Dr. Vetria Byrd, Assistant Professor of Graphics Technology.  Polytechnic Institute, Purdue University
Title:  Data Visualization Capacity Building, The Ubiquitous Nature of Data and the Quest for Insight.
Abstract:  Data visualization is an iterative process that fosters insight into data problems the simple to the complex.  Visualization skills are becoming a prerequisite of all levels of scholarship and daily practice.  Data enables and drives our lives.  Persons with data visualization capacity (the skills needed to transform data inso insight) and the ability to leverage those skills across disciplines positions them selves as valuable "agents of insight."  This talk will examine data visualization as the interdisciplinary thread that connects quantitative and qualitative disciplines, and explore current and future research leveraging synergies between data visualization and data science to make sense of the ubiquitous nature of data.

September 18, 2018
Presenter: Dr. Thomas Bitterman, Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Wittenberg
Title:  Solving Sudoku Problems Using a Genetic Algorithm
Abstract:  Sudoku is a popular numbers game in which one has to fill in a 9x9 grid with numbers 1-9 with strict constraints on values (no duplicates in rows, columns, or 3x3 "boxes").  The standard approach to solving these problems is to start with a constrained propagation algorithm, followed by a tree-based search, if required.  We replace this approach with a genetic algorithm - an approach to search based on natural selection.  Along the way we introduce such search topics as diversity, minima, incest, and tabu.


April 9, 2018
Presenter:  Xiao Shou, M.S. OSU '14, B.A. Witt '12
Title:  Machine Learning and its Applications Precision Health
Abstract:  Precision health is an emerging approach for disease treatment and prevention strategies that takes into account variability in people’s genes, environments and lifestyles. The role of machine learning and data mining have become more active supports to physicians and researchers for disease detection and treatment optimization. This presentation aims to provide a general understanding of common approaches and processes for data-driven precision health with the use of medical and health records and genomics data. Some key elements of the data mining processes will be introduced: starting from data retrieving, cleansing, modeling, to scoring. Commonly as the data sets approach large (big data), high dimensional learning methods become crucial. Specifically as in the genomics data, selection methods or filters are necessary to be implemented to control the feature variables to be included in the final model.

April 2, 2018
Presenter:  Dr. Patrick McDonald, Director of Data Science and Professor of Mathematics, New College of Florida 
Title:  Using Data to Improve Health Care
Abstract:  Improvements in our ability to collect, warehouse and analyze large amounts of data are rapidly reshaping the world in which we live, not always for the better.  One area where such improvements have enormous potential is health care.  This talk addresses an important problem in the health care sector:  the "30 Day Readmit Problem," that asks:  Given a patient's medical history at discharge from a hospital, can we predict whether the patient will be readmitted to a hospital within 30 days?  We will discuss why the problem is important, what constitutes a solution of the problem and what has been done.  We will shape the discussion to focus on the neural network solution constructed by students and faculty at New College.  The talk is intended for a general audience and all are warmly encouraged to attend.

Mar 12, 2018
Presenter:  Dr. Karl Schmitt '06, Assistant Professor and Director of Data Sciences at Valparaiso University 
Title:  The Classification and Characterization of Networks
Abstract:  Networks are often labeled according to the underlying phenomena that they represent, such as re-tweets, protein interactions, or web page links. This research seeks to use machine learning techniques to gain a better understanding of the categories of networks on the Network Repository ( and then classify unlabeled networks into categories that make sense. It is generally believed that networks from different categories have inherently unique network characteristics. This research provides conclusive evidence to validate this belief by presenting the results of global network clustering and classification into common categories using machine learning algorithms. The machine learning techniques of Decisions Trees, Random Forests, Linear Support Vector Classification and Gaussian Naive Bayes were applied to a 14-feature “identifying vector” for each graph. During cross-validation, the best technique, Gaussian Naive Bayes, achieved an accuracy of 92.8%. After training the machine learning algorithm it was applied to a collection of initially unlabeled graphs from the Network Repository. Results were then manually checked by determining (when possible) original sources for these graphs. Finally, we examined the accuracy of our results and discussed how future researchers can make use of this process.

Feb 19, 2018
Presenter:  Dr. Catherline Kublik, Assistant Professor of Computational Mathematics, University of Dayton
Title:  Catalan Numbers, Motzkin Numbers and a Related Sequence
Abstract:  We present the history of the Catalan numbers, their connection to the Motzkin numbers and their appearance in discrete calculations emanating from an exact numerical scheme.  The Catalan numbers first appeared in the work of Euler in a triangulation problem of convex polygons but have since emerged in many combinatorial problems.  Connected to the Catalan sequence is the sequence of Motzkin numbers and one of its generalizations.  Interestingly, these well-known numbers appear in my work on an exact numerical scheme for approximating a differential operator applied to the distance function.

Feb 5, 2018
Presenter:  Dan Riggs, Jackie Murray, and Sarah Kelch from Booz, Allen, Hamilton strategy and technology consultants.
Title:  Internships in Math, Computer Science, Data Science & Statistics
Abstract:  Booz Allen Hamilton has been at the forefront of strategy and technology for more than 100 years.  Today, the firm provides management and technology consulting and engineering services to leading Fortune 500 corporations, governments, and not-for-profits across the globe.  Booz Allen partners with public and private sector clients to solve their most difficult challenges through a combination of consulting, analytics, mission operations, technology, systems delivery, cybersecurity, engineering and innovation expertise.  Presenters will discuss internship opportunities available with Booz Allen Hamilton and will entertain questions about the application process and expectations of the company with regard to internships.  Specific information on the current internships available is posted on the Internships bulletin board just inside the west entrance of the Math/ Comp student lounge.

January 22, 2018
Presenter:  The Hayward Middle School TechFit Team
Title:  Jungle Gym - An Obstacle Course Exergame
Abstract:  The Hayward Middle School TechFit Team will present their award winning TechFit exergame.  TechFit sparks STEM interest in middle school children by inspiring next generation innovators to design and implement technology-based fitness games to get people moving and having fun while simultaneously and positively improving their health.  The students learned how to program using Scratch, a free programming language that allowed students to create an interactive animation of their exergame.  They moved on to nanoNavigator, a flowchart-style programming software with a simulator that allowed students to troubleshoot their program before uploading it to the controller.  Students had to learn how to wire the controller that runs the exergame.  Finally, they built and tested their exergame.

Hayward Middle School is one of over 30 schools in 8 states to offer the TechFit program.  The Wittenberg Math and Computer Science Department sponsored the team as they traveled to Purdue university for hte TechFit competition as one of seven teams from five states in December 2017.  They were named Showcase Champion and received the People's Choice Award.  

The TechFit traveling team members are: Eyriona Arnold, Aileen May, Zion Braddy-Tooson, Joseph White, Brittany Galindo, Jaeden Harris and Nyleigh Robinson.  Their instructors are: Dave Zeller, Mike Plant and Yvonne Shelburne.

October 9, 2017
Presenter:  Dr. Alyssa Hoofnagle, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Wittenberg University
Title:  How to Count without Actually Counting... An Introduction to Combinatorics
Abstract:  The field of combinatorics is loosely based around selecting, arranging, and counting objects of various types.  These ideas date back to the ancient world as mathematicians focused mainly on permutations and combinations.  Leibniz was one of the first to use the term "combinatorial" in 1666 when he claimed that permutations and combinations "prove the existence of God with complete mathematical certainty."  Since then, the field has broadened greatly as new techniques were discovered, often when trying to solve new puzzles or games.  In our computer age, combinatorics has risen to the forefront of mathematics due to the increasing use of algorithmic methods for solving real-world problems.  This talk will provide an introduction to the field of combinatorics, as well as present two interesting problems involving BINGO and integer partitions.

October 9, 2017
Presenter:  Dr. Brian Shelburne, Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science, Wittenberg University
Title:  The Manchester Mark I Prototype and Kilburn's Highest Factory Routine - June 21, 1948
Abstract:  February 2016 marked the 70th Anniversary of the ENIAC.  However, the 1946 ENIAC was not the first stored program computer.  That distinction probably goes to the Manchester (UK) University's Mark I Prototype (aka Small Scale Experimental Machine of SSEM) which successfully ran the first stored program, Kilburn['s] Highest Factor Routine, on Jun3 21, 1948 (70 years ago this coming June).  We'll look at hotel code for Kilburn's program and show how the Manchester Mark I prototype with only 32 words of 32-bit memory and 7 instructions (no division instruction) was used to factor integers.  We'll also look at some other early programs run on the SSEM including one by Alan Turing who at the time was at Manchester.  There are no surprises here, but it's interesting to see how much could be done with so little.

September 25, 2017
Presenter:  Dr. Adam Parker, Associate Professor of Mathematics, Chair of Department of Math and Computer Science, Wittenberg University
Title:  Rational approximations to algebraic numbers
Abstract: This is joint work with Matt Davis at Muskingum and Daniel Vargas, a HS student in Houston Texas.  When Daniel was in 7th grade, he outpaced the mathematical knowledge of his teacher, a Witt alum.  His teacher asked me to look over Daniel’s musings and one pattern jumped out.  Matt Davis and I proved the pattern holds in general and are working on publishing the result. 

September 11, 2017
Presenter: Dr. Ronald F. Taylor, Adjunct Instructor, Computer Science, Wittenberg University & Senior Lecturer Emeritus Computer Science and Engineering, Wright State University 
Title:  Computational Science and Pitfalls of Computing
Abstract: A key to the success of the professional development of undergraduate science students is a clear understanding of the methods of computational science and applied mathematics.  Transitioning students from introductory computing and mathematics courses to computational courses offers many challenges and opportunities.  Several non-trivial models drawn from aerospace engineering applications are presented which form a basis for the discussion.  Other computing examples show the pitfalls of elementary mathematical approaches which may lead to unexpected errors.  Educational initiatives in computational science which make use of application-bred course modules are presented.  A discussion and demonstration of Python programming for scientific computing is also given.


April 3, 2017
:  David Rea '12, University of Cincinnati, Operations, Business Analytics and Information Systems
Title: Healthcare Analytics: Saving Lives and Lowering Medical Bills
Abstract: Broadly, the goal of healthcare analytics is to use math and statistics to help streamline healthcare processes.  This talk will discuss current research in cooperation with the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine on optimal ambulance staffing and scheduling, focusing on the modeling process in general and touching on the methodology used, including discrete even simulation and mixture models. 

March 20, 2017
:  Daniel Foreman, Education Technology Consultant, Fuel Education, LLC
Title: Innovating Education:  The Noble Path Less Chosen
Abstract: Today's society is riding the fourth wave of the industrial revolution and what the future holds for us is unclear. One glaring issue in a society that changes rapidly with the advent of ubiquitous and powerful technology, is our educational system. Historically the public education system has been slow to embrace change. However, with the advent of new technologies and educational systems we must innovate and update with all diligent speed to ensure we meet the needs of current students as they  move to become the leaders of our country. Now is the time for innovation and action to prepare our population for a rapidly shifting economy and social infrastructure. The educational technology sector is riding a wave of exploding investment and for individuals willing to take on the challenge the opportunities are endless. 

February 20, 2017
Presenter: Brian Ervin '08, E.E. Ph.D. Candidate University of Cincinnati & Bioinformaticist at WPAFB
Title: x,y,z in all the wrong places: Computational neuroscience, graph theory, and bioinformatics.
Abstract: Explore what exists after graduating from Wittenberg's Math and Computer Science department. Entering the world of academic engineering research was dizzying, but I was always able to find solid ground in the underlying mathematics. This talk will introduce some research fields that I have worked in throughout my time in grad school, including signal processing, machine learning, genomics, parallel computing, and computational neuroscience.

February 6, 2017
Presenter:  Dr. Edward White, Professor of Statistics, Air Force Institute of Technology
with Alex Gutman (Senior Statistician at P&G), Captain Gregory Brown (Chief of Cost Analysis for the Special Operations Forces & Personnel Recovery Division, WPAFB) AND Captain Caitlin Oviatt (Master's student in Logistics and Supply Chain Management)
Title: Statistics in the Real World
Abstract:  Dr. White and his colleagues will discuss the practical application of, not only statistics, but also related “soft skills” in various fields of study, research and business. Most jobs in statistics involve more than just the numbers. To be successful requires the ability to communicate with clients, both verbally and in writing, and interpret their needs. It requires thinking beyond the numbers, being proactive and persistent and often, working as part of a team. The presenters will focus on sharing their personal experience to focus on what undergraduate students should be doing in and beyond the typical statistics classroom setting to ensure future success

January 23, 2017
Presenter: Dr. Doug Andrews, Professor of Statistics, Wittenberg
Title: "R"
Abstract: R is a free, open-source programming language and environment for statistical computation and graphics.  After a quick overview of R's history and culture, I'll demo some of R's simpler capabilities - for basic math (including vectors and matrices), basic stat work, simulation, scraping data from internet sources, interactive graphics, documenting reproducible workflow, creating presentations, and data wrangling.  Because R is a good tool for the emerging interdisciplinary field of data science, expect shameless plugs for Witt's proposed new program in Data Science as well.

December 5, 2016
Presenter:  Dr. Dan Pritikin, Professor of Mathematics, Miami University
Title:  Math Sing-Alongs
Abstract: Bring your sense of humor and your best singing voice for this Math/CS colloquium with a "twist". Dr. Dan will lead  us in song with some famous pop hits - only the words have been changed to "parody lyrics" with mathematical content (something like Weird Al Yankovic material). Hopefully this will provide some needed stress relief prior to the final week of classes and final exams.  

November 21, 2016
Presenter: Erin O'Brien
Title: Intelligence Analysis & Cyber Security at ATIC
Abstract: National defense, global security, the impact of technological and military advances in other nations, cyber security, and law enforcement analysis are focus areas of  the Advanced Technical Intelligence Center (ATIC). Recruitment for the 2017 Analyst Boot Camp and Cyber Analysis Data Security programs is underway.  Each program includes 10 weeks of classroom training with subject matter experts in the fields of intelligence analysis and cyber security.  Following classroom training, students complete a 5-week experiential learning internship working real-world analytic projects. ATIC is seeking students pursuing degrees in: all STEM areas, computer science, foreign languages, political science, psychology, forensic accounting, criminal justice. This session will discuss how these training programs can complement your degree and create a pathway to a career as an intelligence analyst, cyber security analyst, or law enforcement analyst. Here is a link to get more information about the Intelligence Community and career opportunities throughout a few of the agencies:

November 7, 2016
Presenter: Dr. Louis DeBiasio, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Miami University
Title: What is the chromatics number of a graph?
Abstract: We will answer the question above, discussing everything from compiling computer programs, scheduling meetings, coloring maps, solving Sudoku puzzles, to "the fundamental theorem of extremal graph theory."

September 26, 2016
Dr. Thomas Bitterman, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, Wittenberg
Title: Neural Nets and Deep Learning
Abstract: This talk covers the basics of neural nets and introduces one approach to deep learning. An introduction to the functioning of neural nets is provided, including coverage of weights and activation functions. The backpropagation learning algorithm for neural nets is described, and a mathematical basis is provided. Coverage concludes with a glimpse at the use of multi-layer neural nets to implement deep learning.

September 12, 2016
Presenter: Dr. William Higgins, Associate Professor of Mathematics, Wittenberg
Title: Trees for Values of the Span and Icaps for L(2,1) - Colorings
Abstract: An L(2,1)-coloring of a graph is a labeling of the vertices using non-negative integers so that labels of adjacent vertices differ by at least 2 and distance two vertices differ in label. An example is shown below. We define the invariants Span (related to the highest color used) and Icaps (related to the number of colors used) for L(2,1) colorings. We determine if there exist trees for each pair of possible values of Span and Icaps. This work was done (in collaboration with colleagues) while on leave at California Lutheran University.


May 2, 2016 
Presenter: Stephen Stuthers, Wittenberg University
Title: Big Data Development @ Wittenberg
Abstract: In big data development, the vast amount of daily data that is generated by businesses offer significant opportunities for real-time results, allowing for faster and better informed decisions. Using a C# ASP.NET model, I was able to develop real-time dashboards for Wittenberg's administration, faculty and staff.

Presenters: Kevin Egan, Wittenberg University
Title: Data Analysis of Springfield Promise Neighborhood
Abstract: Stat consulting service for Springfield Promise Neighborhood, determine the effectiveness of Promise Neighborhood on Lincoln Elementary students' growth and achievement scores. Comparisons made on students KRA, DRA, and OAA state testing.  Using Springfield Promise Neighborhood exposure to determine the impact on learning outcomes.  

Presenters: Carrie Kubasta, Wittenberg University
Title: Injury Patterns Among Witt Student- Athletes
Abstract: Data analysis was used in order to provide one of Wittenberg's own athletic trainers with some insights into the injuries she sees among her student-athletes. The goal here is to hopefully indicate areas where certain sports may need to focus more on injury prevention.

Presenters: Thomas Chuna, Wittenberg University
Title: Braiding with Matrices
Abstract: A look at hte injectivity of the Burau representation. The Burau representation is a map from the Braid group to the General Linear Group. We will consider if different hair braids are mapped ot hte same matrix when we evaluate the representation at a rood of unity.

February 22, 2016 
Presenters: Dr. Doug Ward, Miami University
Title: Nonsmooth Analysis: Or, What Do You Set Equal to Zero When the Derivative Doesn't Exist?
Abstract: Many problems of optimization can be solved with the help of differential calculus. Optimization problems also provide a motivation for extending the calculus to cover functions that are not differentiable everywhere. In this talk, I will describe a generalization of the concept of derivative that is used in studying optimization problems.

February 8, 2016 
Presenters: Bob Weishaar & Vadim Filimonov - Motorists Insurance
Title: The Actuarial Profession:  Analytics in the Insurance Industry
Abstract: The use of analytics is rapidly expanding across all industries, and the insurance industry is no exception. One path to attaining and demonstrating competence in the field is by earning a designation from the Casualty Actuarial Society. In this presentation we provide an overview of the actuarial profession, including the skills needed, the types of problems being solved, and the steps to accreditation.

January 25, 2016
Presenter: Flavia Sancier-Barbosa
Title: Risk and War: Is a Good Offense the Best Defense?
Abstract: In this talk, we compare probabilities of conquering territories in the board games "Risk" and "War" (War is a variant of the famous game Risk). A rich set of mathematical and statistical tools are used, such as Markov Chains and Order Statistics. The conquering probabilities offer insight on whether aggressive or conservative strategies work best in each game.

November 9, 2015 
Presenter: Emily Dennett, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Central Ohio Technical College
Title: Collaboration and Technology in the Mathematics Classroom
Abstract: Throughout history collaboration and using technology has been an important part of mathematical discovery.  However, students learning math often feel it is a solitary study of processes that have been set for many years. Emily Dennett, Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Central Ohio Technical College, is using collaboration and technology to bring life to her classroom and help her students more deeply understand mathematics. Emily will discuss how she has "flipped" her classes and why she believes helping students to collaborate and use technology is vital in mathematics education.

September 21, 2015 
Presenter: Moez Ben-Azzouz
Title: A Mathematical Model of Animal Skin Patterns
Abstract: In this talk we will take a look at an early foray in mathematical biology conducted by a famous mathematician in the 1950s, the secret author will be revealed during the talk. We will explore the mathematical model in detail and discuss how well it described the formation of pattern and structure in nature, particularly in animal skin. Finally we will revel the model's impact on the field of developmental biology.

August 31, 2015 
Presenter: Dr. Brian Shelburne
Title: Balanced Ternary Notation
Abstract: There is base 10 and base 2 and base 17 (hexadecimal) notation but why not base 3 (ternary) and in particular balanced ternary notation? We'll examine what balanced ternary notation is and how to add, subtract, multiply, divide and take square roots. There is some evidence that balanced ternary notation is the most efficient of numbering systems, the so called "Goldilocks" of numbering systems, in that "base 2 is too small" and "base 10 is too big" so "base 3 is just right"!


May 4, 2015 - Student Projects
Presenter: Margo Morton
Title: Mouse Analysis Software in Java
Abstract: Peromyscus mice are ubiquitous across North America, and are used widely in ecological research. However these species live in the same geographic areas and can be difficult to distinguish even by trained biologists. Morphological identification and genetic sequencing are two current methods of distinguishing these mice, but a third method, computer classification may provide the rigor and accuracy ecologists desire. Mouse analysis software was developed to take an image of a mouse, and run a four-point analysis of fur color, tail to to body ratio, ear to body ratio, and dorsal-ventral tail gradient in order to get a species classification. This software has been shown to decrease the implicit bias in morphological classification, and improves upon previous classification methods.

Presenter: Victor Glasgo
Title: A Geometric Analy7sis of Chord Progressions
Abstract: We are able to represent pitches numerically and can then examine relationships among them. My research sought to define a distance function in order to minimize voice leading distances between chords. My research also included creating visual representations of the results in two and three dimensions.

Presenter: Tiffany Puff
Title: Application of Graph Theory to Cave Exploration

April 22, 2015 (WEDNESDAY)
Presenter: Dr. Jeffrey Weeks
Title: Visualizing Four Dimensions
Abstract: An introduction to a method for learning to visualize 4-dimensional space. Participants will work on some 4D visualization exercises in small groups, and present a few solutions using interactive 4D graphics software. The exercises range from elementary to advanced, so everyone from first-year undergraduates on up should find something they like.

April 6, 2015
Presenter: Eric Mann ('14), Android Developer- Marxent Labs LLC
Title: Mobile Application Development: A Team Effort
Abstract: Developing a mobile application for any platform for a company is a task for more than a single person. It takes a project manager to oversee everything is going correctly and to stay in contact with the customer. There are designers and UI/UX experts to create the interface for the application and make sure it stays usable and functions correctly. Developers then write the application to the standards of the customer, designers, and UI/UX experts. Everything must also be done in a specific timeline. The fun doesn't end there, however. Maintenance is always occurring to send out updates to keep the app functioning correctly and stay fresh where the entire process is repeated

February 23, 2015
Presenter: Steve Dennett ('07), Manager Crew Resource Planning - NetJets, Inc.
Title: From Algorithms to Aviation:  Problem Solving in the Private Aviation Industry
Abstract: NetJets Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway company, is the worldwide leader in private aviation services. With more than 700 aircraft, 3,800 crewmembers, 325 thousand flights per year and constantly changing demands from our clients, complex business problems requiring creative solutions emerge on a daily basis. NetJets employs analysts throughout the business to tackle these problems, which often have mathematical, statistical and computer science based solutions. In this talk we will discuss two such problems, one using graph theory to optimize crew pairings and another employing statistics to identify aircraft with short term reliability issues

February 9, 2015
Presenter: Dr. Doug Andrews
Title: Error Bars: A Statistical Folk Remedy
Abstract: Error bars are visual representations of certain kinds of intervals. Use of such error bars is a relatively recent development that emerged outside the statistical mainstream. This talk will describe the different types of error bars in use, the tasks for which they're used, why they don't really mean what most users think they mean, and what stat tools work better for each of those tasks. The highlight of the talk, however, will be a joke by Dr. Ray Dudek (possibly in absentia).

January 26, 2015
Presenter: Dr. Bill Higgins
Title:  The Mathematics of Fairness
Abstract: The settlement of an estate among heirs, division of property following a divorce, subdivision of land among competing claimants and dividing cake or candy among children are all problems of fair division.  In this talk, we'll discuss how to define fairness and present some "fair-division schemes" developed by Polish mathematician Hugo Steinhaus and others to tackle such problems.

December 8, 2014 - Student Senior Projects:
Presenter: Harley Shugart
Title: Intrusion Detection in Mobile Wireless Ad Hoc Networks
Abstract: We study the use of different movement patterns for intruder detection using sensors in a mobile wireless ad hoc network to address the shortcomings of a random movement pattern for intruder detection and interception. Previous research has shown that a random movement pattern has a high intruder detection rate, but the sensors are unable to work together to intercept an intruder because one sensor does not know the location of another. We propose that through the implementation of a synchronized pseudo random movement pattern a comparable detection rate to a random movement pattern can be achieved.

Presenter: Hieu Dang
Title: Application of the Implicit Function Theorem on Comparative Statics Analysis
Abstract: Comparative statics analysis is a widely used technique in economics to predict and test the outcome of an economic policy. Basically, the technique is concerned with the comparison of different equilibrium, before and after a change in some exogenous variables. In this presentation, I will briefly introduce the Implicit Function Theorem, which is the main theory behind the technique. In addition, I will also apply the theorem to carry out a comparative statics analysis of the Investment Saving - Liquidity Preference Money Supply (IS-LM) model.

Presenter: Emily Bast, Sarah Cummings, MaryAnn White (Noyce Interns at PNNL)
Title: Internsthips at the Pacific Northwest National Labratory
Abstract: Three Wittenberg Noyce Scholars will talk briefly about what the Noyce Scholarship, what their time at PNNL looked like, and individually give a brief overview of each of their projects.

November 24, 2014:
Presenter: Wendy Smiseck, Director of Career Services
Title: Networking and Job Seeking - Connecting Your Way
Abstract: There is some truth to the old phrase, "It's not what you know, it's who you know." In today's job market, while all jobs are posted there are pipelines to those jobs - contacts. Connecting with Wittenberg alumni as well as with others in your field is the key to finding meaningful employment (and internships) in a global market. Learn more about how to use LinkedIn and other forms of online networking to build your contacts and working relationships to better aid you in finding great opportunities.

November 10, 2014:
Presenter: Visiting Asst. Professor Alyssa Armstrong
Title: An Introduction to Lie ALgebra & Representation Theory
Abstract: Lie theory was developed in the 19th century to study the symmetries that arise in nature. It was found that a Lie algebra was an accessible tool for studying these symmetries, and mathematicians began classifying all finite-dimensional Lie algebras. The field of representation theory stemmed from studying the structure of a Lie algebra by representing their elements as matrices. I will give a brief introduction to Lie algebras and their representation theory through the examination of sl(2,C), the set of 2x2 traceless matrices. Exposure to matrices and vector spaces is the only recommended background to understand these concepts within Lie theory; however I will review some of the recommended theory during the talk.

October 31 - Nov 1, 2014 - Ohio Section Mathematical Assn of America Fall Conference

October 22 (Wednesday) 2014: Advising SMACCM (Pizza!!)

October 6, 2014:
Presenter: Visiting Asst. Professor Becca Winarski
Title:  Braid Groups and Mapping Class Groups
Abstract: Braid groups and mapping class groups have been studied since the 1920s. Elements of braid groups can be visualized as strands of strings passing over each other like a braid in someone's hair. An element of the mapping class group is represented by a continuous map of a surface to itself. The descriptions of these groups may seem completely different, but there are some surprising parallels. In fact, it turns out that braid groups can be described as mapping class groups and vice versa.

September 22, 2014:
Presenter: Matthew Maloney - Case Western Reserve
Title: Operations Research and Supply Chain - How Quantitative Skills can better prepare you for your future career.
Abstract: Matthew Maloney is Director of Operations Research and Supply Chain Master's Program at Case Western Reserve University. Matt works with students on professional and personal development and with corporate partners to help students find internships and practical experience, as well as permanent jobs. Matt will discuss the quantitative skills and experience that corporate America looks for in new college graduates.

September 8, 2014:
Presenter: Professor Brian Shelburne
Title: A Brief Introduction to Julia and Mandelbrot Sets
Abstract: One of the invited speakers for the MAA meeting to be held at Wittenberg later this fall is Robert Devaney of Boston University who is known for his work in chaotic dynamical system. One of his talks is titled "The Fractal Geometry of the Mandelbrot Set". It might be useful for learn a bit about the Mandelbrot before hearing Professor Devaney.

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