Rose-Hulman Undergraduate Mathematics Conference
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Dr. Jerry L. Bona Dr. Jennifer Quinn

Dr. Jerry L. Bona
Department of Mathematics, Univeristy of Illinois at Chicago

Jerry Bona received a B.S. in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science from Washington University, Saint Louis in 1966 and a Ph.D. in Mathematics directed by Garret Birkhoff, from Harvard University, Cambridge in 1971. He was a post-doctoral fellow under the direction of T. Brooke Benjamin and J.J. Mahony at the the Fluid Mechanics Research Institue in the University of Essex from 1970 to 1972, before joining the faculty of mathematics at the University of Chicago. His research interests include fluid mechanics, partial differential equations, computational mathematics and the associated numerical analysis, oceanography, coastal engineering, economic theory and lately, the analysis of gene expression and its use as a tool in designing cancer treatment.

Bona is currently Chair of the Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science department at UIC, having formerly held a Professorship at the University of Chicago and Chaired positions at Penn State and the University of Texas at Austin. He has served on a wide range of committees of the AAAS, AMS, MAA and SIAM, on NSF, NSERC, NATO, ONR, and U.S. Army Research Office advisory committees as well as on many ad hoc advisory and evaluative committees. Dr. Bona has recently taken over as the Convenor of the International Center for Mathematical Sciences which is headquartered in Edinburgh in Maxwell's former home. He has mentored about 50 graduate students and post-doctoral fellows and is on the editorial board of 30 or so scientific journals.

Title: Big Waves on Deep Water - Tsunamis and Rogue Waves
Abstract: Professor Bona will give an introductory lecture/discussion of tsunamis and rogue waves. This lecture will primarily feature pictures, but also give some indication of the interesting mathematics arising in modeling these phenomena.
Title: Mathematics and Beach Protection
Abstract: The discussion will begin with the question of why it is that some beaches possess sand bars. A mechanism for the formation of sand bars is then suggested and described. After checking the predictive power of the model, it is used in an engineering framework to decide upon beach protection strategies.


Dr. Jennifer Quinn
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, University of Puget Sound (WA) and
Association for Women in Mathematics - Executive Director
Biography: Jennifer Quinn is the Executive Director of the Association for Women in Mathematics and works as co-Editor of Mathematical Association of America's (MAA) magazine 'Math Horizons.' She earned her BA, MS, and PhD from Williams College, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the University of Wisconsin, respectively. For the past thirteen years, she has been affiliated with Occidental College, rising to the rank of full professor and serving as Department Chair.

Professor Quinn has received regional and national awards as a teacher, scholar, and author---most recently being recognized as one of three 2007 MAA Deborah and Franklin Tepper Haimo National Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics. Her book 'Proofs That Really Count: The Art of Combinatorial Proof', coauthored with Arthur T. Benjamin, was lauded as distinguished and innovative by the 2006 Beckenbach Book Prize. She lives in Tacoma, WA where she occasionally teaches at the University of Puget Sound and Pacific Lutheran University. Someday, she hopes to return to a permanent academic position-but for now she remains open to all possibilities and is eager to continue on life's journey.

Title: Determinants via Determined Ants
Abstract: Determinants of nxn matrices will be understood combinatorially by marching n ants along the arcs of a directed graph. Using this approach, we will tackle properties of determinants (like det(A^T)=det(A)^T) as well as identities involving determinants of matrices containing Fibonacci numbers, binomial coefficients, Catalan numbers, and more. Thus providing more evidence to support Ernst Mach's belief that "There is no problem in all mathematics that cannot be solved by direct counting."