The 2019 Rose-Hulman Undergraduate Mathematics Conference is in planning! The conference webpage is here .

Welcome to the 2018 Rose-Hulman Undergraduate Mathematics Conference. This is our 35th consecutive conference, and we look forward to hosting you on the beautiful Rose-Hulman campus.

The vision for the Rose-Hulman Undergraduate Mathematics Conference is to provide a venue to highlight and celebrate the accomplishments and work of undergraduate mathematicians and statisticians. The conference is put on largely by undergraduates for undergraduates. While the invited plenary speakers will be related to the theme Mathematics in Unexpected Places, the contributed student talks will cover an array of topics including pure mathematical theory, applied modeling, statistics, and data science.

Invited Speakers

Hilary Parker

Hilary Parker

The Statistics Behind a Personalized Look

Stitch Fix is an ecommerce site that delivers personalized recommendations to customers, helping them discover what they love. Behind that effort are almost 80 data scientists from a large variety of backgrounds. As a team, we work on myriad problems which include optimizing our styling algorithm that acts as a first pass through our inventory, perfecting our stylist-facing interface for our unique "human in the loop" problem, analyzing changes to our site using A/B testing, and accurately modeling demand. In this talk, I will discuss the various roles on the team, as well as the foundational skills that can be taught to set students up for success.

Hilary Parker is a Data Scientist at Stitch Fix and co-founder of the Not So Standard Deviations podcast. She focuses on R, experimentation, and rigorous analysis development methods such as reproducibility. Formerly a Senior Data Analyst at Etsy, she received a PhD in Biostatistics from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Hilary can be found on Twitter at @hspter.

Lawrence D. Stone

Lawrence Stone

Bayesian Search For Missing Aircraft, People, and Ships

In recent years there have been a number of highly publicized searches for missing aircraft such as the ones for Air France flight AF 447 and Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370. Bayesian search theory provides a well-developed method for planning searches for missing aircraft, ships lost at sea, or people missing on land. The theory has been applied successfully to searches for the missing US nuclear submarine Scorpion, the SS Central America (ship of gold), and the wreck of AF 447. It is used routinely the by U. S. Coast Guard to find people and ships missing at sea. This talk presents the basic elements of the theory. It describes how Bayesian search theory was used to locate the wreck of AF 447 after two-years of unsuccessful search and discusses how it was applied to the search for MH 370. A crucial feature of Bayesian search theory is that it provides a principled method of combining all available information about the location of a search object. This is particularly important in one-of-a-kind searches such as the one for AF 447 where there is little or no statistical data to rely upon.

Dr. Stone joined Metron in 1986. He became Chief Operating Officer in 1990 and Chief Executive Officer in 2004. In 2010 he returned to primarily technical work as Chief Scientist at Metron. In 1986, he produced the probability maps used to locate the S.S. Central America which sank in 1857, taking millions of dollars of gold coins and bars to the ocean bottom one and one-half miles below. He was one of the primary developers of the U. S. Coast Guard’s Search and Rescue Optimal Planning System (SAROPS) used by the Coast Guard since 2007 to plan searches for people missing at sea. In 2010 he led the team that produced the probability distribution that guided the French to the location of the underwater wreckage of Air France Flight AF447. He coauthored the 2016 book Optimal Search for Moving Targets. He continues to work on a number of detection and tracking systems for the United States Navy and is coauthor of the 2014 book, Bayesian Multiple Target Tracking 2nd Ed.

Tanya Leise

Tanya Leise

Clocks in Mice and Flies and Bears, Oh My!

Most creatures on earth have internal circadian clocks that regulate our daily rhythms of activity and sleep. Like mechanical clocks, these biological clocks keep regular, precise time and can be reset to match external time, for instance, adjusting to changes in time zone. We’ll take a look at analysis of circadian clock oscillations in behavioral and molecular records of mice, fruit flies, and brown bears, employing a variety of methods ranging from autocorrelation to wavelet transforms. In mice and flies, we can track expression of a key clock gene, while in brown bears we have records of activity and body temperature rhythms. Our data for these noisy biological oscillators often include relatively few cycles, so that reliable estimation of period can be quite challenging. The phase relationships between different rhythms in the same organism, e.g., between temperature and activity or between intracellular calcium levels and clock gene expression, are also of interest, as well as transient changes in relative phase following a disruption, potentially yielding insight into how such rhythms might be coupled.

Tanya Leise has been teaching in the Department of Mathematics & Statistics at Amherst College since 2004, and currently chairs the department. Her courses focus primarily on applied mathematics, including multivariable calculus, applied linear algebra, differential equations, mathematical modeling, and Fourier and wavelet analysis. Tanya's research on biological oscillators focuses on circadian rhythms in mammals and is highly interdisciplinary in nature. She works with colleagues in neuroscience and biology to study the physiological mechanism of the circadian clock at the cellular and tissue levels in a variety of organisms. She utilizes a mix of mathematical modeling and wavelet-based time series analysis to gain insight into the circadian clock.

Short Courses

In addition to the student talks and plenary sessions, we are offering a series of two hour short courses in conjunction with the conference. The short courses are presented by experts in the respective field, and are intended to be an introduction for undergraduates to the given area of mathematics. The short courses will happen on Friday afternoon of the conference. The courses are open to all registrants; there is no need to pre-register. You may decide which course, if any, to attend when you arrive.

Introduction to Data Science

Dr. Mark Daniel Ward, Purdue University

We will have a hands-on overview of some of the tools that data scientists use for working with data, including large data sets. The workshop topics can be slightly flexible and open to discussion, depending on the interests of the participants. At a minimum, we will introduce students to R and RStudio, data visualization, and perhaps some tools for scraping and parsing XML directly from the web and processing the scraped data in R. All participants are encouraged to bring a laptop...and to be excited to learn about some of the introductory nuts and bolts of data science. No computational background is needed for this workshop.

Making Euclidean Geometry More Complex

Dr. Peter G Andrews, Eastern Illinois University

The goal of this course is to explore how complex numbers can be used to describe classical analytic geometry in the plane. We will start with a review of complex numbers including the definition and geometry of the basic operations -- addition, multiplication, and conjugation. This will lead to complex versions of classical notions such as perpendicularity, parallelism, lines, and circles . We will develop complex proofs of a few classical Euclidean theorems and conclude by classifying all isometries of the plane -- in complex terms, of course. A fleeting familiarity with complex numbers will help, but really all that will be needed to follow the material is knowing how to describe a straight line in the plane and what perpendicular and parallel mean in ordinary Euclidean geometry.

Upping your LaTeX Game: Class files, scripting, and graphics

Dr. Tim All, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

LaTeX is the de facto standard when it comes to typesetting mathematics and scientific documents. In this workshop, we aim to give an overview of some of the more advanced features available in LaTeX. Specifically, we will explore the following:

  • the creation of custom packages and document classes to avoid those mile-long preambles,
  • other TeX engines with specific emphasis on LuaLatex which includes Lua as an embedded scripting language. This allows for a host of useful applications (e.g., creating custom assignment classes that auto-populate a table of scores or an answer key, or that randomly generate similar problems upon compiling),
  • the various tools and add-ons available for creating high-quality 2D and 3D vector graphics in LaTeX.
Templates and/or minimal working examples will be provided for those who wish use or otherwise tootle around with those demos used in the workshop. Participants are encouraged to bring a laptop to this session!