JUMP Seminar Archives

JUMP Seminar Archives


Title: A conversation on careers and graduate schools

Date and Time: Wednesday, April 1, 5:00-6:00 pm

Place: Government 101

Description: This will be an informal conversation with professional people and graduate students on issues related to careers or graduate schools in mathematics and physics.

* The JUMP Seminar is part of the Joint Undergraduate Mathematics and Physics (JUMP) Scholarship program.


Undergraduate talk joint with JUMP seminar (all math majors and minors are highly encouraged to attend).

The talk will incorporate math and a discussion about math by a prominent mathematician, Emeritus and an author of many math books:

Title: Matrices and Topology
Speaker: John Conway
Date and Time: Monday, March 16, 9:35-10:50am
Place: Duques 251
Abstract: In this talk we consider the set of n by n matrices and ask various topological questions about certain of its subsets. The idea is that to answer such questions we need to use various results from linear algebra. We are thus exposed to a connection between two different areas of mathematics. This talk is accessible to anyone who knows linear algebra and basic convergence results for real numbers and n-dimensional Euclidean space.
Short bio:
John B Conway was born and raised in New Orleans and went to school there through college, graduating from Loyola University of New Orleans with a degree in Mathematics. Him and his two brothers were the first in his family to graduate from college. He received an NSF Graduate Fellowship, went to Indiana University for one year, then a year at NYU, and two years later he received his PhD from Louisiana State University. (His older brother also earned a PhD in mathematics from Indiana University and was on the faculty of Tulane University before his premature death.) John Conway's first job was at Indiana University where he rose through the ranks before going to the University of Tennessee in 1990 to be the Head of the department. In 2003 Conway accepted a three-year appointment at the National Science Foundation (NSF). After that he became department chair, here at GW, until his retirement in 2011. Almost all of his research lies between analytic function theory and the theory of operators on a Hilbert space. He is attracted by the interaction between these two areas. He has had 19 PhD students and written 10 books as well as many research papers.
On the personal side he is married to his high school sweetheart; they met when he was 15 and she was 13. They own a small house in France and since retirement they spend three months a year there. John Conway and his wife have one son who is a professor of history at the Anglo-American School in St Petersburg, Russia. He and his Russian wife have their grandson, Stephen Johnevich.

Since this is a part of JUMP program activity, all JUMP students are required to attend (the attendance will be recorded).

Presented by the Joint Mathematics and Physics (JUMP) Scholarship Program

Speaker: Rosemary Renaut
Date and Time:Wednesday, Jan 28, 5-6pm.
Place: Government 101

I will provide a short overview of the following problem: Biofuel cell polarization estimation: inversion of electrochemical impedance spectroscopic measurements

The inverse problem associated with electrochemical impedance spectroscopy requiring the solution of a Fredholm integral equation of the first kind is considered. If the underlying physical model is not clearly determined, the inverse problem needs to be solved using a regularized linear least squares problem that is obtained from the discretization of the integral equation. To obtain feasible solutions an additional constraint of non-negativity is required. Simulations with artificial, but realistic, data demonstrate that the use of non-negatively constrained least squares with a smoothing norm provides higher quality solutions than those obtained without the non-negative constraint. Although these results have been verified within the context of the analysis of electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, there is no reason to suppose that they would not be relevant within the broader framework of solving Fredholm integral equations for other applications.

This is joint work with undergraduates over two summers: Jakob Hansen, Jarom Hogue, Grant Sander, Michael Horst, Derek Nasir, Caleb Johnson and Robert Baker, and relates to a chemical engineering problem of interest to practitioners at ASU

You can pull a short bio from material on the web if you like


So I should spend what - 30 minutes on the science part? What else should I say, did you want me to say something generally about UG research - give me some guidance, I'll have to generate a presentation over the weekend,

Fall 2014

Speaker: Jiayan Wang

Date and Time: Friday, September 12th, 3:45-5:00pm

Place: Government 102

Abstract: Combining number theory with computer programming, we
developed a novel computational method for solving Diophantine
equations of the form f(m) = Qn with respect to integers m and n,
where Q > 0 is a xed integer and f(m) is a second-degree polynomial.
Our method involves solving generalized Pell equations and computing
periodic zeros of the solution modulo some powers of Q and employs
computer algebra system PARI/GP.We use our method for systematic
study of such equations and present many numerical results. As an
example, we prove that the only solutions to the equation 2m2+1 = 3n
are (m; n) = (0; 0); ( 1; 1); ( 2; 2); and ( 11; 5):

This research was conducted under the supervision of Dr. Max A. Alekseyev.

Date: Monday April 28, 2014

Time: 11:10- 12:35

Place: Monroe B32 (Reception afterwards in Monroe 267)


The event will feature talks by Faculty in Mathematics and Physics on their research. Some topics will include: Bio-physics, Harmonic Analysis and Imaging, Dynamical Systems and Tiling, Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD), Partial Differential Equations, Topology, Mathematics at NASA, and Interdisciplinary Collaborations

JUMP Showcase Flyer

Mathematics and Climate: A New Partnership

Title: Genome rearrangements: when intuition fails
Speaker: Max Alekseyev, George Washington Univ.
Time: Monday, April 7, 2014 11:10am-12:10pm
Place: Monroe 353

(* The JUMP seminar is part of the Joint Undergraduate Mathematics & Physics (JUMP) Scholarship program. See more info at


Genome rearrangements are genomic "earthquakes" that change the chromosomal architectures. The minimum number of rearrangements between two genomes (called "genomic distance") represents a rather accurate measure for the evolutionary distance between them and is often used as such in comparative genomics studies.

In this talk I shall describe two rather unexpected phenomena in genome rearrangements analysis. First, the weighted genomic distance designed to bound the proportion of transpositions (that are complex rearrangements rarely happening in reality) in rearrangement scenarios between two genomes does not actually achieve this goal. Second, while the median score of three genomes can be approximated by the sum of their pairwise genomic distances (up to a constant factor), these two measures of evolutionary distance of genomes are no so much correlated as one's intuition may suggest.


Dr. Max Alekseyev is an associate professor at the Department of Mathematics & Computational Biology Institute, George Washington University. He received a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of California, San Diego, and in 2009-2013 was an assistant professor of computer science at University of South Carolina. In 2011, Dr. Alekseyev served as a scientific director for the Algorithmic Biology Laboratory at St. Petersburg Academic University, Russia, where he led development of genome assembler SPAdes. He received an NSF CAREER award in 2013. Dr. Alekseyev's research interests range from discrete mathematics (particularly, combinatorics and graph theory) to bioinformatics (particularly, comparative genomics and phylogenomics). His research is focused on the development and application of new methods of discrete mathematics to solve old and recently emerged open biological problems.

Dr. Hans Kaper, Georgetown University

Abstract: Climate is an emerging area of research in the mathematical sciences, part of a broader portfolio that addresses issues of complexity and sustainability. So far, the climate system has received relatively little attention in the mathematical sciences community, despite the fact that the stakes are high, decision makers have more questions than we can answer, and mathematical models and statistical arguments play a central role in assessment exercises. In this talk I will identify some problems of current interest in climate science and indicate how, as mathematicians, we can find inspiration for new applications.

Bio: Dr. Hans Kaper is an applied mathematician and co-­director of the Mathematics and Climate Research Network (http://www.mathclimate.org), an NSF ­funded virtual organization to develop the mathematics needed to better understand the Earth's climate. He is the (co­) author of four books and more than 100 articles in refereed journals. His most recent book "Mathematics and Climate" (with Dr. Hans Engler) was published by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) and was named“ASLI's Choice 2013” by the Atmospheric Science Librarians International (ASLI) as the best book of 2013 in the fields of meteorology/climatology/atmospheric sciences. Dr. Kaper is a Corresponding Member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), class of 2009. He is editor-­in-­chief of SIAM News and a member of the SIAM Committee on Science Policy, and served as Chair of the SIAM Activity Group on Dynamical Systems in 2012-­13.

JUMP Seminar Flyer