Department of Mathematics

West Chester University

**Mathematics Information**

Office: Room 101

25 University Avenue

West Chester, PA 19383

Phone (610) 436-2440

Fax (610) 738-0578

Email: Department Chair

Colloquium talks will normally be on a Wednesday (usually in UNA 158 from 3:15-4:15).

These seminars/colloquium talks may be by visiting speakers, WCU faculty, or WCU students, and are open to all interested students and faculty.

Send an e-mail to jmclaughl@wcupa.edu, if you would like to be on the e-mail list to receive advance notice of upcoming talks.

Previous Semesters: Fall 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2012, Spring 2012, Fall 2011, Spring 2011, Fall 2010, Spring 2010, Fall 2009, Spring 2009, Fall 2008, Spring 2008, Fall 2007, Spring 2007, Fall 2006, Summer 2006, Spring 2006.

**Department of Mathematics
West Chester University
Spring 2015 Mathematics Colloquium
presents**

presents

George Washington University

“**“Matrices and Topology”**”

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.

*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. *

**For further information e-mail** mfisher@wcupa.edu or sgupta@wcupa.edu

**Department of Mathematics
West Chester University
Spring 2015 Mathematics Colloquium
presents**

presents

United States Naval Academy

“**Optimization, Ethics, and Organs: Mathematical Methods for Rationing Transplantation**”** **

The notion of rationing healthcare is taboo: people naturally feel no one should limit the resources spent extending human life, particularly theirs or their loved ones’. Transplantation can transform the lives of organ recipients, but must be rationed by access to the far-too-small supply of donated organs, so it is a microcosm of ethical dilemmas in rationing healthcare. Operations research techniques can maximize the number of life years gained from transplantation, or redistrict geographic allocation units to distribute organs more fairly across large countries like the United States. Paired kidney exchange, in which a living kidney donor who is incompatible with his intended recipient exchanges organs with another incompatible pair, uses graph algorithms for maximum weight matching to select the best combination of exchanges. Beyond the sophistication of methods, the real challenge is to help decision-makers scrutinize how "fair" and "optimal" can be defined. I will share my experiences as a mathematician in the transplant community.

*Sommer Gentry is Associate Professor of Mathematics at the United States Naval Academy, and is also on the faculty of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She is a senior investigator with the Scientific Registry for Transplant Recipients in the U.S. She has a B.S. in Mathematical and Computational Science and an M.S. in Operations Research, both from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT. She was a Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellow, and won an award for excellence in communicating computational science to a lay audience. She designed matching optimization methods used for nationwide kidney paired donation registries in both the United States and Canada, and is now creating optimized sharing boundaries to help the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network reduce geographic disparity in liver allocation. Her work has attracted the attention of major media outlets including Time Magazine, Reader’s Digest, Science, the Discovery Channel, and National Public Radio. Gentry has received the MAA’s Henry L. Alder award for distinguished teaching by a beginning mathematics faculty member. *

**For further information e-mail** mfisher@wcupa.edu or sgupta@wcupa.edu

**Department of Mathematics
West Chester University
Spring 2015 Mathematics Colloquium
presents**

presents

United States Naval Academy

“**The Man Who Found God’s Number**”

This is a tale of two problems. For years, Tom Rokicki worked to determine the exact value of God's number for the Rubik's Cube (the smallest number of moves needed to solve the cube in the worst case), a very difficult problem. By the time he solved this, Tom was completely deaf. Digitizing human hearing, and then implementing that into a medical device, is also a very difficult problem. Thanks to recent medical advances, Tom's hearing was restored about the same time that he discovered God's number.

*
David Joyner received his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Maryland, College
Park. He held visiting positions at the University of California San Diego, Princeton, and
the Institute for Advanced Study before joining the United States Naval Academy in 1987,
where he is now a professor. He received the USNA’s Faculty Researcher of the Year
award in 2007. His hobbies include writing, chess, photography, and the history of
cryptography *

**For further information e-mail** mfisher@wcupa.edu or sgupta@wcupa.edu

Note: Talks will be added to the schedule throughout the semester. Check back for updates.