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Eastern Kentucky University

Mathematics and Statistics

Mathematics and Statistics 5 Coffee Time Series

Coffee Time Series

Coffee Time is a series of presentations geared toward students and designed to engage students and faculty in discussions of mathematical and statistical topics. Talks in the series are generally brief in order to allow time for questions and conversations afterward. Coffee and snacks are available before each presentation.

For more information, please email Dr. Lisa Kay.


Fall 2023

Dr. Shane Redmond
Eastern Kentucky University
When a Mathematician Goes to Ireland
August 28, 2023 @ 2:30 p.m.
Wallace 326

Abstract: Ireland is a land famous for its beauty, music, culture … and mathematics! Join Dr. Redmond as he recounts his travels to Ireland to pay homage to two of his favorite stories about the history of mathematics and statistics. This talk is for anyone who is a fan of math, history, Ireland, or just a good story.

Spring 2023

Dr. Mathew Cropper
Eastern Kentucky University
The Number of Vertices and Edges in Mycielski Graphs
January 25, 2023 @ 2:30 p.m.
Wallace 344

Abstract: Given a finite simple graph G = (V, E), the Mycielski construction forms a new graph from G. When this construction is done iteratively, it produces a sequence of graphs Gn, n = 0, 1, 2, . . . where G0 = G. Let Vn and En denote the number of vertices and edges in Gn, respectively. In this talk a few interesting properties of these graphs will be shown, and formulas for Vn and En will be obtained.





Fall 2022

Dr. Samuel Kakraba
Eastern Kentucky University
Application of Machine Learning to Drug Discovery and Design: The Case of Modeling of Anti-Leukemia Activity of Small Molecules
November 21, 2022 @ 2:30 p.m.
Wallace 344

Email for Zoom information.

Abstract: Leukemia affects all populations and is the most common cancer in children younger than five years of age, accounting for the highest reported percentage of deaths, thereby creating a huge burden on individuals, families, and countries. Recently, the field of drug discovery, design, and pharmaceutical sciences has been seeing increasing machine-learning algorithms applied to the screening and characterization of small molecules, often referred to as “computer-aided drug   discovery.” Using R statistical software, we designed and implemented a robust machine learning-driven pipeline that incorporated several machine-learning algorithms for modeling the anti-leukemia activity of small molecules from the TDZD library synthesized by our research group.  To access the robustness of the pipeline, we validated our pipeline using protein aggregation inhibition and DNA polymerase inhibition as endpoints for quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) modeling. Next using the anti-leukemia endpoint of the TDZD library, we generated a molecular database and matched the molecular properties of the small molecules to the anti-leukemia activity to define QSAR. Our pipeline demonstrated robust results across the machine-learning algorithms regardless of the endpoint explored. Our results suggest that machine learning algorithms hold great potential in addressing critical questions in drug discovery and development. Finally, we intend to use our pipeline to extract the structural features responsible for the anti-leukemic activity of the small molecules, thereby guiding further synthesis and testing of more potent second-generation anti-leukemic small molecules.


Dr. Jeffrey Lyons
The Citadel
An Introduction to Time Scales
October 18, 2022 @ 5:00 p.m.
Email for Zoom information.

Abstract: Time scales were first introduced by Stefan Hilger in 1988 in order to unify continuous and discrete analysis. This talk will give an introduction to time scales, including examples of different time scales and how differentiation and integration work with time scales. As we will see, many results carry over easily while others seem to be completely different.


Claire Hollins
Eastern Kentucky University
Devising Divisibility Rules for Fibonacci Numbers
September 21, 2022 @ 2:30 p.m.
Wallace 344

Email for Zoom information.

Abstract: The Fibonacci sequence, being one of the most famous recurrences, has vast amounts of research behind the numbers. However, the more research collected, the more questions are posed. How do the Fibonacci numbers relate? Do patterns of divisibility exist within the numbers? What does the greatest common divisor of two Fibonacci numbers state about divisibility? We will discuss the rules the Fibonacci numbers hold and how to derive them.


Spring 2022

Dr. Rachel Bishop-Ross & Dr. Jamie-Marie Miller
Eastern Kentucky University
Piecing Together Transformational Geometry Through Quilt Squares
April 26, 2022 @ 2:00 p.m.
Wallace 349

Email for Zoom information.

Abstract: In this talk, we describe a project that we used to support the students of EME 301 and MAE 302: Mathematical Concepts III (Geometry for Elementary and Middle Grade Teachers) in their understanding of geometric shapes and symmetry (reflection/line, rotation, translation) within the context of how different cultures influence the use, or lack thereof, of these geometric topics in items like blankets, rugs, and quilts. As an additional assessment of learning, students were given a pre-test before doing a unit of study on symmetry. After the unit on symmetry, students wrote a reflection on what they learned about geometry and culture and created a hand-made quilt square that demonstrated their understanding of symmetry. At the end of the semester, the students took a post-test on the unit as part of their final exam. We will compare results from the pre- and post-tests and share the results of the tests and the project.


Dr. Buz Buskirk
Eastern Kentucky University
The Maxima Computer Algebra System
March 28, 2022 @ 1:25 p.m.
Wallace 346

Email for Zoom information.

Abstract: The computer algebra system (CAS) Maxima can do almost anything that other CASs like Mathematica, Maple, or Matlab can do. There is one HUGE difference.
Maxima is FREE!!!
You can legally put it on your own computer!!!
This talk will introduce some of the capabilities that apply to algebra, calculus I—III, linear algebra, differential equations, graphing (2-D, 3-D, polar, parametric, and more). Please bring a laptop with you.

Maxima/wxMaxima runs on all major computer operating systems: Linux, Mac, Windows, UNIX, etc. (There probably aren’t mobile OS versions.)
You can download your own LEGALLY FREE copy at Make sure to get Maxima + wxMaxima + gnuplot (everything). You will be able to open and work with a copy of the same wxMaxima notebook that I will be using.


Fall 2021

Sarah Locke Eskew, Jeff Neugebauer, Michael Osborne, April Pilcher, Michelle Smith
Eastern Kentucky University

Graduate School Panel

October 13, 2021 @ 5:00, Wallace 348

Zoom link:

Passcode, if prompted: 109974

Abstract: Considering going to graduate school? Come and talk to our panel members about their experiences with graduate school. Get advice about how to choose a school and how to make your applications look good. Join us for this unique Coffee Time presentation!


Todd Burus
University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center Community Impact Office

Quantifying Cancer Burden, Relevant Risk Factors, and Prevention in Kentucky

September 14, 2021 @ 5:00 p.m., Wallace 346

Email for Zoom information.

Abstract: Kentucky currently has the highest rates of cancer incidence and mortality among all 50 US states. Why is this and what is there that we can do about it? To get a handle on these questions, Markey Cancer Center’s Community Impact Office is preparing a statewide cancer needs assessment which will help inform the plans of researchers, policy makers and those involved in community-level interventions. Such an assessment must take into account the wide variety of data available, distilling it into digestible chunks through careful framing and analysis. In this talk you will get an inside look at how the initial phases of the process have unfolded—from the collection of data, to its preparation, and how it gets placed into meaningful static and dynamic visualizations for further exploration. The use of R and ArcGIS in this process will be demonstrated, and additional use of Python, Tableau and other tools referenced, to show how a data scientific approach is being applied to answer one of the most pressing public health questions facing our state.


Spring 2021

Katie DeSimone, Madison County Schools; Heidi Little, Scott County Schools; Jeremy Miller, Lee County Schools; Keeley Ridner, Fayette County Schools; and Alex White, Model Laboratory School

Careers in Math Education: Panel Discussion

February 10, 2021 @ 7:00 p.m.

Email for Zoom information

Abstract: Interested in a career in mathematics education? Come and talk to our panel members about their experiences. Get advice about the different opportunities available. Join us for this unique Coffee Time presentation!


Fall 2020

Dr. Jeffrey Lyons
The Citadel
Derivative of a Solution to a Third Order Boundary Value
November 13, 2020 @ 2:30 p.m.

Email for Zoom information.

Abstract: Under certain conditions, the solution to the third order boundary value problem consisting of the differential equation y’’’= f (x, y, y’, y’’) and boundary conditions y(x1) = y1, y(x2) = y2, y(x3) = y3 may be differentiated with respect to the boundary points and values. The resulting function solves the associated variational equation. This work extends that which has been attributed to Peano for initial value problems to boundary value problems and relies upon a continuous dependence result connecting the two. The proof of the main result ties together topics from undergraduate calculus, differential equations, and linear algebra. However, you do not have to be an expert in these areas to follow along.


Dr. Sheri McGuffin
Eastern Kentucky University
The Overlap of Math and Computer Science: Preparing Students for Twenty-First Century STEM Careers
October 7, 2020 @ 2:30 p.m.

Email for Zoom information.

Abstract: You’ve likely heard someone described as “a jack of all trades but master of none,” but the original saying was actually intended as a compliment: “a jack of all trades is a master of none, but is oftentimes better than a master of one.” Preparing higher education students for twenty-first century STEM careers often involves preparing them in multiple disciplines, so universities have begun offering STEM majors that combine subjects with less content depth and coverage but more content breadth and versatility. Math and computer science are two of those disciplines with a natural overlap of traditional topics and twenty-first century applications. This talk discusses the math/cs overlap and implications in preparing higher education students for future careers.


Dr. Margaret Yoder
Eastern Kentucky University
Transforming Geometry
September 18, 2020 @ 2:30 p.m.

Email for Zoom information.

Abstract: Standards and curricula in K-12 mathematics are changing the approach to geometry topics. In the past, congruence was viewed from the idea that corresponding parts of congruent figures are congruent, and proofs were written that way. But there is a shift taking place to prove congruent figures are congruent by showing that one is an image of the other under rigid transformations. This has implications for what we can expect incoming students to know, and it impacts the way we teach the courses that prospective teachers will take.


Spring 2020

Dr. Judy Jenkins, Dr. Lisa Kay, Dr. Alex Varakin

Eastern Kentucky University

Visualization in Focus: From Perception to Understanding

February 26, 2020 @ 12:20 p.m., Science 4125

Abstract: In a world flooded with large, complex data sets, visualization is more important than ever. The abilities to recognize, generate, and understand visualizations are critical for multivariate thinking and exploratory data analysis. Combining expertise from psychology, statistics, and science education, this presentation will discuss vision, visual perception, types of visualizations, visual cues, elements of graphical integrity, and strategies for understanding visual displays of information.


Dr. Atilla Sit

Eastern Kentucky University

Singular Value Decomposition

January 31, 2020 @ 2:30 p.m., Wallace 344

Abstract: Singular value decomposition (SVD) is one of the most useful methods in linear algebra with many applications in science, engineering, and statistics. It is defined for all matrices–rectangular or square–unlike the more commonly used spectral decomposition in linear algebra. It generalizes the eigendecomposition of a square matrix to any m x n matrix by factoring it into the product of three matrices, where the one in the middle is a diagonal matrix containing the singular values. We introduce the SVD method and show examples of calculating the SVD by hand or a computer. We also demonstrate applications of SVD to image compression, linear regression, and molecular distance geometry.


Fall 2019

Dr. Michael Osborne

Eastern Kentucky University

Would You Settle for Your Second Choice?

October 28, 2019 @ 2:30 p.m., Wallace 344

Abstract: Two voting methods commonly used in elections, both political and non-political, are majority rule and plurality voting. Under these methods, regardless of the number of candidates on the ballot, each voter chooses only one candidate. In this talk we’ll consider potential problems with these methods and examine several ranked choice voting methods that allow each voter to rank all candidates from most preferred to least preferred.


Greg Chandler


How to Combine Data and Science to Answer Anything

September 26, 2019 @ 6:00 p.m., Wallace 447

Abstract: In a math or statistics classroom, you are often tested on correctly applying a specific method on a set of data in order to produce a desired result. In the business world, however, questions are rarely well defined and often very broad—it’s up to you to decide the best approach or even what a good answer looks like. Using example data from the retail industry, this talk will discuss how to apply the fundamentals of scientific thinking—curiosity and skepticism—to find an answer to any possible question (provided your data is good enough).


Spring 2019

Moselle Christensen

Eastern Kentucky University

Linear Algebra in Cryptology: Using Matrices to Encrypt Data

April 22, 2019 @ 2:30 p.m., Wallace 344

Abstract: We will discuss some basic methods of using matrices for encryption, as well as an example. There will be a brief discussion of some more advanced methods of encryption using linear algebra topics. An example of an attack on encryption using linear algebra and a computer program demonstrating one of the methods will be presented.


Dr. Rachel Bishop-Ross, Dr. Amanda Ellis, Dr. Katherine Fair, Dr. Brandon Hibbard, Dr. Atilla Sit, & Dr. Steve Szabo

Eastern Kentucky University

Graduate School Panel

March 19, 2019 @ 5:00 p.m., Wallace 446

Abstract: Considering going to graduate school? Come and talk to our panel members about their experiences with graduate school. Get advice about how to choose a school and how to make your applications look good. Join us for this unique Coffee Time presentation!


Dr. Jeff Neugebauer

Eastern Kentucky University

Zeros of Fractional Derivatives

February 20, 2019 @ 2:30 p.m., Wallace 344

Abstract: Rolle’s Theorem is an important tool in studying existence and uniqueness of solutions of boundary value problems. In this talk, we will discuss what fractional versions of Rolle’s Theorem might look like. Zeros of fractional derivatives of some polynomials will be studied to obtain insight into this problem. Some background for fractional calculus will also be given.