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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.


Spring 2024

Dr. Richard Hasenauer
Eastern Kentucky University
Can We Beat the Algos?
April 3, 2024 @ 1:25 p.m.
Wallace 344 & Online


Trading individual stocks is far riskier than investing in mutual or index funds. However, with high risk can come high reward. After the adoption of commission free trading, more individuals have started buying and selling individual stocks. Many hedge funds use algorithmic trading techniques. Some brokerages allow individual investors to program their own algorithmic approach to trading. Most “algos” base their strategy on statistical analysis. Knowing this, is there a way for traders to take advantage of weaknesses in the algorithms? This talk will be accessible for all, regardless of math background.

Email for Zoom information.

Dr. Vicki Modisette
Eastern Kentucky University
Connecting the Dots: Understanding the World through Networks
February 23, 2024 @ 1:15 p.m.
Wallace 345

Abstract: Join us for an exploration of mathematical networks, from their historical roots to modern-day applications. This interactive talk invites participants to view the world through the lens of network theory.



Fall 2023

Sierra (Chugg) Erwin, Smithfield Foods; Caleb Coulliette, Lincoln Financial Group; Alison Fox, Estill County High School; Jessica Harber, Florida Southwestern State College; Sebastian Hidalgo, Delfi Diagnostics; Scott Huffman, Defense Logistics Agency
Panel on Careers in Mathematics, Statistics, & Data Science
November 16, 2023 @ 5:00 p.m.
Wallace 434 & Online

Abstract:  Come and chat with these alumni who have pursued a variety of careers in the fields of mathematics, statistics, and data science. Learn about the many opportunities that are out there for those with backgrounds in these areas!

Dr. Rachel Bishop-Ross, Dr. Brandon Hibbard, Dr. Mary Liu, Dr. Jeff Neugebauer, Dr. Michelle Smith
Eastern Kentucky University
Graduate School Panel
October 16, 2023 @ 11:15 a.m.
Wallace 348 & Online

Abstract: Considering going to graduate school? Come and talk to our panel members about their experiences with graduate school. Join us for this unique Coffee Time presentation!

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.


 Spring 2017

Dr. Pat Costello

Eastern Kentucky University

A Few of My Favorite Things

April 28, 2017

Abstract:  In this talk, some of my favorite natural numbers, their definitions, their sizes, and their properties will be discussed. Even a proof that all natural numbers are inherently interesting will be given. In 1959, Disney and Donald Duck helped to popularize some of the numbers mentioned. A few EKU students have done some excellent research on a several of the different types of numbers. Their results will be mentioned.


Jason Rollins

Eastern Kentucky University

Minesweeper—NP or Not NP? That Is the Question

March 29, 2017

Abstract: In his paper, “Minesweeper is NP-Complete” (Math. Intelligencer, 22(2):9-15, 2000), Richard Kaye proved that the game Minesweeper is in the computational complexity class NP-Complete. He did so by basically showing that it is possible to build a computer out of Minesweeper board configurations. In this presentation, I will show both how he was able to accomplish this task as well as how I was able to use his research to build a full adder circuit capable of performing addition on two 1-bit numbers.

Dr. Rachel Bishop-Ross, Dr. Jason Gibson, Dr. Jeff Neugebauer, Dr. Michelle Smith

Eastern Kentucky University
Graduate School Panel

February 27, 2017

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!



 Fall 2016

Dr. Shane Redmond, Dr. Patti Costello, & Dr. Lisa Kay

Eastern Kentucky University

The Modern Master’s Degree in Mathematics: What Does It Look Like?

November 11, 2016

Abstract: Inspired by regular reports on the state of undergraduate and doctoral education, the authors undertook a nationwide survey of master’s degree programs in the mathematical sciences. We believe this to be the first comprehensive study of the master’s degree in mathematics in over 100 years! The authors will share some of the highlights of their 2013 survey on the nature, practices, and composition of master’s degree programs across the United States. If you are interested in graduate school, come hear about the different types of master’s programs that are out there.

Dr. Noah Aydin

Kenyon College

The Legacy of Medieval Islamic Math and Science in the Modern World

October 7, 2016

Abstract: Some of the most fundamental notions of modern mathematics and science are a legacy of the medieval Islamic civilization. Although current research is far from giving us a full account of their contributions, we know that this legacy includes the number system that we use today, the fields of algebra and trigonometry, the concept of algorithm, foundations of optics, the scientific method, and important works in astronomy that played a crucial role in the Copernican revolution. Yet, these contributions are generally not known, not only in the West but in the Islamic World either. In this presentation, we will highlight a sample of such contributions and briefly introduce a few of the great scientists from that period. We will also discuss some of the reasons behind the lack of awareness on this topic and the role of religion in the remarkable rise of mathematical sciences in the medieval Islamic civilization.

Nathan Russell

Eastern Kentucky University

The Mathematics of My Life and Industry

September 23, 2016

Abstract: Sometime during the 1980s (no need for exact dates), I was born to a family with a long history in the logistics industry. I always felt like I had a strong familiar sense of the industry. It was not until I stepped into the brokerage office building that I realized how complicated it is to get something moved from point A to point B. Starting from preteen years I developed my programming skills which later inspired a love for mathematics and economics. This talk will demonstrate how I have used mathematics and computers to optimize load selections, prevent and predict diesel engine failures, identify dangerous driver behaviors, and gain a solid foothold in an industry known for breaking dreams. My personal live load board, live truck tracking data, and routing invoices will be provided to demonstrate the mathematics. Come listen! I believe you will be entertained and surprised at the technical level of the industry. Planned guests include a vice president of operations for a regional distributor and the regional manager of the northeast region for the largest refrigerated logistics company.

Spring 2016

Dr. Jeff Neugebauer

Eastern Kentucky University

Fractional Calculus

April 20, 2016

Abstract: Fractional calculus is a generalization of ordinary differentiation and integration to arbitrary order. After some historical background is given, we will introduce the concept of fractional integrals and fractional derivatives. We will start by looking at fractional derivatives of power functions and exponential functions. Then the definitions of the Riemann-Liouville fractional integral and the Riemann-Liouville fractional derivative will be developed. Finally, some applications and different definitions of fractional derivatives will be given.

Rebecca Thiem, Dr. Michelle Smith, & Dr. Lisa Kay

Eastern Kentucky University

Do Study Halls Produce Valedictorians?

March 30, 2016

Abstract: One of the greatest honors a graduating high school senior can receive is the title of “Valedictorian.” Many students set this goal prior to high school and will forgo taking a study hall or free period in order to enroll in more weighted classes and useful electives. However, not taking a study hall may be causing these students to lose the “Number 1” ranking. This project compares prevalent methods for calculating high school GPAs and demonstrates the paradox of lowering class ranking by taking more classes. We will provide suggestions and options for school administrators to improve their ranking methods in order to ensure that the top student receives their due honor.

Dr. Benjamin Braun

University of Kentucky

Information about Applying to Graduate Programs in Mathematics

February 4, 2016

Abstract: One goal of the mathematical community is to increase the number of students who study mathematics at all levels. However, applying to graduate school in mathematics can seem like a daunting task for many students. In this presentation I will discuss basic information about the application process and provide helpful suggestions and tips for students considering graduate school in the mathematical sciences. There will be plenty of time to discuss questions from students.


 Fall 2015

Dr. Atilla Sit

Eastern Kentucky University

Geometric Buildup Algorithm with Applications to Molecular Modeling

October 27, 2015

Abstract: When coordinates of points in 3D space are known, the distances among them can be computed using the distance formula. How about the inverse problem? If the distances are given, can we find the coordinates of the points satisfying the given distances? The latter problem is called the distance geometry problem in mathematics. It requires the solution of a system of equations, and it has applications such as protein structure determination and sensor network localization. We seek the solution of the problem using a geometric buildup algorithm. Central to this approach is the idea that the algorithm determines one point at a time, with available distances from the determined points to the undetermined ones. We present the general algorithm and review its recent development. We show the results from applying the algorithm to some problems and explain its use in protein modeling.

Dr. Kari Everett

Eastern Kentucky University

Fractal Geometry: Geometry of Nature

September 16, 2015

Abstract: Have you ever looked around and wondered how you would describe a leaf or a tree in terms of shapes to someone who had never seen one? The geometry of nature helps us to do that. We will explore the origins of fractals and how computers revived the study of fractals. The geometry of nature is explored through applications in areas such as banking, literature, and art. Also, chaos theory and its connection to fractals will be explored with the use of spreadsheets and applets.

Spring 2015

Deanna Pelfrey, Chris Phillips, & Chris Sears

Bluegrass Community and Technical College, Somerset Community College, & Maysville Community and Technical College

Panel Presentation: Teaching Mathematics at a Community College

April 21, 2015

Abstract: Do you think you might want to teach at a community college someday? Come and talk to our panel members about their job experiences. Join us for this unique Coffee Time presentation!

Dr. Jeff Neugebauer

Eastern Kentucky University

An Introduction to Time Scales

March 11, 2015

Abstract: In this talk, we will introduce the field of time scales, a field that was developed to unify integral and differential calculus with the calculus of finite differences. Key concepts of time scales calculus, including the forward jump, backward jump, graininess, derivative, and integral operators will be defined. Many examples and applications will be discussed. Bring a pencil and paper to work along with the examples!

Dr. Kirk Jones

Eastern Kentucky University

Exploring Complex Power Series with Gaps

February 12, 2015

Abstract: Unavailable


 Fall 2014

Dr. Rachel Bishop-Ross, Dr. Kirk Jones, Dr. Jeff Neugebauer, Dr. Shane Redmond, Dr. Michelle Smith, Dr. Steve Szabo

Eastern Kentucky University

Graduate School Panel

November 21, 2014

Abstract: Considering 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. Guy Brock

University of Louisville

Beyond the t-test: Lessons Learned in the Life of One Humble Biostatistician

October 24, 2014

Abstract: The world is awash with data. This talk will focus on several anecdotal lessons learned during my experiences as a collaborating biostatistician. These stories cover shortfalls of commonly applied approaches to analyzing public health/biomedical data and discuss application of more appropriate methodology in each case. Covered topics include how to compare response “curves,” the practical importance of missing data imputation, modeling response heterogeneity (and getting away with it), the need to account for trends in time series data, and how to handle mortality when considering other time-dependent outcomes.

Dr. Rachel Bishop-Ross

Eastern Kentucky University

Euler’s Theorem and Related Results

September 24, 2014

Abstract: In this talk, Dr. Bishop-Ross will give the necessary background to understand Euler’s Formula for planar graphs (V − E + F = 2), including the Handshaking Lemmas. She will give a proof of the theorem and proofs of some immediate important results. Time permitting, she will introduce vertex coloring on graphs and prove the Five Color Theorem for simple connected planar graphs.

Spring 2014

Josh Sparks

Eastern Kentucky University Alumnus

Hyperpower to the Max! An E-Z Look at Tetrations and Their Maximization

March 3, 2014

Abstract: Just when you just felt safe with exponents . . . here comes the hyperpower. Also known as the tetration or the repeated exponent, the hyperpower takes a number, x, and forms a chain x^(x^(x^(x^ . . .) that, if extended to an infinite tower, tends to blow up pretty darn often. We will first explore a common math competition problem using this concept, and then look at graphical and calculus-based solutions to maximizing the function. From there we’ll discuss the creation of Lambert’s W function and the range of what values these infinite hyperpowers actually exist, overall showing that these crazy expressions are Easier than they appear!

Dr. Don Greenwell

The Odd Ball Problem and Mastermind

January 22, 2014

Abstract: This talk will present similar solutions to two of my favorite problems: The Odd Ball Problem (aka Counterfeit Coin Problem): and the game of Mastermind. In the Odd Ball Problem, we are allowed to use a balance scale to find the odd ball among twelve balls, and determine if it is lighter or heavier than the other eleven. Mastermind is a game where one player (the codeguesser) is trying to guess the code selected by the other player (the codekeeper). The code is a sequence of four colors selected from six colors (repetitions are allowed).

We will discuss a common strategy of minimizing the worst possible outcome for each step in finding the answer, and also present solutions for each problem that uses the same steps every time (no thinking required).


 Fall 2013

Nathan Russell

Eastern Kentucky University

A Few Real Abnormalities

November 18, 2013

Abstract: Emile Borel made several contributions to mathematics in the areas of probability, measure theory, set theory, etc. This talk will focus on a particular set of numbers that have some interesting properties from a probabilistic and statistical point of view. This particular set of numbers is a subset of the irrational numbers that includes both algebraic and transcendental numbers. Defining the properties for elements in this set is fairly simple, but actually proving whether a specific number belongs to this set is nearly impossible. The interesting aspect of this research is not whether a number is a member of this set, but the circumstances where these numbers are present or not present and the inferences we can make about numbers that belong to this set. For example, it is easy to prove that the Cantor set will not contain any number belonging to this interesting set. In fact, if the conjecture posed by Borel about this set of numbers is true, then the irrationals in the Cantor set must be transcendental. So how rare are these numbers? Borel proved that nearly every real number will be an element of this set. By “nearly every” we mean that elements that are not a member of this set have Lebesgue measure zero. Should we call those elements outside the set “abnormal”? This talk will explore numbers believed to be elements of this set through the use of computer programs.

Dr. Lisa Kay

Eastern Kentucky University

This Ain’t Your Grandmother’s P-Value: Using Randomization-Based Methods to Introduce Inference

October 30, 2013

Abstract: In order to utilize traditional inferential procedures, students must first study background material that includes a variety of topics. Randomization-based methods are more intuitive and allow students to get to the heart of inference quickly. We will explore the use of these methods via applets that perform simulations. Attendees are encouraged to bring laptops or other electronic devices on which to run the applets.

Dr. Shane Redmond

Eastern Kentucky University

How I Tried to Beat Vegas: An Exercise in the Right and Wrong Ways to Use Probability

September 23, 2013

Abstract: Can you go to a casino and manipulate the odds so they are in your favor? Dr. Redmond talks about a strategy that appears to do just that and the trip he took to Las Vegas to test it out. Was it success or is there a better way of looking at the probabilities involved that shows the house always has the edge? Come share in a story about getting kicked out of casinos, with a little bit of simple math thrown in.

Anyone who has taken MAT 105 or any introductory statistics class should have no problem working through the strategies with us.

Spring 2013

Dr. Xiang-dong Hou

University of South Florida

Sums of Reciprocals of Polynomials Over Finite Fields

April 2, 2013

Abstract: After a brief introduction to finite fields, we consider the sum of the reciprocals of all monic polynomials of a given degree over a finite field Ϝ_q each raised to the power of k. When k ≤ q, the sum has a surprisingly simple result due to mysterious cancellations that occur in the sum. We discuss this interesting phenomenon and its connection to a deeper problem.

The talk is based on a recent paper in the MAA Monthly: K. Hicks, X. Hou, G. L. Mullen, Sums of reciprocals of polynomials over finite fields, Amer. Math. Monthly, 119 (2012), 313–317.

Dr. Steven Dougherty

The University of Scranton

Japanese Ladders and Games

February 28, 2013

Abstract: We shall describe a visual representation of permutations as Japanese ladders and use this representation to make a series of interesting mathematical games. These games have interesting mathematical aspects but can be played by anyone. The ladders have applications to the Braid group in Topology.

Dr. Jeff Neugebauer

Eastern Kentucky University

Introduction to Fractional Calculus

January 31, 2013

Abstract: For a suitable function f(x), anyone that has taken Calculus I is familiar with finding the nth derivative of f, f(n)(x), as long as n is an integer. Similarly, someone who has taken Calculus I could integrate a function n times. However, the concept of finding f(α)(x) or taking α integrals of a function, where α is any real number, is foreign to most. In this talk, we will introduce the idea of fractional calculus, which involves taking derivatives and integrals of arbitrary order. Unlike the standard derivative and integral, these ideas do not have a nice geometric interpretation. However, we will see that fractional calculus is a natural extension of the calculus everyone is familiar with. Some applications of fractional calculus will be given as well.


 Fall 2012

Dr. Yong Wang

Eastern Kentucky University

R and Introductory Data Mining

November 12, 2012

Abstract: R is an integrated suite of software facilities for data manipulation, calculation and graphical display. It is a choice for many statisticians for data analysis and statistical method development. It is also a good choice for data mining, which involves statistical methods to extract important patterns and trends from data.
This talk is intended to provide students with a general idea of the new course STA 580/780 offered in Spring 2013. We will introduce how the software package, R, should be put to work and conduct statistical analyses. Similarities and differences between R and some other popular statistical software, such as SAS and Minitab, will be discussed. We will also give a brief introduction of some of the concepts and methods of data mining. Students will see how we can make transitions from an applied statistical course to data mining.

Dr. Shawn Clift

Eastern Kentucky University

Twin Primes

October 25, 2012

Abstract: The topic of the day is Twin Primes, and we will be exploring two ideas. First, how do we find twin primes? Second, how do we estimate the number of twin primes less than a given integer without actually finding all of them? We will also talk about some seemingly useless theorems for testing whether or not two numbers are twin primes.

Dr. Daniel Mundfrom & Dr. Michelle Smith

Eastern Kentucky University

The Effect of “Freebies” on Winning in Baseball

September 21, 2012\

Abstract: Former Major League Baseball player and current broadcasting personality Morgan Ensberg has developed a statistic to measure the impact of “freebies” on the outcome of a baseball game. The Morgan Ensberg Index (MEI) is a composite of walks, errors, stolen bases allowed, wild pitches, and hit batsman. This research extends the MEI to include balks, passed balls, and catcher’s interference and investigates the relationship between “freebies” and runs allowed and games won. The analyses were performed using NCAA Division I baseball statistics from the 2011 and 2012 seasons.

Spring 2012

Dr. Kirk Jones

Eastern Kentucky University

How Much Wiggle Ya Got?  The Final Coffee Time Talk of the Year

April 24, 2012

Abstract: Unavailable

Dr. Steve Szabo

Eastern Kentucky University

An Introduction to Algebraic Coding Theory

March 28, 2012

Abstract: A general introduction to coding theory will be presented along with a description of algebraic coding theory. Then some basic ideas of linear binary block codes will be given so that finally the double error correcting BCH code of length 15 can be presented.

Dr. Daniel Mundfrom

Eastern Kentucky University

The Game of Mousetrap: A Problem in Permutations

February 28, 2012

Abstract: The Game of Mousetrap, first introduced in the mathematical literature by Arthur Cayley in 1857, involves permutations of k cards numbered consecutively from 1 to k. The cards are laid out in some order and the game is played by counting on the cards, beginning the count with 1. If at any time the number of the count matches the number on the card, this is called a ‘hit’ and the card is thrown out. The counting begins again with 1 on the next card and returns to the 1st card when the kth card is reached. Each time a card is ‘hit,’ the card is thrown out and the counting starts over at 1. The game continues until all cards have been hit (the player wins) or until the count reaches k with no cards having been hit (the cards win). Some examples and underlying theory will be presented.

Dr. Cheryll Crowe
Eastern Kentucky University
January 31, 2012
The popularity of Sudoku puzzles has increased dramatically in the United States over the past few years. Also gaining momentum in the mathematics and mathematics education communities is the logic puzzle, KenKen®. Originating in Japan, KenKen extends the enjoyment of Sudoku by utilizing a mixture of logical, simple arithmetic and combinatorial skills. This coffee time talk will include an overview of KenKen as well as interesting mathematical extensions of the puzzle.


 Fall 2011

Dr. Shane Redmond

Eastern Kentucky University

Backgammon Quiz

December 7, 2011

Abstract: Backgammon is a classic game that is easy to learn, but takes a lifetime to master. While luck and strategy are key elements to winning, using some elementary rules of probability can elevate your game to the next level. We’ll present a “quiz” on some very basic probability problems that come up in backgammon games. A prize will be awarded to the student with the highest score on our quiz.

Dr. Pat Costello

Eastern Kentucky University

Breaking Up (Integers) Is Hard to Do, But Not for Euler

October 26, 2011

Abstract: We will look at the partition function which gives a count of the number of ways to break up an integer into integer parts. We will then focus on restricted partitions which satisfy certain conditions. We show an amazing proof by Leonhard Euler of an equality between two such restricted partitions.

Dr. Mathew Cropper

Eastern Kentucky University

Cook’s Paradox

October 5, 2011

Abstract: Many are familiar with Simpson’s Paradox. This talk will introduce Cook’s Paradox. This is named after Lyle Cook, who spent three days computing grades for a class of twenty-five students one term and, in the process, found an interesting math problem.