Beling Lecture Series
Fall 2022 lectures
Every Tuesday 12:15-1:00 in CNS E204
September 20 through November 1, 2022
Computational Complexity Seminar
Dr. Trevor Jack
Visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematics, IWU
Computational Complexity Seminar schedule
Sept 20 – Turing Machines: Alan Turing is widely considered the father of computer science and formalized a mathematical definition for computers, allowing mathematicians to analyze their theoretical limitations. We will discuss this definition and work through several examples.
Sept 27 – Complexity Theory: Using Turing’s formulation, mathematicians have defined a “zoo” of complexity classes. We will define several of the most common classes and give examples of problems in those classes. We will also discuss reductions, completeness, sand the famous million dollar problem P vs. NP.
Oct 11 – Rubik’s vs. Sudoku: Which puzzle is harder for a computer to solve? We will start with fun facts about the two puzzles and the difficulty of their size-3 versions. We will then define higher-order versions and demonstrate which is harder for computers to solve. For Rubik’s Cubes, we will briefly discuss groups and the Schreier-Sims algorithm.
Oct 18 – Transformation Semigroups: We will define semigroups, transformations semigroups, and decision problems involving finite semigroups. We will then review several of Dr. Jack’s complexity results and some of his shorter proofs.
Oct 25 – Partial Bijection Semigroups: We will define partial bijection semigroups, their relationship with transformation semigroups, and several of Dr. Jack’s complexity results.
Nov 1 – Inverse Semigroups and Conjugacy: We will begin by defining inverse semigroups and comparing them to groups. We will then define group conjugacy and discuss several ways scholars have extended this definition to inverse semigroups. We will conclude with a review of key results for this new field of study.
Monday, November 7, 2022 at 4pm
Ramanujan: More Than a Century of Inspiration
Dr. Bruce Berndt
Professor Emeritus, UIUC
Previous Beling Lectures
August 8, 2022
Stochastic and Deterministic Models of Biochemical Reaction Networks
Dr. Tung D. Nguyen ‘15
Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Texas A&M University
Two talks by Dr. Eugenia Cheng
February 12, 2020
November 1, 2019: A Matter of Gravity. Prof. Steven Krantz, Washington University in St. Louis.
January 16, 2020: Introduction to Chemical Reaction Network Theory. Tung Nguyen '16, University of Wisconsin -- Madison.
February 13, 2020: The Favorite Sites of Random Walks. Prof. Steven Noren, Illinois Wesleyan University.
March 2020: Title TBA. Prof. Bruce Berndt, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
The Putnam Exam
This is one of the most challenging math exams in the world. Undergraduates all across the US and Canada participate. Prof. Shallue has organized a weekly practice session through the fall 2019 semester.
The MATH Challenge
This is a regional team-based math contest. Once again, Prof. Shallue has organized practice sessions for the IWU team. If you are interested, then we are looking for more teammates. Contact Prof. Shallue in the Computer Science department. Side note: IWU has taken first place before.