# Spring 2010 Seminars

This semester the Mathematics Department will be putting on three seminars. All of the talks will be held in Hyde 349 (our new conference room) and will last roughly an hour starting at 4PM. Before each of the talks, there will be coffee, tea, and snacks beginning at 3:45PM in the department lounge (aka, "the vault"). Anyone is welcome to attend. Here are some more specific details.

### Integrating SmartBoards in the Mathematics Classroom

Date: February 23, 2010

Speaker: Emily Ricard (Plymouth State University)

Abstract: Many teachers and students are curious about interactive whiteboards but are daunted by the steep learning curve to proficient use of the technology. This seminar will showcase some of the ways a self-described techno-phobe integrated the SmartBoard, Geometer's Sketchpad, and Virtual TI into her secondary math classroom.

### An Equation Runs Through It: River Rafting in the Grand Canyon

Date: March 10, 2010

Speaker: Dr. Catherine Roberts (College of the Holy Cross)

Abstract: This talk will discuss a mathematical model for white water river rafting on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon National Park. The speaker will discuss the challenges faced by the National Park Service as it seeks to manage responsively this important natural resource. How a mathematician came to play a part in these efforts will round out the presentation. The audience will see the how a mathematical model was developed for a real-world example. She will show some spectacular photographs and video.

### On an open problem of the symmetric group

New Date: April 28, 2010

Speaker: Dana C. Ernst (Plymouth State University)

Abstract: Many people are often surprised to hear that mathematicians do research. What is mathematical research? Research in mathematics takes many forms, but one common theme is that the research seeks to answer an open question concerning some collection of mathematical objects. The goal of this talk will be to introduce you to one of the many open questions in mathematics: how many commutation classes does the longest element in the symmetric group have? We will review the basics of the symmetric group and introduce all of the necessary terminology, so that we can understand this question.

# Contact Information

If you have questions or comments about the PSU Mathematics Seminars, please contact Dana C. Ernst (organizer) or Barbara Boschmans (department chair)