Fall 2009

Current Status of Females in Mathematics

Lynda Wiest, Professor

Department of Educational Specialties, University of Nevada, Reno

Thursday, November 5-th, AB-635 at 2:30 pm

Abstract: This presentation will provide summarized data on lingering areas of concern for females in mathematics, including achievement on standardized tests and in the highest levels of mathematics performance, participation in mathematics (e.g., competitions, higher-level coursework, careers), mathematics-related dispositions, and treatment by teachers, parents, and society.

AF graph C*-algebras

Aidan Sims, Professor

School of Mathematics & Applied Statistics, University of Wollongong, Australia

Thursday, October 22-nd, AB-635 at 2:30 pm

Abstract: Graph algebras and Exel-Laca algebras are closely related generalisations of Cuntz-Krieger algebras to the situation of infinitely many generators, and ultragraph C*-algebras are a common generalisation of the two. It has recently been shown that the three classes coincide up to Morita equivalence; however, up to isomorphism, neither of the classes of graph algbras and Exel-Laca algebras is a sub-class of the other, and each is a strict sub-classe of ultragraph algebras.

In this talk we discuss the question of which AF algebras are isomorphic to graph C*-algebras, to Exel-Laca algebras and to ultragraph algebras. Our results are strong enough to give a complete answer to this question for simple AF algebras, and also to characterise exactly which AF algebras are isomorphic to the C*-algebra of a row-finite graph with no sinks.

Dynamics, C*-algebras, and K-theoretic rigidity

Andrew Toms, Professor

Department of Mathematics & Statistics, York University, Canada

Thursday, October 15-th, AB-635 at 2:30 pm

Abstract: Dynamics provides some of the most interesting and ubiquitous examples in the theory of operator algebras. It is typically difficult, however, to understand their fine structure. A conjecture of Elliott (c. 1990) predicts that the C*-algebras associated to minimal dynamical systems on compact metric spaces (among others) will be classified up to isomorphism by their K-theory and tracial state spaces. In the case of uniquely ergodic systems, K-theory alone should suffice. In this talk I will explain how characteristic class obstructions can be used to prove that the conjecture can only hold for metric spaces of finite covering dimension. Modulo this necessary condition, I will present the solution of Elliott's conjecture in the uniquely ergodic case. (Joint work with Wilhelm Winter.)

The "Free Will Theorem"

Thomas Nickles, Professor

Department of Philosophy, University of Nevada, Reno

Presented by The Math Club

Wednesday, October 14-th, Knowledge Center 107 at 6 pm

Abstract (Supplied by T.J. Gaffney): The "Free Will Theorem" is a recently proven theorem by John Conway and Simon Kochen that states that if humans have free will then so do elementary particles. Without getting into the details of the proof, we will be discussing the philosophical aspects of the theorem, including the historical role of free will in science and the theorem's implication on this role. Dr. Thomas Nickles, a philosophy of science professor, will giving a presentation. Additionally, we will be showing videos of two of John Conway's six lectures about the theorem. For those who are interested, there will be more in depth material available about the details of this historic proof.

Is Biostatistics for you?

Inmaculada Aban, Professor

Department of Biostatistics, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Thursday, October 8-th, AB-635 at 2:30 pm

Abstract: Check out and see if a career is Biostatistics is for you. Learn about Biostatistics, how you can become a biostatistician and the skills you need to be successful in the field. Find out what lies ahead after you get your degree, where you can work and how much you can possibly make. The Biostatistics Graduate Program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham will be discussed including how our program differs from other programs and the educational and research opportunities available to our students.