Contact: Art Duval at artduval@math.utep.edu.

# SUnMaRC 2010 took place on March 5-7, 2010.

These pages are kept as archives for the official SUnMaRC site: http://sunmarc.org/

## Invited Speakers

Confirmed invited speakers (in alphabetical order):

- Rodrigo Bañuelos, Purdue University
The Isoperimetric Inequality, a Historical Point of View.

AbstractWe will describe the isoperimetric inequality taking a historical point of view that goes back over 3,000 years and pointing out its connections to, and influence on, various areas of modern mathematics. We will illustrate George Polya's statement "the isoperimetric theorem, deeply rooted in our experience and intuition, so easy to conjecture but not so easy to prove, is an inexhaustible source of inspiration" with some examples from Browian motion and the bass note of drums. Some isoperimetric problems which are easy to conjecture but remain unsolved will be mentioned.

Rodrigo Bañuelos was born in rural La Masita, Zacatecas, Mexico, to a Mexican-American father and a Mexican mother. He did not attend school until the age of 16 when he moved to the United States. Bañuelos earned his Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1984. He spent two years as a Bantrell Research Postdoctoral Fellow at the California Institute of Technology and one year as a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Illinois at Urbana before moving to Purdue University in 1987 as an Assistant Professor. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1989 and to Full Professor in 1992. He has served as Head of the Department of Mathematics since 2007.

Bañuelos' research is at the interface of probability, harmonic analysis, partial differential equations and spectral theory. Bañuelos was a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator from 1989 to 1994. He was elected Fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics in 2003. He received the Blackwell-Tapia National Prize in Mathematics in 2004 for his mathematical contributions and for his efforts to address the problem of the under-representation of minorities in mathematics. From 1998 to 2002, he served on the Scientific Advisory Council of the Mathematical Science Research Institute at Berkeley. He was a member of the United States National Committee on Mathematics from 1998 to 2001 and served on the Board of Trustees of the Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics at UCLA from 2005-2009. He has served on several AMS committees and on several editorial boards of mathematical journals, including the Annals of Probability, the Transactions and Memoirs of the American Mathematical Society and Revista Matemática Iberoamericana. He has delivered 100's of invited addresses at national and international meetings, including meetings in 21 different countries, in 6 different continents.

Personal Website (http://www.math.purdue.edu/~banuelos/site)

- Arthur Benjamin, Harvey Mudd College
Combinatorial Trigonometry (and a method to DIE for)

AbstractMany trigonometric identities, including the Pythagorean theorem, have combinatorial proofs. Furthermore, some combinatorial problems have trigonometric solutions. All of these problems can be reduced to alternating sums, and are attacked by a technique we call D.I.E. (Description, Involution, Exception). This technique offers new insights to identities involving binomial coefficients, Fibonacci numbers, derangements, zig-zag permutations, and Chebyshev polynomials.

Arthur Benjamin earned his B.S. in Applied Mathematics from Carnegie Mellon and his PhD in Mathematical Sciences from Johns Hopkins. Since 1989, he has taught at Harvey Mudd College, where he is Professor of Mathematics and past Chair. In 2000, he received the Haimo Award for Distinguished Teaching by the Mathematical Association of America, and served as the MAA's Polya Lecturer from 2006 to 2008. His research interests include combinatorics and number theory, with a special fondness for Fibonacci numbers. Many of these ideas appear in his book (co-authored with Jennifer Quinn), "Proofs That Really Count: The Art of Combinatorial Proof", published by MAA. In 2006, that book received the Beckenbach Book Prize by the MAA. Professors Benjamin and Quinn were the editors of Math Horizons magazine from 2004 through 2008.

Art is also a magician who performs his mixture of math and magic to audiences all over the world, including the Magic Castle in Hollywood. He has demonstrated and explained his calculating talents in his book "Secrets of Mental Math" and on numerous television and radio programs, including The Today Show, CNN, The Colbert Report, and National Public Radio. He has been featured in Scientific American, Omni, Discover, People, Esquire, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Reader's Digest. In 2005, Reader's Digest called him "America's Best Math Whiz."

- Richard Ehrenborg, University of Kentucky
The Mathematics of Juggling

AbstractWe consider simple juggling patterns where the juggler catches and throws one ball at a time. A result by Buhler, Eisenbud, Graham and Wright determines the number of juggling patterns of period

*d*having at most*n*balls. We then present the*q*-analogue where we count the number of such patterns with respect to the number of crossings occurring and we give the "book proof" of this extension.This is joint work with M. Readdy.

Richard Ehrenborg received his bachelor degree from University of Stockholm, and his doctorate from MIT. He has then held a post-doc position at the University of Quebec at Montreal, H.C. Wang Assistant Professorship at Cornell University and been a member at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. He is currently a Professor at the University of Kentucky. More importantly, during late nights in graduate school at MIT he learned to juggle.

- Larry Lesser, The University of Texas at El Paso
Greater Lesser Hits: A Matheμsical Journey

AbstractUTEP Associate Professor and published songwriter Dr. Larry Lesser shares his passions for math and music with a live, full-length concert including some of his Greater Lesser Hits (like "Hotel Infinity", "American Pi", and "The Gambler") with a strong mathematical theme accompanied by visuals, demos, and educational patter. The concert will be followed by an "open-mike" session in which students (or faculty mentors) are invited to take turns sharing their favorite mathematical jingles, raps, songs, poems, jokes, dance moves, etc.

A UTEP Associate Professor since 2004, Larry Lesser has taught math, statistics and math education courses in Georgia, Colorado, and Texas. His time in Texas also includes work as a state agency statistician and as a full-time high school math teacher. Lesser's extracurricular math involvements (Mu Alpha Theta, ARML, Putnam) helped inspire him to go on to get a BA in mathematics, MS in statistics, and a PhD in mathematics education. His scholarship includes 50 peer-reviewed papers/books in statistics/mathematics education (including the co-authored 2009 edition of the COMAP math-for-liberal-arts textbook For All Practical Purposes and a major research paper on English language learners in statistics), 50+ national/international talks (the next one is this summer in Slovenia!), and has led to service on several national/international research or editorial boards. His scholarship has been cited in 20+ journals and his teaching innovations have attracted stories/interviews in international mass media including CNN Headline News, Australia's largest newspaper, and Jamaica newstalk radio.

To support his mission in increasing mathematics awareness and motivation, Lesser has merged two of his great loves - math and music. His math songs have led to opening session presentations for major conference audiences spanning mathematicians (e.g., the opening banquet of the 2008 summer meeting of the MAA), statisticians (e.g., the 2009 USCOTS kickoff mixer), and math teachers (e.g., an SRO audience of 800+ at the 2009 NCTM conference in Nashville). He wrote the first juried comprehensive articles on using songs in math/statistics class and dozens of his math lyrics appear in national journals and on his website.

- Leo Saldivar, The University of Texas at El Paso
Bioinformatics and the Golden Era of Biology

AbstractOur ability to read DNA has created a tidal wave of biological data. The information we are gleaming from mining this data is changing every aspect of our lives. The way we practice medicine and law, the foods we eat, it is redefining economies, creating new fuel sources, debunking long held religious dogmas, creating new life forms as well as frighting new bio-weapons. I will be exploring some of the many exciting/dangerous outcomes of the DNA revolution and how bioinformatics is making this happen.

Leo Saldivar is a staff bioinformatician at the University of Texas at El Paso. He has also worked as a bioinformatician at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Cancer Institute. He holds a M.S. in Bioinformatics and a B.S. in Mathematics.