- Jan 30 Opening conversation for "The Soul Selects her own Society: Women Artists from the Miller Meigs Collection"
- Feb 3 Taste of Service
- Feb 3 Macalester New Music Series presents INTERSECTION: Jazz Meets Classical Song
- Feb 4 'Moving Beyond Minnesota Nice:' Engaging Diversity in the Classroom
- Feb 12 Mitau Lecture
- Feb 17 Black History Month Keynote: Dr. Joy DeGruy - "Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome"
- Feb 18 Mental Health Awareness Film & Speaker
- Feb 19 The Inaugural Lecture of James Dawes as DeWitt Wallace Professor of English
- Feb 19 Robert Blanchette on "Tombs, sunken ships and historic huts: studying ancient wood reveals secrets from the past"
- Feb 19 Chamber Music at Macalester: Brahms Clarinet Quintet with Osmo Vanska
Outstanding Presentation Award
Sara and her group were awarded an Outstanding Presentation Award for the 2014 Joint Mathematics Meeting Undergraduate Poster Session. This judged session showcased the work of more than 500 undergraduates. The Outstanding Presentation Award is given to the top 15 percent of posters.
Three years ago I didn’t even know I liked math and had never programmed; now I’m an applied math major considering a career in statistics.
I spent last summer exploring the ways in which math can be used to solve real-life problems. At a six-week research experience for undergraduates (REU) hosted by Macalester and the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications, I worked with students from colleges across the country on a real-world question:
By looking at video or pictures of, for example, metal with a dent in it, can we identify the location of the dent without any prior information about it?
This problem was posed by a University of Minnesota electrical engineering professor who hopes to find ways to identify structural defects (again, think dents in metal).
Because the REU was interdisciplinary, it helped that Mac’s MSCS Department includes math and computer science classes as well as applied math. I was thrilled to find that topics covered in my Macalester classes were useful for this research. Alicia Johnson, a professor in Macalester’s Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science Department, was our advisor.
We wanted to see if “dictionary learning techniques” could be applied to anomaly detection problems. Dictionary learning methods are used to find the best way to represent information by less, while making sure that the representation is still a good representation of the data.
My main goal was to see how applied math research is done—and through this REU, I was able to do just that. In January my research group is presenting its work at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in Baltimore. This will bring the process full circle because presenting results and ideas is the important next step after working on a problem.