Macalester’s Department of Mathematics and Computer Science is host to the Mathematics and Society Speaker Series, the purpose of which is to enhance classroom learning in mathematics or computer science through lectures by people prominent in these fields.
These talks are free and open to the public. Neighbors of the college, students at local colleges, and high school students are especially encouraged to attend.
The series was established in January 2001 and is made possible through the generous financial support of Macalester alumnus Kurt Winkelmann ’78.
Mathematics and Society Lecture, 2017-18
Wednesday, September 27, 4:40pm-5:40pm
John B. Davis Lecture Hall
Ruth Stricker Dayton Campus Center
Putting a Spring in Yoda’s Step
ABSTRACT: When the character Yoda first appeared on the silver screen, his movements were due to the efforts of famed muppeteer Frank Oz. In Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, Yoda returned to the movies but this time the character was not a puppet but a digital image within a computer. This talk will discuss the role, or more aptly the force, of mathematics behind a few aspects of movie special effects. Armed with differential equations, animators can create a believable flow to Yoda’s robe or a convincing digital stunt person. (See the following link for related images and resources).
BIOGRAPHY: Professor Chartier is an applied mathematician with a focus in numerical methods and computer science. He frequently works in data analytics with a specialty in sports analytics. He has worked with the NBA, ESPN, and NASCAR. He has also collaborated with Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos National Labs to improve numerical simulations on their lab’s supercomputers. He is the recipient of many research and writing prizes, including a Sloan Research Fellowship. He is the recipient of the MAA’s national teaching award, and he has worked with Google and Pixar on educational initiatives. Professor Chartier is the author of several books: Numerical Methods: Design, Analysis, and Computer Implementation of Algorithms with Anne Greenbaum; Math Bytes: Google Bombs, Chocolate-Covered Pi, and Other Cool Bits in Computing, which was named a Choice Outstanding Academic Title; and When Life is Linear: From Computer Graphics to Bracketology, published by the Mathematical Association of America, which won the Beckenbach Book Prize as a distinguished, innovative book.
|2017-17||Kristin Lauter||Microsoft Research||How to Keep Your Genome Secret|
|2015-16||George Hart||Stony Brook University||From Mathematics to Sculpture|
|2014-15||Peko Hosoi||MIT||From Razor Clams to Robots: The Mathematics Behind Biologically Inspired Design|
|2013-14||Louis J Gross||University of Tennessee||“Best” in a Biological Context: Optimization Across the Biological Hierarchy|
|2012-13||Bill Cook||Georgia Tech||The Traveling Salesman Problem: A Blueprint for Optimization|
|2011-12||David Kung||St. Mary’s College of Maryland||How Math Made Modern Music Mad Irrational|
|2010-11||Edward Belbruno||NASA Research Associate &
Professor at Princeton University
|Low Energy Pathways in Space, Chaos, and Origin of the Moon|
|2009-10||Jeff Weeks||Geometry Games||The Shape of Space|
|2008-09||Ann Watkins||California State University,
|Fallacies in Elementary Statistics|
|2007-08||Bart de Smit||Leiden University
|M.C. Escher and the Droste Effect|
|2006-07||Peter Hamburger||Western Kentucky University||The Art of Venn Diagrams|
|2005-06||Doris Schattschneider||Moravian College|
|2004-05||Helmer Aslaksen||National University of Singapore||The Mathematics of the Chinese, Indian, Islamic and Gregorian Calendars|
|2003-04||Herb Wilf||University of Pennsylvania|
|2001-02||Tom Banchoff||Brown University|
|2000-01||George Andrews||Penn State|