Seminars and Colloquia


The Mathematics & Statistics Department at Missouri S&T will be hosting the Midwest Numerical Analysis Day on March 20-21, 2020.

More information can be found on the conference website.

Ingram Lectureship

After he retired following the Fall 2002 semester, Professor W.T. Ingram, who was department chair from 1989-1998, generously set up an endowed fund to be used to bring well-known mathematical scientists to Rolla to give lectures on their work.  All Ingram Lectures are open to the entire S&T community, and are widely advertised on campus.  Visitors brought here under this program usually give two lectures, one of a general nature and accessible to students, and another more advanced aimed at faculty (though students are certainly welcome).

Spring 2020 Ingram Lecture 

Speaker: Dr. Charles L. Epstein, Thomas A. Scott Professor of Mathematics, University of Pennsylvania

Date and Location: Thursday, March 5 in Toomey 295

General Lecture (3pm): The Geometry of the Phase Retrieval Problem,  I --- Graveyard of Algorithms
Colloquium Talk (4:30pm): The Geometry of the Phase Retrieval Problem, II

Past presentations of Ingram Lectureship

Spring 2020 COLLOQUIA

Location: Rolla Building G5

Talk 1 (3pm)

Luke Settles (Eli Little)

Title: Internships, Pharma, & Statistics: Musings of an Early-Career Statistician


Attendees will learn about the following topics.

  • The process of finding, applying to, and interviewing for internships
  • The details and benefits of a summer internship
  • The types of career opportunities and research areas in the pharmaceutical industry
  • The desired characteristics and skills of statisticians, including specifics for Eli Lilly and Company
  • The typical job activities for Luke’s current position, including which skills from graduate school have been the most utilized and which new skills have been essential
  • The important software in industry and resources to develop those abilities

Practical advice will be given throughout, and discussion and questions are highly encouraged.

Host: Olbricht

Talk 2 (4:15pm)

Speaker: Dr. Nick Fewster-Young (University of South Australia)

Title: Exploring new existence results in fractional differential equations

Abstract: This talk will explore some fundamental theories and results about
singular fractional differential equations and present some new existence
results in this field. The two challenges in this theory stem from one in the
singular case where time or space is singular in the equation, while in the
fractional setting, there are key obstacles around the commutativity of
fractional derivatives. The particular scenarios which are explored will be
nonlinear problems with boundary value conditions on the real line. Finally,
the talk will present the ideas to build these results onto time scales.

Host: Bohner

Thursday, February 27, 4pm
Rolla Building G5

Samer Assaf
Assistant Professor
Department of Mathematics and Natural Sciences
American University of Kuwait

Title: Generalization of Metrics and Fixed-Point Theorems

Abstract: A distance on a set is a comparative function. The smaller the distance between two elements of that set, the closer, or more similar, those elements are. Frechet axiomatized the notion of distance into what is today known as a metric. In this talk we present several generalizations of Frechet’s axioms. These include partial metric, strong partial metric, partial Metric, strong partial Metric and Metrics. Those generalizations allow for negative distances, non-zero distances between a point and itself and even the comparison of tuples. Using the generalized metrics mentioned above we create topological spaces and investigate convergence, limits and continuity in them.

Host: Insall

Ingram Lecture

Thursday, March 5
295 Toomey Hall
Talk 1: 3pm
Talk 2: 4:30pm

Dr. Charles Epstein 
Thomas A. Scott Professor of Mathematics
Department of Mathematics
University of Pennsylvania


General Audience Talk

Title: The Geometry of the Phase Retrieval Problem,  I --- Graveyard of Algorithms

Abstract: In several high resolution imaging modalities that use coherent x-rays to illuminate the sample the measured data can be interpreted as the modulus of the Fourier transform of a function describing the unknown object. The Fourier transform is complex valued and the phase cannot be measured directly. I will briefly explain the physics that underlies these facts. In order to reconstruct the object from such measurements we must “retrieve” the unmeasured phase of the Fourier transform. To do this requires some auxiliary information about the object, such as its general size and shape. This is a notoriously difficult problem. I will discuss the underlying geometric reasons for these difficulties, algorithms for recovering the phase and approaches to improving their performance.

Mathematics Colloquium

Title: The Geometry of the Phase Retrieval Problem, II

Abstract: In the first talk we introduced a geometric formulation of the phase retrieval problem in coherent diffraction imaging (CDI). In that talk we showed how this problem can be formulated as a search for the intersection between two subsets A, B of a very high dimensional space. A is always a torus and B is a subset defined by the auxiliary information, which makes this a non-linear problem. In the second talk we explain why A and B often fail to meet transversely and the effect that this has on the performance of standard algorithms to find the intersections of A and B. This is illustrated with some simple model problems. We then examine the linearization of the maps used to define these algorithms at fixed points, where they display some rather surprising properties. We close our discussion with an entirely different approach to the phase retrieval problem.

The Mathematics & Statistics Department at Missouri S&T will be hosting the Midwest Numerical Analysis Day on March 20-21, 2020.

More information can be found on the conference website.

Host: He

Upcoming Seminars

CAMS Seminar
Every other Monday at 3:30pm in Rolla G5

Hyperspace and Topology Seminar
3-5 PM on selected Mondays in Rolla G4
3-5 PM on selected Wednesdays in 103 Centennial

Analysis Seminar
Every other Monday at 3:30pm in Rolla G5

Time Scales Seminar
Wednesdays at noon in Rolla G5

Past Colloquia

For past colloquium information, click here