Mathematics Colloquia and Seminars

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UC Davis Festival of Mathematics (pre-MAA)

Special Events

Speaker: Holroyd, Sturmfels and Diaconis
Location: 1147 Math Science Building + 66 Roessler
Start time: Fri, Feb 26 2016, 2:29PM

2:30pm-3:30pm Alexander E Holroyd (Microsoft Research)

Title: How to Win at Random Games

Abstract: "Attraction" is a simple game in which two players take turns to move two tokens between dots drawn on a piece of paper, with the proviso that the tokens must always get closer to each other. Perhaps surprisingly, this game (and many of its variants) can be completely solved. The solution involves "stable marriage", the topic of the 2012 Nobel prize in economics. However, matters get even more interesting if the dots are drawn at random. In that case, some very simple questions are unanswered.

Based on joint work with Maria Deijfen and James Martin.


Change to 66 Roessler Hall Auditorium.

4pm-5pm Speaker: Bernd Sturmfels (UC Berkeley)

Title: Convexity in Tree Spaces

Abstract: Phylogenetic trees are fundamental for evolutionary biology. We study the geometry of the space of all such trees. The primary goal is to compare the metric geometry approach of Billera-Holmes-Vogtman with an alternative from tropical geometry. In the former representation, geodesics are unique and fast to compute, but triangles are complicated and can have arbitrarily high dimension. Tropical convexity on tree space is better behaved and exhibits features that are desirable for statistics.

This is joint work with Bo Lin, Xioaxian Tang and Ruriko Yoshida.

(5pm-6pm) Persi Diaconis Stanford Univ.

"Between Combinatorics and Chocolate"

I have managed to make a magic trick from a conservation of energy principle of Tokieda. Understanding the trick leads to questions in combinatorics, probability, phylogenetics, and "rock breaking". It also has something to do with chocolate.

Refreshment break 3:30pm -4pm, Change of room at 4pm!!! Roessler 66. Note that the following day the annual meeting of the Mathematical Association of America will take place at UC Davis see