Special Lecture Archives for Academic Year 2013

How I flipped my class

When: Wed, October 31, 2012 - 11:00am
Where: 3206.0
Speaker: Jeffrey Adams (UMCP) -
Abstract: I will be discussing my section of Math 401, which I'm teaching by producing screencasts for the students to view before class, and using class time for discussions. I'll talk briefly about my experience so far, and then show in some detail how I make the videos.

Molecular Gene-Signatures and Cancer Clinical Trials

When: Fri, November 2, 2012 - 12:00pm
Where: Howard Hall, Room 107, UMB
Speaker: Professor Mei-Ling Ting Lee (Chair, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Maryland (College Park) ) -
Abstract: Over the last dozen years the process to develop molecular biomarkers and genomic tests for assessing the risk of cancer and cancer recurrence has been evolving. High-throughput technologies have increased the rate of discovery of potential new markers and facilitated the development of composite gene signatures that provide prognostic or predictive information about tumors. The traditional method to assess the risk of cancer recurrence is based on clinical/pathological criteria. The conventional design has been challenged, especially when the diseases may be heterogeneous due to underlying genomic characteristics.
Recently there has been an increase in cancer clinical trials using gene signatures to assess cancer aggressiveness. For example, in some breast cancer studies, it was hypothesized that by using newly developed gene-signature tools one can identify subgroup of patients who will respond significantly to post-surgery (adjuvant) chemotherapy. Future treatments can then be designed to the individual person receiving it and therefore spare the side effects of treatment to a large subgroup of potentially non-responsive patients.
On the other hand, a parallel goal is to identify what is the best treatment for patients: chemotherapy or hormonal therapy. It is important to note that, if one of the major goals of using genomic biomarkers is to move closer to individualized treatment, the biomarkers or gene signatures need to be both prognostic and predictive. Many studies with genomic biomarker and clinical investigations have been conducted in the past few years. In this talk, we review these investigations and results.

Center for Mathematics Education Colloquium: The Common Core State Standards for Mathematics: Design and Implications for Mathematics Education

When: Fri, November 30, 2012 - 11:00am
Where: Benjamin Building, Room 2121 (with discussion and complimentary lunch to follow)
Speaker: Dr. Jason Zimba (Student Achievement Partners) -
Abstract: Bio: Dr. Jason Zimba is currently a Founding Partner of Student Achievement Partners, a nonprofit educational organization devoted to accelerating student achievement by driving effective and innovative implementation of the Common Core State Standards. As a contributing author of the Common Core State Standards for mathematics, he was instrumental in achieving a new state of the art for internationally benchmarked, college and career ready standards based on evidence. Dr. Zimba graduated summa cum laude from Williams College in mathematics and astrophysics, earned his M.Sc. in mathematics from the University of Oxford and his Ph.D. in mathematical physics from the University of California at Berkeley. His research spans a range of fields, including astronomy, astrophysics, theoretical physics, philosophy of science, and pure mathematics. His academic awards include a Rhodes scholarship and a Majorana Prize for theoretical physics. Dr. Zimba has held faculty positions in physics and mathematics at Grinnell College and Bennington College. As an educator, he has taught physics, mathematics, and other subjects to college students, university physics and engineering majors, adult prison inmates, disadvantaged high school students, and children of non-English speaking immigrants. He is the author of Force and Motion: An Illustrated Guide to Newton's Laws. Dr. Zimba was also a co-founder of The Grow Network, an education technology company that helps state and district school systems use assessment to inform instruction.

For more information about this or our future colloquia, please contact Dr. Ann R. Edwards (aedwards@umd.edu).

The Day I Said ‘Nyet!’ to Gorbachev… and Other Life Tales of a Famous Soviet Scientist

When: Thu, February 7, 2013 - 8:30pm
Where: University of Maryland Inn and Conference Center , Room 2103
Speaker: Professor Roald Z. Sagdeev (University of Maryland) -
Abstract: Distinguished University of Maryland Professor Roald Z. Sagdeev will discuss “The Day I Said ‘Nyet!’ to Gorbachev… and Other Life Tales of a Famous Soviet Scientist” with journalist Daniel Zwerdling on Thursday, February 7 from 8:30 to 10 pm at the Inn and Conference Center on the UMD campus. Sagdeev ran the Soviet space program and advised Soviet leaders on the nuclear arms race. He’ll talk about love, communism, physics and the end of the Soviet Union with Daniel Zwerdling, an award-winning correspondent and investigative journalist with National Public Radio.
The interview, which is free and open to the public, will be held in Room 2103 at the Inn and Conference Center, 3501 University Blvd. East. It is part of the "Sagdeev at 80" symposium sponsored by the University of Maryland Department of Physics and the Eisenhower Institute. For further information, please contact Nick Hammer (nshammer@umd.edu or 301 405 5946).

FFT 2013 Conference - February Fourier Talks

When: Thu, February 21, 2013 - 4:00pm
Where: Math 3206
Speaker: Norbert Wiener Center Distinguished Lecturer, Ingrid Daubechies (Duke University) -

FFT 2013 Conference - February Fourier Talks

When: Thu, February 21, 2013 - 6:45pm
Where: Math 3206
Speaker: Keynote Speaker, Mark Stopfer (NIH) -

Human Body-Language Understanding by Computer

When: Fri, April 5, 2013 - 1:00pm
Where: A.V. Williams Building, Room 2460
Speaker: Zhengyou Zhang (Microsoft Research) -
Abstract: Recent advances in 3D depth cameras such as Microsoft Kinect sensors have created many opportunities towards a more natural way of interacting with computers and with people across distances. A key enabling technology is human body-language understanding by computer. Only after the computer understands what a user is doing, it can respond/act in a natural way back to the user, or capture the essential information and relay it to remote users. This has always been an active research field in computer vision but proven to be formidably difficult with video cameras. 3D depth cameras such as Microsoft Kinect sensors allow the computer to directly sense the 3rd dimension (depth) of the users and the environment, alleviating the burden of human body-language understanding by computer. In this talk, I will describe our recent work in using such commodity depth cameras for hand gesture recognition, human action recognition, facial expression tracking, engagement detection, human body modeling, and immersive teleconferencing.

Gap theorems for minimal submanifolds of spheres

When: Fri, April 12, 2013 - 4:45pm
Where: EGR 1202
Speaker: Brian White (Stanford University) - http://math.stanford.edu/~white/
Abstract: The totally geodesic k-sphere is the minimal hypersurface in the (k+1)-sphere of smallest k-dimensional area. What is the next smallest area? This is closely related to the question: what is the smallest density that a minimal variety can have at a singular point? I will discuss these questions and some sharp partial results.

This is the second talk of the Calabifest, www.calabifest.org

Grounding Natural Language in Robot Control and Perception Systems

When: Thu, May 16, 2013 - 11:00am
Where: A.V. Williams Bldg. 2460
Speaker: Dieter Fox (University of Washington) -
Abstract: Robots are becoming more and more capable at reasoning about people, objects, and activities in their environments. The ability to extract high-level semantic information from sensor data provides new opportunities for human robot interaction. One such opportunity is to explore interacting with robots via natural language. In this talk I will present our recent work toward enabling robots to interpret, or ground, natural language commands in robot control systems. We build on techniques developed by the semantic natural language processing community on learning combinatory categorical grammars (CCGs) that parse natural language input to logic-based semantic meaning. I will demonstrate results in two application domains: First, learning to follow natural language directions through indoor environments; and, second, learning to ground object attributes via weakly supervised training.