Workshop Abstracts

Event

All participants

Learning Biology Through Numbers
Dr. Naisyin Wang, Professor
Department of
Statistics
Texas A & M
University
Abstract: With the rapid growing of modern
technologies, the amount and types of data biologists collect
also grow. Consequently, statisticians or mathematicians who
handle the data are often among the first to learn the
information embedded in the large among of numbers. In this
talk, several examples varying from circadian rhythms data
from Cyanobacterial, relationship between Bcl2 protein levels
and DNA adduct damage in colon carcinogenesis to partially
degraded mRNA microarray data will be given as illustrations
of learning Biology through numbers.
Prerequisites: Suitable for all attendees.

Morning Workshop Session

Students
Choose one workshop. In making your selection, please pay
attention to prerequisites.

Workshop #1

Playing with Patterns
Dr. Bruce Ebanks
Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Mississippi
State University
Abstract: We will ponder puzzles and problems
pertaining to primes, polyhedrons, perpendiculars and perhaps
parties.
Prerequisites: Suitable for all attendees.

Workshop #2

Equations or Experiments: Using Math
to do Chemistry
Dr. Steve
Gwaltney
Department of Chemistry
Mississippi State
University
Abstract: Not only is mathematics the language of
science, in many cases we use mathematics to do science. In
this presentation we will see several examples of using
mathematical models to help explain experiments. In
addition, we will see how mathematical modeling lets us
answer questions we cannot study experimentally.
Prerequisites: Algebra I.

Workshop #3

Fractals / The Koch
Snowflake
Ms. Annalisa
Ebanks
East Mississippi
Community College
Abstract: Fractals are all around us, in the shape of
a mountain range or in the windings of a coastline. The
mathematical concept of a fractal characterizes objects with
structures on various scales, large as well as small. Fractal
objects are selfsimilar in that they do not change their
appearance significantly when viewed under a microscope. Who
says Mathematics cannot be fun? In this presentation we are
going to look at the perimeter and area of a fractal called
the ''Koch Snowflake.'' This will be a handson workshop where
participants will construct their own ''Koch Snowflake.''
Prerequisites:Suitable for all attendees.

Workshop #4

Lotto Luck: A Computer Demonstratio of
the Lottery
Dr.
Dongfeng Wu
Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Mississippi
State University
Abstract: People of all ages seem fascinated by the
lottery, making it a ready tool for illustrating basic
probabilistic concepts. This workshop will demonstrate how
the lottery really works through the use of a computer
program called "Lotto Luck", developed by Ronald
L. Wasserstein. The program demonstrates what happens to the
"earnings" of the frequent lottery player over a period of
time. The ideas of probability as a longrun frequency
illustrated by this program will be extended to statistics
and the testing of hypotheses.
Prerequisites: Suitable for all attendees.

Teachers

Easy to Use Free Statistical Software
Ms. Lorraine Hughes
Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Mississippi State
University
Abstract: We will learn how to use statistical
software called StatCrunch, freely available over the
Web. Specifically we will use the software to make
histograms and boxplots.

Afternoon Workshop Session A

Students
Choose one workshop. In making your selection, please pay
attention to prerequisites.

Workshop #1

Inverse Problems
Dr.
Tuncay Aktosun
Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Mississippi
State University
Abstract: The aim in solving an inverse problem is to
determine a cause from one or more of its effects. In this
talk intended for a general audience, inverse problems are
described and their significance in various fields is
indicated through examples.
Prerequisites: Suitable for all attendees.

Workshop #2

Using Chisquare Tests to
Determine the Genetics of Corn and of Corn Snakes
Dr. Marty
Harvill
Division
of Science and Mathematics
Mississippi
University for Women
Abstract: Statisticians use a metthod called the
chisquare (X<sup>2) test to check whether the numbers
observed from an experiment provide evidence of an effect.
The test compares the experimental observations to the values
expected under ''no effect''. The Chi Square Test answers
just one question: ''Are the results obtain from an
experiment (observed results) close enough to the predicted
results (expected results) to indicate no effect exists?''
In the first part of the presentation, we will use Corn (Zea
mays) as a model for understanding basic genetics. Each cob
on a corn plant contains several hundred kernels, and each
kernel is the result of a separate fertilization event. That
is to say, each kernel grows out of a separate fertilized
egg. The eggs all come from the same maternal plant. If a
geneticist takes care to ensure all the eggs on a single corn
plant are fertilized by pollen (sperm) from a single paternal
plant then a single cob of corn will contain several hundred
''sibling'' kernels, all derived from the same two parents. The
second part of the presentation, we will look at some corn
snake parents and their offspring and determine their genetic
make up using the same principles we used on the corn
cobs.
Prerequisites: Algebra I.

Workshop #3

Time Travel
Dr. Patrick Lestrade
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Mississippi
State University
Abstract: : In your dreams  and I am speaking here
of the daydreams you don't always share with others  don't
you relish the idea of traveling back in time? Or perhaps
forward, faster than the normal flow takes us? Historically,
we have perceived two types of barriers to doing such fun
things: technology and the laws of physics. Patience, money,
and brainpower often overcome the former; the latter can
seem insurmountable.
But there's good news. Come hear how Einstein's laws of
relativity, instead of being barriers, actually provide the
key to how your dreams may one day be realized. My goal is
to show you that the mathematics needed to understand
relativity and the spacetime continuum are within your
grasp. This isn't your father's universe. It's
yours. Explore it and be inspired.
Prerequisites: Algebra I.

Workshop #4

Cubics and Quartics
Dr. Kevin Knudson
Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Mississippi
State University
Abstract:: Everyone knows how to find the roots of a
quadratic equation, but what about cubic equations? Or even
harder: how about quartic (4th degree) equations? In this
talk, I will show you the formulas for finding the roots of
such equations and talk about what happens for equations of
higher degree.
Prerequisites: Algebra II.

Teachers

Making the Connections
Ms. Kim Walters
Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Mississippi
State University
Abstract: Too often students believe that they can do
algebra but not geometry or vice versa. In this workshop we
will explore some connections between algebra and geometry
that might help students have a more positive point of view
of both topics.

Afternoon Workshop Session B

Students
Choose one workshop. In making your selection, please pay
attention to prerequisites.

Workshop #1

The Seven Bridges of
Konigsburg
Dr.
Ted Dobson
Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Mississippi
State University
Abstract: Suppose that you drive a garbage truck (or
read a gas meter, or any other job where you have to visit
every home in a neighborhood). Our problem here is to
determine a good route for your garbage truck. What would a
good route look like? Well, your job is to start your day at
work, pick up all the garbage cans on your route, and then
return to where you started. A good route would be one where
you had to do as little work as possible. That is, you would
want to drive by every house on your route once, but if
possible, not twice. We will discuss the solution to this
problem, as well as discuss the historical background of the
solutionwhich has nothing whatsoever to do with garbage
trucks.
Prerequisites: Suitable for all attendees.

Workshop #2

Mathematics Meets Biology:
Some Elementary Mathematical Models
Dr. Seth
Oppenheimer
Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Mississippi
State University
Abstract: We will present some mathematical models of
biological and medical phenomena that require only high
school (algebra II) mathematics. We will illustrate these
models using computer simulations.
Prerequisites: Algebra II.

Workshop #3

The Great Apple Market Game
Dr. Keith Coble
Department of Agricultural Economics
Mississippi
State University
Abstract: Central to understanding market economies is
an understanding of the Laws of Supply and Demand.
Increasingly, economists use games in a laboratory setting to
test hypothesis of how people will behave when confronted
with economic problems. In this session, students will
participate in a classroom experiment that illustrates supply
and demand, how the mathematical equilibrium is reached, and
how intervention in the market creates disequilibrium.
Prerequisites: Suitable for all attendees.

Teachers

Connections Between
Secondary Mathematics and Popular Films
Dr. Bonnie
Oppenheimer
Division
of Science and Mathematics
Mississippi
University for Women
Abstract: A guided tour through the special features about
a current popular file (Lord of the Rings: the Fellowship of
the Ring) will show the amount of mathematics required to
create a believable world.
