MSCS Capstone Day Schedule 2014

Name: Eric Biggers

Title: Porting the Embedded Xinu Operating System to the Raspberry Pi

Advisor: Shilad Sen

Major: Computer Science

Did you know the "Raspberry Pi" costs $35, is the size of a credit card, and

includes the equivalent to all components of a traditional desktop computer?

Popular among hobbyists and educators, the Raspberry Pi usually runs a

Linux-based operating system. However, only a few other operating systems have

been ported to the Raspberry Pi. This talk will present my contributions to a

port of the "Embedded Xinu" instructional operating system to the Raspberry Pi.

Name: Eric Biggers

Title: A Bidirected String Graph Model for Genome Assembly

Talk Advisor: Andrew Beveridge

Project Advisor: Stan Wagon

Major: Mathematics

Would you like to know the genome sequence of your favorite animal, plant,

fungus, or microbe? Despite recent advances, sequencing a whole genome "de

novo" (from scratch) remains a computationally hard problem. This talk will

introduce the problem of genome assembly, then explore how concepts from graph

theory can be applied to genome assembly with the help of a special type of

graph.

Name: Vidarith Chan

Title:

Major: AMS

Have you ever played a monopoly game? Have you ever wondered what the probability of achieving a monopoly? How many times does it take to roll the dice to achieve any monopoly? Well, if you are curious about this, please come to my capstone talk on April 16th.

Name: Yinong Ding

Title: Frequentist VS Bayesian Statistics: Survival Analysis on the Firms

Majors: AMS & Econonmics

Statistics has two foundations: frequentist and bayesian. I combine the projects that I did for two Capstones to show how I use two different approaches to analyze the same question what affected the survival of a firm in the tire industry in the US from 1910 to 1980? You may be surprised as the results are different.

Name: Papa Diop

Title: The Black-Litterman Model - A Bayesian Approach to Portfolio Selection

Major: AMS

Though "history tends to repeat itself," past events cannot predict the future. This is relevant in investment management where professionals make decisions impacting trillion of dollars of assets belonging to governments, foundations, and families. The Black-Litterman model permits investment managers to use historical and projected data, jointly not separately, in making those decisions. This allows managers to take full advantage of the wealth of data available, and potentially ensure the satisfaction of their clients.

Name: John Graham

Title: Walking on Pascal’s Triangle

Advisor: Tom Halverson

Major: Mathematics

Many of us have encountered Pascal’s Triangle, that neat graphic where each entry is the sum of the two entries above it. Not so well known are the ways in which the patterns encoded in this triangle simplify problems in very diverse areas of mathematics, from combinatorics to abstract algebra. I will explore how we can use this neat graphic as a starting point to investigate a much deeper problem: finding a basis for the cyclic centralizer algebra.

Name: Maria Gubenko

Title: Model Representations of Alternating Groups

Advisor: Tom Halverson

Major: Mathematics

In this talk I will introduce you to the world of algebra through presenting some of the most important structures of group theory: the symmetric and alternating groups. Moreover, the talk will give an overview of basic ideas behind matrix representation theory, another essential part of algebra. Come learn about how permuting numbers can lead to the exciting and complex world of algebra.

Name: Yiwen Hu

Title: Putting Humpty-Dumpty Together Again

Talk Advisor: Rob Thompson

Major: AMS

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall, did you ever wonder why all the king’s horses and all the king’s men could not put him together again? Did you ever imagine that you could still enjoy a jigsaw puzzle game even if you were blind to all colors and patterns? Come learn about some math of matching spatial curves, tasting some geometry, some applied linear algebra, and lots of computations!

Name: Disa Hynsjö

Title: Can the Government Deter Drug Smuggling? A Game Theoretic Analysis

Advisor: Victor Addona

Major: Mathematics

Ever wondered about the relationship between rampant drug trade and government anti-drug enforcement? In my capstone presentation, I will explain how we may use game theory to model the drug smuggling business. This approach allows us to analyze questions such as why individuals choose to smuggle drugs, and whether the government can do anything to stop this.

Name: Clark Jacobson

Title: Chefs Don’t Know R – Statistics in the Restaurant Industry

Advisor: Alicia Johnson

Major: AMS

After college, you could be a line cook using your kitchen equipment to prepare delectable dishes. Or, you could be a data analyst, using knowledge and software to find statistically significant insight. But do these two vocations – seemingly polar opposites – need to be mutually exclusive? Data relevant to restaurants is powerful and accessible…why not introduce it to the kitchen staff?

Name: Amy Janett

Title: The Green Line: A Mathematical Model Forecasting Light Rail Ridership

Advisor: Chad Topaz

Major: Mathematics

Twin Cities Metro Transit predicts that their new light rail, the green line, will have over 40,000 daily riders by the year 2030. Where will all these people come from? We create a mathematical model, inspired by a model for the decline in religious affiliation, to describe a shift from bus and car to rail. We then combine ridership data and mathematical theory to explore this large projected growth in light rail riders.

Name: Michael Jones

Title: Groups of Loops and Knots

Advisor: Lori Ziegelmeier

Major: Mathematics

Headphones cord tangled? Christmas lights in a bunch? Accidentally tie your shoes together? Add some fun to your de-tangling efforts by figuring out whether you’re being plagued by the same knot or if they’re all out to get you. I will discuss knot groups, one of the many ways to distinguish knots. This involves applying techniques from the more algebraic side of topology to objects that many--mathematicians included--might consider mind-boggling to unravel.

Name: Nathan Kelleher-Crew

Title: Deal or No Deal: The Ultimate Threshold

Advisor: Vittorio Addona

Major:

Do you want to win a boat-load of money? Do you have the opportunity to go on the nationally televised, million-dollar cash prize game show Deal or No Deal? If so, this talk is for you. If not, it is still for you, as you can still learn some things about your favorite game show. The talk explores optimal strategies for winning the most amount of money in a theoretical game of Deal or No Deal from a probabilistic point of view. Is there actually a strategy that “beats the banker” and will win you more than just the average of the cases? Come on by and find out.

Name: Sophors Khut

Title: Party Finder Web Application

Major: Computer Science

Do you want to party? If you do, I introduce you to Party Finder. Party Finder is a web application that helps you discover parties around you. You can create or attend different kinds of parties with your friends. Let’s discover all PARTIES around you !!!

Name: Sophors Khut

Title: Reassembling a broken surface

Major: Mathematics

How do we reassemble a broken surface? In this project, we show how invariant signatures cane used to match three dimensional curves based on shape regardless of their orientation. This method would be very beneficial and applicable to many different fields such as reassemble valuable items for archaeologists, or simply a broken eggshell.

Name: Audrey Kohout

Title: New York to Tokyo in 24 Minutes: Applications of Vector Calculus in Orbital Mechanics

Major: AMS

It currently takes 14 hours to travel from New York to Tokyo, but what if this trip could be completed in under half an hour? Utilizing vector calculus, elliptical geometry and orbital mechanics this talk will explore various aspects of planning this shuttle trip from takeoff to landing.

Name: Mitchell Kutis

Title: Building a Better Brain: A Review of Contemporary and Future Biological Neural Models

Major: Computer Science

Advisor: Susan Fox

We have 11 years to reach Her-levels of artificial intelligence. While you won't be falling in love with a computer any time soon, this talk will provide insight into the present and future status of human-like models of learning. Scarlett Johansson not included.

Name: Aaron Laursen

Title: STUFFS: A Novel, Tag-Based File-System

Major: Computer Science

Traditional hierarchical file-systems are fraught with problems, and so, taking inspiration from database systems and web 2.0 practices, STUFFS rethinks file organization with a keyword-based organizational scheme and dramatically boosts stability with fully ACID complaint transactions. This prototype system promises to eliminate the directory maze and place the user back in control of their files.

Name: Nathan Leech

Title: Getting to the Top: Popular Music in Minneapolis

Advisor: Shilad Sen

Major: Computer Science

Are you sick of Lordes "Royals" yet? According to Last.fms data, you arent. The popular music recommendation website has collected over five years of users' listening data. Using the programming language Python, I analyzed the data to find the common trends in Minneapolis' preferred tunes. Come hear about the hyped albums, the songs we wont stop listening to, and those that don't quite get to the top.

Name: Matthew Lesicko

Title: Semantic Relatedness Using Wikipedia

Advisor: Shilad Sen

Major: Computer Science

Wikipedia is a valuable trove of knowledge not just for college students, but for computer applications as well! Using semantic relatedness algorithms programmers can harness this knowledge to make smarter programs. My talk will explain the concept of semantic relatedness and present a new semantic relatedness algorithm that uses Wikipedia as a backbone.

Name: Matthew Lesicko

Title: Card Shuffling through Transpositions

Advisor: Tom Halverson

Major: Mathematics

Take a brand new deck of cards. Choose two cards randomly and swap their positions. Repeat until shuffled. Will this method work? How quickly? Can we use properties of the symmetric group to more easily answer these questions?

Name: Yulun Li

Title: Navigating News Articles

Major: Mathematics

Why do I have to keep refreshing the NYTimes homepage for a news update? How to dig out the details about a story in the pool of Twitter posts, each capped by 140 characters? I found 50 follow-up reports about a merger deal, how can I figure out the flow of the events? Find the answers in this talk about utilizing natural language processing techniques to improve the news reading experience. An algorithmic editor works as well as a human one, sometimes even better.

Name: Paul Lund

Title: Fractals: The Julia And Mandelbrot Sets

Major: Mathematics

What is a fractal? A fractal is a mathematical set that exhibits self-similarity, that is, the pattern is the same from up close as from far away. In the early 20th century two mathematicians, Gaston Julia and Pierre Fatou, started analyzing the systems of iterations that were behind these amazing fractals. In the 80’s Benoit Mandelbrot used computer animation to unveil the set behind the connected Julia set. Come discover these fractal sets and observe nature from a whole new perspective.

Name: Melissa Marshall

Title: Gender, Hostility & Wikipedia

Advisor: Shilad Sen

Major: Computer Science

Have you used Wikipedia recently? Ever wonder who writes it? Come and explore what makes Wikipedia tick – its community of dedicated editors. We'll be talking about the encyclopedia's wide gender gap, whether the community is as hostile as it seems, and ways to ensure Wikipedia will be around to inspire your last-minute papers for years to come.

Name: Benjamin Mayhew

Title: Search and coverage: Applying topology to sensor networks

Advisor: Lori Ziegelmeier

Major: Mathematics

How can a network of simple devices infer information about their spatial distribution, without any knowledge of their specific locations? Topology, usually seen as lofty and abstract, has surprising utility for modeling real-world sensor networks such as drone swarms, WiFi networks, and surveillance systems. Come to my talk and learn what a Betti number is, discover a systematic method for counting holes, and ponder the mystery of disappearing aircraft.

Name: Libie Motchan

Title: Adding Flips and Twists

Major: Mathematics

Your mind will be blown as I use linear algebra to represent one of the most abstract algebraic structures. In this talk, I will present the one and only model representation of the dihedral group, the group of rotation and reflection symmetries of an n-sided polygon. This talk will include shapes and diagrams and should be particularly compelling for students taking Algebraic Structures

Name: Sibusiso Ngobese

Title: Pseudo-Coding: The Art Of Almost Coding

Major: Computer Science

Every formal instruction of coding begins with pseudocode, followed by an introductory

language like Python. After Python it’s Java, then C..., typing the list alone is exhausting. To

make matters worse, in each of these languages you implement very similar algorithms.

What if it all ended with pseudocode? What if pseudocode could be converted to Python,

JavaScript, PHP or any dynamic language after only one implementation? What if you

never have to read code again?

Name: Minh Nguyen

Title: Mathematical convenience: From dihedral group to binary dihedral group

Major: Mathematics

The dihedral group D_n is a “group” of symmetries of a regular n-sided polygon (n-gon). We will discuss the binary dihedral group DD_n, an extension of D_n and show that its preserves many properties of Dn. In fact surprisingly DD_n has the same “character table”, a kind of footprint of the group, with D_{2n} even though they are different groups. In this talk we will discuss the reasons behind this surprising result.

Name: Christa Nilsen

Title: Simulated Aphids: How Individual Choices Influence the Whole

Advisor: Chad Topaz

Major: Mathematics

Have you ever watched a group of organisms like a fish school or an insect swarm and wondered how it moves cohesively? This phenomenon, called social aggregation, can be studied with mathematical modeling. In aggregations, each individual organism makes movement choices that are affected by its neighbors. In this talk we compare laboratory data on a group of aphids to a mathematical model and discuss ways to assess whether the model captures the essence of the group's behavior.

Name: John Paige

Title: A Comparison of Arctic Feedbacks in CMIP5 Climate Models

Advisor: Chad Topaz

Major: AMS

Climate models have improved tremendously since they were first introduced in the mid 20th century, yet uncertainty over our future climate remains. For instance, there is substantial uncertainty in the interactions between clouds and surface temperature. In this talk, I present a computational study on Arctic albedo and cloud feedbacks using climate model simulations from 13 climate models, and I introduce some of the basics of the climate system, climate modeling, and climate feedback analysis.

Name: Jie Shan

Title: Kalu: A Movie Recommender

Advisor: Shilad Sen

Major: Computer Science

What movie should you watch tonight? You could try movies loved by people who loved your favorite movie. Or, you can tag the elements you want to see in a movie ("dark comedy") and find one that matches your profile. Meet Kalu, a movie recommender website that implements both strategies. Come learn what it takes to bring Kalu to life and how it recommends movies. Popcorn recommended, but not required.

Name: Jie Shan

Title: Community Analysis of Game of Thrones

Advisor: Andrew Beveridge

Major: AMS

I am probably not your Facebook friend, but maybe I am one with your friend's friend. What would the social network look like if Game of Thrones characters were on Facebook? Come see how to extract a social network from the novels, identify the communities within, and identify the "Facebook kings / queens" of the book. And let me remind you that winter is always coming in Minnesota.

Name: Justin Sims

Title: Hurdle Models and Age Effects in the Major League Baseball Draft

Advisor: Vittorio Addona

Major: Mathematics

Think for a second about your birth month. Now think about the age cutoffs for some of your activities while growing up (e.g. school, hockey, baseball, etc.). Maybe you were old for your grouping, maybe you were young, or maybe you were in the middle. Why does this matter? Why does this matter, in baseball specifically, for players good enough to be drafted into Major League Baseball? Come to this talk to find out.

Name: Adam Sirvinskas

Title: The Motzkin Puzzle: Connecting Catalan Families to Motzkin Families

Advisor: Andrew Beveridge

Major: Mathematics

Have you always been fascinated by logic puzzles? A well-known set of numbers, the Catalan numbers, has close to 200 representative families, while the closely related Motzkin numbers has around 60. Come learn about the ways we can map the Catalan numbers to the Motzkin numbers. We will solve many different puzzles. Or perhaps, we will solve one puzzle many different ways. This talk will be especially interesting for students interested in taking Combinatorics.

Name: Sara Staszak

Title: I Spy / Where’s Waldo?

Advisor: Alicia Johnson

Major: AMS

From playing “I Spy” to the search for structural defects, detecting anomalies has many applications. To this end, we developed a “dictionary learning” procedure that provides an unsupervised anomaly detection method. We demonstrate that success depends, in part, on how we define an anomaly as well as the parameterization of the algorithm. This will be shown through examples using natural images.

Name: Nolan Varani

Title: Dr. Markov or: How I learned to Ignore Economics and Make Money

Advisor: Susan Fox

Major: Computer Science

Currency traders can amass great personal wealth by predicting and investing in the values of foreign currencies. This project aims to see whether a machine learning algorithm can do the same. Without any applied economic theory, I seek to model the stochastic EUR-USD currency market, and attempt to make accurate predictions regarding future prices through a computational model that intuitively understands the probabilities of various market events. Let’s see if it can make bank.

Name: Dan Voss

Title: Tone Matrix: Drawing Music on Android

Major: Computer Science

Mobile devices are sweet. Drawing is cool. Music is dope. I decided that I wanted to combine each of these things by making an Android app. What does your name sound like? Or a smiley face? I aim to show the world the sin-wave beauty of synesthesia.

Name: Junyi Wang

Title: Tessellation Representation and Its Applications

Talk Advisor: Susan Fox

Proj. Advisor: Stan Wagon

Major: Computer Science

A planar graph can have different kinds of representations. A tessellation representation of a

planar graph draws each vertex, edge and face as a rectangular tile with horizontal and vertical sides such that the boundaries of two tiles intersect if and only if the corresponding objects in the graph are incident. I will discuss how to generate the tessellation representation and subsequently visibility representation and polyline drawing given a planar graph. By constructing the polyline drawing, we can make a bad-looking planar graph look much nicer.

Name: Junyi Wang

Title: Benford’s Law for Leading Digits in Natural Data Sets

Talk Advisor: Andrew Beveridge

Proj. Adv.: Vittorio Addona & Stan Wagon

Major: Mathematics

Do the leading digits of a naturally occurring data set appear to be uniformly distributed?

Benford’s Law states that the leading digit 1 occurs most frequently, with about 30% of the time and the leading digit 2 occurs around 17% of the time. Each consecutive digit has a lower chance of occurring than the last one. I will explain how these probabilities are generated and talk about some applications of Benford’s Law.

Name: JiaYing Wang

Title: Getting the Most Out of Your Pig

Major: AMS

The jeopardy dice game of Pig has simple rules, yet has complex dynamics. This game has generated extensive mathematical researches on optimal strategy, which is surprisingly complex and beyond human potential to memorize and apply. This project seeks to conduct simulations and explore a simple human-playable optimal strategy for some variations of this game.

Name: Olivia Warner

Title: Love Thy Nearest Neighbor: An Individual-Level Model of Aphid Movement

Advisor: Chad Topaz

Major: AMS

From bird flocks to fish schools to locust swarms, there are countless examples of social biological aggregation in nature, but do pea aphids display similar tendencies? Summer research performed at Macalester sought to answer this question using a correlated random walk model. I present an individual-level model of pea aphid movement which increases our understanding of whether pea aphids interact and influence each other’s movement.

Name: Carmen Whitehead

Title: Unlocking Fermat's Last Theorem: Past, Present, and Future

Major: Mathematics

a^2 + b^2 = c^2

It looks like a simple mathematical formula, and we all learn its application to right triangles fairly early on in our mathematics education. Yet, we learn very little about its origin, alternate forms, or anything else other than the answer to the question "how long are each of the sides?" This talk will address many of these points, as well as introduce exciting new mathematics arising from this age-old question.

Name: XiangYuan(Henry) Yang

Title: When Football Meets Las Vegas

Major: AMS

Are you interested in Football? How about combining the sport with a little bit of statistics? Everyone can bet on every football game’s final point difference between the two opposing teams. I will explore whether a model constructed using Bayesian methodology can outsmart public sentiments. Want to see if that works? One way to find out -- Be my guests.

Name: Yu Zhao

Title: Parallel Design Patterns and Algorithm Performance

Proj. Advisor: Elizabeth Shoop

Major: Computer Science

Parallel and Distributed Programming takes the advantage of three frequently used hardware-software pairs to execute programs concurrently: Multicore Processors with OpenMP, Computer Clusters with MPI, and Co-processors with CUDA. Parallel Design Patterns refers to recurring solutions in code used on many problems. This talk explores the relationship between several algorithms’ performance on each of the three hardware platforms and the Parallel Design Patterns found in their code implemented using the three software libraries.

Name: Yu Zhao

Title: The Vehicle Routing Problem: Distance Between the Exact and the Heuristic

Proj. Advisor: Daniel Flath

Major: AMS

The Vehicle Routing Problem (VRP) can be described as the problem of designing optimal delivery or collection routes from one or several depots to a number of geographically scattered cities or customers. Have you ever ridden on a school bus? Scheduling school bus routes is one of many real life applications of the VRP. This talk explores the merits and drawbacks of two approaches that solve the VRP: using exact algorithm or using heuristic algorithm.