CMU Graduate Student Seminar

Spring 2017


If you would like to give a talk, please email me.

Meeting Times

Tuesday, 4:00–4:50pm, in Pearce 227.


Date Speaker Title (click Title for Abstract or scroll down)
1/17/2017 Patrick Davis (Central Michigan University) A Practical Introduction to LaTeX
1/24/2017 Ben Salisbury (Central Michigan University) Creating graphics using TikZ and SageMath **
1/31/2017 Robert Megginson (University of Michigan) Department Colloquium
2/7/2017 No Seminar No Seminar
2/14/2017 Rebecca Renirie (Central Michigan University Libraries) CMU Library Services and Resources for Graduate Students in Department of Mathematics **
2/21/2017 No Seminar No Seminar
2/28/017 Dmitry Zakharov (Courant Institute, NYU) Department Colloquium
3/7/2017 No Seminar (Spring Recess) No Seminar (Spring Recess)
3/14/2017 Dan Goldston (San Jose State University) Department Colloquium
3/21/017 Ping-Hung (Chris) Kao (CMU graduate and former faculty) An Introduction to Frame Theory
3/28/017 No Seminar No Seminar
4/4/017 No Seminar No Seminar
4/11/017 Mohamed Amezziane (CMU) Estimating Covariance Matrix of High-Dimensional Regression Coefficients under Random Design
4/18/017 En-Bing Lin (CMU) Optimal Transport
4/25/017 Jackson Criswell (CMU) Map Enumeration


Speaker: Patrick Davis (January 17)
Title: A Practical Introduction to LaTeX
Abstract: In 1978, Donald Knuth released the typesetting system TeX to produce consistent high-quality documents; and since then, a whole family of tools have been built on the TeX system. Today, the most widely used format is LaTeX, which was originally designed by Leslie Lamport in the early 1980s. LaTeX is free and may be used on all major platforms (Mac, Windows, Linux, and online). Its ability to produce technical and scientific documentation with beautifully typeset mathematics has made it the standard in many academic fields.
In this seminar, we will demonstrate how to typeset a simple document in LaTeX and then how to do some more advanced typesetting if time permits. If you would like to hear about anything in particular, please email Patrick ( beforehand.
Audience members are encouraged to bring their laptops to the seminar so that they can follow along.
Extra Information: See Demo (a pdf file) (the tex file for Demo) about what we discussed during two seminar lectures last Fall.
AMS Graduate Student Chapter at CMU also provides excellent sources on LaTeX

Speaker: Ben Salisbury (January 24)
Title: Creating graphics using TikZ and SageMath
Abstract: During last week's talk, you were introduced to the basics of the LaTeX typesetting engine. This is a fantastic tool for recording and disseminating mathematical ideas; i.e., notes for a course, a manuscript meant for publication, homework solutions to impress (and please!) your instructor. One hurdle most newcomers have to overcome when beginning to use LaTeX is how to incorporate graphics into their document. In this talk, two solutions will be presented. One utilizes a package called TikZ, which is code that used directly inside the LaTeX document itself. The second involves the open-source mathematical software SageMath. Both solutions are free to the user (unlike Adobe or Microsoft products, for example) and offer very pleasing results.
For those who would like to play along during the presentation, it would be best to create an account at SageMathCloud ( This is a freely available cloud-based service which allows users to use both LaTeX and SageMath in a convenient environment.
Seminar Discussion

Speaker: Robert Megginson (January 31)
Title: Department Colloquium
Abstract: Click here for Title and Abstract.

Speaker: Rebecca Renirie (February 14)
Title: CMU Library Services and Resources for Graduate Students in Department of Mathematics
Abstract: In this presentation CMU mathematics librarian Rebecca Renirie will review library services and resources available to assist graduate students in their research. Services available for graduate students include longer book checkout as well as individual research rooms that may be reserved for up to one year. The resources of the CMU Libraries are numerous, and in this presentation students will see a selection of those resources most helpful to graduate-level research in mathematics, math education, and statistics. Two featured journal article databases will be demonstrated: MathSciNet (from the American Mathematical Society) and ERIC (ProQuest). Students will learn strategies for searching these resources for scholarly articles and how to get those articles in full text as PDFs, including the use of Documents on Demand for those articles that are unavailable online. In addition, students will see a demonstration of the database Dissertations and Theses and learn to find full text PDF copies of masters theses and doctoral dissertations from institutions world-wide.
Extra Information:
CMU Library Guides
Information for Citation Management in LaTex
Bibliography management in LaTeX (ShareLaTeX):
EndNote with LaTeX & BibTeX (MIT Libraries):
Zotero with LaTeX & BibTeX (MIT Libraries):
Mendeley with LaTeX & BibTeX (MIT Libraries):

Speaker: Dmitry Zakharov (February 28)
Title: Department Colloquium
Abstract: Click here for Title and Abstract.

Speaker: Dan Goldston (March 14)
Title: Department Colloquium
Abstract: Click here for Title and Abstract.

Speaker: Ping-Hung (Chris) Kao (March 21)
Title: An Introduction to Frame Theory
Abstract: Frames play an indispensable part of signal processing, data compression, and many other branches of applied mathematics. In this introductory talk, we will develop the notion of frames from orthonormal bases of Hilbert spaces. We will also discuss the idea of prime tight frames and see the interplay between number theory and frame theory.

Speaker: Mohamed Amezziane (April 11)
Title: Estimating Covariance Matrix of High-Dimensional Regression Coefficients under Random Design
Abstract: Though there many methods of obtaining point estimators of high-dimensional regression coefficients, there are only few that attempts to obtain interval estimates. This due to the difficulty of obtaining an adequate distribution, an estimate of the error variance, or both. In this talk, we present a new method of estimating the covariance matrix of high-dimensional regression coefficients' estimates under random design. To assess the performance of the estimator, we investigate its asymptotic properties. The diagonals of the matrix estimate are used then to obtain confidence intervals of the coefficients and for variable selection. The off-diagonal terms are used to shrink the covariance matrix and obtain an improved estimate.

Speaker: En-Bing Lin (April 18)
Title: Optimal Transport
Abstract: We present some background materials related to Dr. Villani's second talk on April 22.

Speaker: Jackson Criswell (April 25)
Title: Map Enumeration
Abstract: A combinatorial map is an embedding of a graph onto a surface. Maps are fundamental objects in combinatorics and there has been extensive study on the enumeration of specific families of these objects. Map enumeration has become an important topic under active research. The counting of different families of maps has shown to be connected to other fields outside of combinatorics including algebra, topology, random matrix theory, and theoretical physics.
In this talk several independent definitions of combinatorial maps will be given. Some basic examples of map counting will be presented and then solved by both bijective and recursive approaches. These examples will highlight some general enumerative proof techniques which can be extended to more difficult problems. Finally, a brief discussion will be given about current research on map enumeration, and the importance of the topic to fields outside of combinatorics.

Past seminars: Fall 2016, Spring 2016, Fall 2015, Spring 2015, Fall 2014