Department of Mathematics

West Chester University

Mathematics Information
Office: Room 101
25 University Avenue
West Chester, PA 19383
Phone (610) 436-2440
Fax (610) 738-0578
Email: Department Chair

Fall 2013 Colloquium/Seminar Schedule

Each Thursday there will be a mathematics seminar (usually in UNA 120 from 3:15-4:15), while colloquium talks will normally be on a Wednesday (usually in UNA 158 from 3:15-4:15).

These seminars/colloquium talks may be by visiting speakers, WCU faculty, or WCU students, and are open to all interested students and faculty.

Send an e-mail to, if you would like to be on the e-mail list to receive advance notice of upcoming talks.

Previous Semesters: Spring 2013, Fall 2012, Spring 2012, Fall 2011, Spring 2011, Fall 2010, Spring 2010, Fall 2009, Spring 2009, Fall 2008, Spring 2008, Fall 2007, Spring 2007, Fall 2006, Summer 2006, Spring 2006.


West Chester University
Fall 2013 Mathematics Colloquium presents
Muhlenberg College

"An Afternoon With Euler"
Wednesday, September 18, 2013 from 3:15 to 4:15PM
UNA 158

Among the greatest of mathematicians is Leonhard Euler (1707-1783), whose insight, industry, and
ingenuity are unsurpassed in the long history of mathematics. In this talk, we sketch Euler's life, describe
the quantity and quality of his mathematical output, and discuss a few of his more spectacular discoveries.

We then look, in detail, at a specific problem: Euler was challenged to find four different whole numbers, the
sum of any pair of which is a perfect square. The numbers he found – namely 18530, 38114, 45986, and
65570 – reveal a remarkable genius in action. We'll follow along to see how he did it and thereby get a
sense of why Euler is rightly known as "the Master of Us All."

NOTE: This talk should be of interest to mathematics majors and minors.

William Dunham, who received his B.S. (1969) from the University of Pittsburgh and his M.S. (1970) and Ph.D.(1974) from Ohio State, is the Truman Koehler Professor of Mathematics at Muhlenberg College.

Over the years, Dunham has directed NEH seminars on math history at Ohio State and has spoken on historical topics at the Smithsonian Institution, on NPR's "Talk of the Nation: Science Friday," and at the Swiss Embassy in Washington, DC. In 2008 and again in 2013, he was a Visiting Professor at Harvard University, where he taught a class on the mathematics of Leonhard Euler.

In the 1990s, Dunham wrote three books – Journey Through Genius: The Great Theorems of Mathematics (Wiley, 1990), The Mathematical Universe (Wiley, 1994), and Euler: The Master of Us All (MAA, 1999) – and in the present century he has done two more – The Calculus Gallery: Masterpieces from Newton to Lebesgue (Princeton, 2005) and The Genius of Euler: Reflections on His Life and Work (MAA, 2007). In 2010 he recorded a 24-lecture DVD series for "The Great Courses" on the history of mathematics.

Dunham's expository writing has been recognized by the MAA with the George Pólya Award in 1993, the Trevor Evans Award in 1997 and 2008, the Lester R. Ford Award in 2006, and the Beckenbach Prize in 2008. The Association of American Publishers designated The Mathematical Universe as the Best Mathematics Book of 1994.

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West Chester University
Fall 2013 Mathematics Colloquium presents
Rutgers University


"Defending against H1N1 Virus, Smallpox, and other
Naturally Occurring or Deliberately Introduced
Diseases: How Can Graph Theory Help?"

Wednesday, October 2, 2013 from 3:15 to 4:15PM
UNA 158

Our society faces threats from newly emerging diseases such as the H1N1 virus and from diseases such as
smallpox or anthrax that might be introduced by bioterrorists. How can mathematics help us identify the best strategies to prevent the spread of disease and respond to outbreaks? Mathematical modeling of infectious disease goes back to Bernoulli's work on smallpox in 1760 and is widely used today by government agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Homeland Security. We will explore how simple models based on vertex-edge graphs can be used to explore strategies like vaccination and quarantine.

Fred S. Roberts is a Distinguished Professor of Mathematics at Rutgers University and a member of the graduate faculties in Computer Science, Mathematics, Operations Research, Computational Molecular Biology, BioMaPS (Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program at the Interface between the Biological, Mathematical, and Physical Sciences), Industrial and Systems Engineering, and Education. He serves as Director of the Command, Control, and Interoperability Center for Advanced Data Analysis (CCICADA), founded in 2009 as a University Center of Excellence (COE) through the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Based at Rutgers, CCICADA has 17 partner organizations nationwide and works on such topics as floods and natural disasters, government resource allocation, fisheries regulations law enforcement, container inspection, and large sports venue security. Roberts also served as Director of the Center for Dynamic Data Analysis, the predecessor DHS COE to CCICADA, from 2006 to 2009. For 16 years until 2011, he was Director of DIMACS, the Center for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science, one of the original US National Science Foundation (NSF) Science and Technology Centers, with 15 partner organizations and over 325 affiliated scientists. He is now DIMACS Emeritus Director and Senior Advisor. Roberts is a member of the Board on Mathematical Sciences and Applications, a former member of NSF advisory committees on International Research and Education, Mathematical and Physical Sciences, and Environmental Research and Education, is on the Steering Committee for the World-Wide Program Mathematics of Planet Earth, on the Scientific Advisory Committee to the Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), co-chairs the NJ Universities Homeland Security Research Consortium, has served on the Secretary's epidemiology modeling group at the Department of Health and Human Services, and serves on the NJ Governor's Health Emergency Preparedness Advisory Council and the NJ Domestic Security Preparedness Task Force Planning Group.

Roberts is the author of four books, editor of 21 additional books, and author of some 175 scientific articles. His work has been translated into Russian and Chinese and deals with a wide variety of topics, including mathematical models addressing problems of energy modeling, decision making, communication networks, mathematical psychology, measurement, epidemiology, computational biology, sustainability, homeland security, and precollege education. Among his honors and awards, Professor Roberts has been the recipient of a University Research Initiative Award from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the Commemorative Medal of the Union of Czech Mathematicians and Physicists, and the Distinguished Service Award of the Association of Computing Machinery Special Interest Group on Algorithms and Computation Theory, and he is a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society. He also received the NSF Science and Technology Centers Pioneer Award in a ceremony at NSF and received an honorary doctorate from the University of Paris-Dauphine.

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Note: Talks will be added to the schedule throughout the semester. Check back for updates.