Discussion of Fall 2017 Math Courses

The Director of Undergraduate Studies and instructors of several Fall math courses will be on hand to talk about Fall courses, including some new ones. There will be plenty of time for questions, both in a group setting and individually. Prospective majors, 2nd majors, and minors are especially encouraged to attend since they do not normally have a math faculty advisor. Also other opportunities in math such as competitions, internships, and research options, both individual and in teams, will be discussed. Pizza will be provided.

4:30-6:00 Thursday March 30, 130 Physics Building

Lecture – James Zou

Stanford University
4:45  Thursday April 6, 2017
119 Math Physics

TITLE: The geometry of gender stereotype in word embeddings

Abstract: Machine learning has many powerful applications, but the blind deployment of machine learning runs the risk of amplifying biases present in data. In this talk, I’ll illustrate this challenge with word embeddings, a popular framework to represent English words as vectors which has been used in many AI systems. I’ll show how gender stereotypes are intrinsically captured by the geometry of the word vectors with disturbing implications. We developed an algorithm to modify the embedding geometry to reduce gender stereotypes while preserving the useful features of the data. The resulting debiased embeddings can be used in applications without amplifying gender bias.

Lecture – Elliott Wolf and Alex Woolf

Lineage Logistics:

Thursday March 23, 2017

119 Math Physics

The addition of renewable energy sources, whose power production
cannot be scheduled, has created increasing gaps between instantaneous
electricity supply and electricity demand. Sometimes the grid is
oversupplied with energy, requiring zero-marginal-cost sources of
power to be shut or energy to be bled off of the grid. Other times
there is insufficient electricity, requiring high-marginal-cost
sources of electricity to be switched on or consumers to curtail their
demand. The current state of the grid has led various utilities and
power consumers deploy capital-intensive energy storage, such as
lithium-ion batteries, to better-match grid supply with grid demand.

We present a method to add large-scale energy storage to the power
grid using only sensors, software modifications to the control systems
of large industrial refrigeration systems, and mathematical
optimization. Our talk will address the required instrumentation, the
physics necessary to understand applicable thermal constraints, and
the numerical methods used to determine a mathematically optimal
charge-discharge schedule. We further discuss the economics of the US
power grid, ?war stories? of doing complex mathematics in a large
industrial setting and the effects of various Federal Energy
Regulatory Commission and California Public Utility Commission
regulations on our efforts.
About  Lineage Logistics is the second largest cold
storage network in the world, playing a critical role in multiple
global supply chains. We store and transport temperature-sensitive
commodities (about 30 billion lbs per year) in a large network of
warehouses, trucks and rail cars. Our inventories include everything
from Boeing?s carbon fiber to 4th of July baby-back ribs. Lineage
has all of the combinatorics problems facing Amazon, with embedded
thermo-fluid physics.