Professor Satyan Devadoss
University of San Diego
Thursday, 23 February 2017, 1:15-3:00pm
MATH 1208/9, 12th Floor, Mahavajirunnahit Building
TALK #1: (40 minutes)
Robot Motion Planning
Abstract: We want to keep track of robots moving in a room, helping them avoid collisions with obstacles and other robots. The adventures of robot motions and robot collisions leads to new worlds of mathematics, including polyhedra, tilings, string theory, and genetics. During this journey, we learn what multiplication is really about, allowing us to visualize and draw in four dimensions. This talk is heavily based on pictures and no background is needed.
TALK #2: (40 minutes)
A World of Genetic Trees
Abstract: Phylogenetics is the analysis of evolutionary trees based on shared genetic characteristics. Given some data from objects, how can a tree be constructed which shows the proper relationships between the objects? This is a beautiful subject with a tremendous amount of active research, relating powerful ideas from statistics, computer science, biology, and mathematics, with wide range of applications. We explore not just one tree, but build a space of all possible trees (using ideas from robot motion planning), and then understand some of its remarkable properites.