Department Seminars

Fall 2017 Seminars

A Bit of Metric Geometry

By Ulysses Alvarez, Binghamton University

Friday, Sept. 8, 2017, at 3 p.m. in Fitzelle Hall 205

Abstract: We will define a notion of curvature in abstract spaces using triangles.

These are a few of my favorite groups

By Matt Zaremsky, SUNY Albany

Friday, Oct. 06, 2017, at 3 p.m. in Fitzelle Hall 205

Abstract: Group theory can be viewed as the study of symmetries of geometric objects, via abstract algebraic tools called “groups.” In the other direction, when handed an abstract group, one might wonder if there is a nice geometric object whose symmetries it describes. This talk will be an introduction to the interplay between geometry and algebra, via some of my favorite groups. Along the way, I will discuss a colorful cast of characters including groups of permutations, groups of braids, matrix groups, a fascinating class of groups with the unfortunately non-descriptive name “Thompson’s groups,” and more. As time permits, I will specifically discuss some of my results on topological finiteness properties of groups.

Investigating Calculus Students’ Conception of Continuity

By Jayleen Wangle, SUNY Oneonta

Friday, December 01, 2017 at 3:15 p.m. in Fitzelle Hall 205 (Note different time)

Continuity is a central yet subtle concept in Calculus I. Yet very few students seem to grasp the nature of continuity. This study uses a mixed methods model to investigate collegiate calculus students' understanding of continuity. I will discuss participant displayed depth of understanding of function, limit, and continuity in terms of the constructs defined by Dubinsky’s (1991) Action-Process-Object-Schema (APOS) theory. A prominent finding was that participants who demonstrated a stronger conception of the function displayed a more in-depth understanding of continuity.