Q Club

The Q-Club, which is short for "Quantitative Club," is the departmental student organization, boasting over fifty members. Students speak on their research or share their internship and summer program experiences. Scheduled events take place approximately every other Friday 1:50 - 2:30pm with pizza and beverages being served. Q-Club will meet in Valentine 205-6.

Faculty members occasionally give talks as well, on topics ranging from "Math and Horror" to "An Outrageously Brief History of Mathematics."

All are welcome to attend; please contact Seneth Waterman, club president, or the club advisers: Ivan Ramler and Natasha Komarov.

If you know of students interested in giving a talk during the semester, please contact Ivan Ramler or Natasha Komarov.  (Q-Club Archive Page)

Additional activities planned by the club include a Piathlon (held on or near 3/14) and Euler's Birthday Party (on 4/15).

Archive Page

Spring 2016

1/29/2015 Dr. Michael Schuckers
Title: “Fulbright and Finland”
Abstract:  In this talk, I will introduce the Fulbright program including opportunities for students as well as talk about my experiences as a Fulbright Scholar in Finland.  “The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.” (http://eca.state.gov/fulbright) Since 1946, the Fulbright program has awarded scholarships for students and faculty to study, teach and research in another country.  In 2013, I was a Fulbright Scholar at the VTT Research Institute in Espoo, Finland working with their bioinformatics group.  In addition to discussing my experiences with the Fulbright program,  I’ll talk a small bit about the research I did at VTT on metabolonomics.

Fall 2015

12/4/2015 Son Vuong
Title: "Haggling with Google Flight: Predicting Flight Prices"
Abstract: In today’s internet Age, travel agent is a profession of the past. So, how do you haggle with that flight search engine to get the best price on your flight home? This talk focuses on the relationship between the percentile of flights’ prices and various search options that a user can configure. The target variable, predicted percentile, shows where a particular query configuration lies in the range of historical prices. By using this variable, we would be able to determine whether that particular price is the deal of your life! Queried via Google Flights Engine on a fixed set of destinations, our data consists of over 2 million flights. We explored this complex relationship on three different levels: a fixed trip with given origin, destination, departure date and return date; a flexible trip given a range of departure date and return date; and a vacation trip given the fixed trip length of 9 days, that occurred in the next 300 days

11/13/2015 Sydney Bell and John Tank
Title: "Sports Analytics Internships"
Abstract: We’ll be taking a look at the sport statistic industry as it relates to both the team aspect as well as the business side.  Sydney Bell worked with the Florida Panthers, and will be discussing some of the analytic problems she worked on, how she got the internship, and what she learned while commutating with staff members within the organization.  John Tank worked on the business side, as he was a data analytics intern for a company called CoachMePlus.  During his time there he worked mainly with data collection, analysis of client performance, and identifying trends within data.  They will also say what they learned from their experiences, and give advice to students interested in the field.

10/23/2015  Professor Choong-Soo Lee will be presenting
Title: "Rise of the Bots: Bot Prevalence and Its Impact on Match Outcomes in League of Legends"
Abstract: Do you play League of Legends or know family members and friends who do? Have you ever experienced or heard of accusing other players of being a bot? Guess what! They do exist and have an impact on match results! Come and find out how we estimated the prevalence of bots and determined their negative effect on League of Legends matches.

10/2/2015 Evan Smith will be presenting
Title: "Reducing L-Band Wide Observations of Optically Selected Galaxies"
Abstract: Observations of galaxies in the Virgo Cluster were completed at the Arecibo Observatory in the spring and summer of 2015.  161 targets were observed, selected by criteria such as magnitude and shape from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. The targets, which were too dim to be detected by Arecibo’s ALFA drift scanner, were observed with the L-Band Wide detector. Once reductions in an IDL environment were done, these data were matched to the targets from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and the GALEX/MAST catalog. Comparing the galaxies that were detected against the galaxies that were not detected (by the L-Band Wide receiver) will allow us to refine our method of choosing HI-rich galaxies in the 2000km/s to 9000km/s range and prepare for the Arecibo Pisces-Perseus Supercluster Survey, which will use the same method of target selection. 115 of the 161 targets observed had positive detections, a 71% success rate.

9/18/2015 Janelle Frederics (Statistics Major - Class of 2016
Title:  Exploring Carbon Density Loss in the Pantropical Forests
Abstract:  During my summer fellowship at St., Lawrence University, I have been working on creating an interactive web app titled Exploring Carbon Density Loss in the Pantropic Forests. There has continuously been an increase in human activities, such as industry, transportation and electricity, which has caused instability in our eco-system and reduced the productivity of forests. Work on this topic uses the term edge effect to measure this reduction in productivity. I have been provided with information on the edge effects present in pantropic forests by the Natural Capital Project, a research group housed at Stanford University, whose general mission is to help preserve the environment we live in. Through the computer program R, and its subsequent packages, I created a web app for this group so scientists who use this data have an easy way to visualize and use the information that is pertinent to them. Come see the web app I created and see the opportunities that are available to all students during the summer fellowship program. A preview of this app can be found at: http://shiny.stlawu.edu:3838/NatCap/CarbonLoss

9/4/15 Math, Computer Science and Statistics Faculty will be presenting.
Title: Where’s our pizza?! (Welcome back!)
Abstract: Welcome back (or just welcome) to another year of Q-Club! We will kick this year off with a general info meeting about the department – including meeting the Q-Club officers, the new Math professor, and hearing about some of the fun and exciting events the Mathematics, Computer Science, and Statistics Department has to offer this semester! And don’t worry, as always, pizza and snacks will be provided.

Spring 2015

4/17/2015 Jenna Street
Adjusting Grade Point Average for Course Difficulty
Abstract:  Class rank is a measure of a student's performance compared to the performance of other students in his or her class. The conventional method for determining a student's grade point average involves the earned grades and the number of units or credits that the student receives from each course. However, this process does not include a way to incorporate course difficulty, which can vary due to the nature of the course material or the particular grading standards of a professor, among other defining characteristics. The purpose of this project is to analyze ten years' worth of anonymized grade history for St. Lawrence University and build a model that provides a student's grade point average after adjusting for course difficulty. By doing so, we are able to re-rank students within each class in order to more accurately provide a comparison of classmates. We find that incorporating course difficulty into the ranking process impacts the order of class rankings though the biggest factor impacting class rankings is the individual student.

4/3/2015 Colleen Bradley
"Could Your Sleep Schedule be Affecting Your Mental Health?  An Application of Mixed Effects Modeling"
Abstract:  Mixed effects modeling refers to a broad array of techniques that can be used to model data that violate the usual linear model assumptions. We will use mixed effects modeling techniques to analyze data from a sleep study previously conducted by the psychology department. The study tested the effects of changing the beginning start time of the school day for high school students to a later time through the use of self-report surveys. The current available research suggests that sleeping habits can have an influence on the mental health of an individual. It has been shown that insufficient sleep is often linked with poor mental health, especially in regards to depression, anxiety, and stress. We will use the data from the sleep study to discover if the change in start time of the school day will have an effect on the mental health of these high school students.

3/27/15 Nathaniel Shenton
"The Double Pendulum, A Case Study of Chaotic Behavior"
Abstract: The double pendulum is a dynamic system in which a second pendulum is connected to the first, allowing the second to swing freely. The motion of the resulting dynamical system will associated to the motion of the pendulum.  This system experiences both periodic and chaotic tendencies.  We will use this example to show what it means for a system to be considered chaotic.  To do this we will explore the known visual tools that can help detect chaos, including an actual built pendulum.

3/6/15 Kirby Kaylor
"Title: Old McDonald had a Sensor"
Abstract: High tunnels are gaining popularity in farming communities as they allow for vegetables to be grown all year.  When the outside temperature is too cold, the sides can be rolled down to capture the sun’s natural heat, while minimizing heat loss.  When the outside temperature is warm enough, the sides can be rolled up to prevent overheating. These countermeasures require real-time temperature data from the tunnels. Sensor motes are battery-operated devices that can read data such as temperature and humidity and also form a wireless ad hoc network to transmit sensor data. A computer can collect up-to-date sensor data from the motes and control relevant equipment to regulate the temperature in the tunnels.

2/27/15 Dr. Sam Vandervelde
"Graphing Groups in the Projective Plane"
Abstract: In this talk we will introduce a novel method for visually presenting the group law for the integers mod m, i.e. the cyclic group of order m.  Along the way we will meet the finite projective plane, arguably one of the most elegant geometric objects in existence, in which every pair of lines intersects precisely once.  We will also discover that 14 is more unlucky than 13.

2/6/15 Brandon Lustig - will be presenting some work that he did with Dr. Robin Lock last fall on the use of statistics to rank PGA golfers.
"Head-to-Head Comparison Models to Rank PGA Tour Players"
Abstract: The current rankings systems for professional golfers, such as the official world golf rankings and the Fed Ex cup standings, put emphasis on winning tournaments and finishing near the top instead of looking at every round played with equal importance. To provide alternatives that are not so heavily weighted on winning tournaments, we use models, such as Bradley-Terry, that rely on head-to-head comparisons for all pairs of players for every tournament round. We discuss the details of finding ratings using these models, estimating the probability of a player beating another in a round, and compare the results using data from the 2013-2014 PGA tour season.

1/23/15 Boris Jukic and Joe Skufka from Clarkson University
"What's the big deal about big data?"
Abstract:  The term `big data' is most commonly understood to mean massive volumes of diverse and rapidly growing data that are not formally modeled (mostly unstructured or lightly structured), from various sources such as smart devices, social media, or sensors, in a variety of formats such as blogs, emails, tweets, or any unstructured content in digital format such as text, video, or audio.  There is a lot of hype and confusion regarding the true meaning and potential of this field and its uniquely inter-disciplinary nature. This talk will bring clarity to and debunk myths surrounding terms such as Big Data, Data Analytics and Data Science. (Such as "A data scientist is a statistician who lives in San Francisco.") The talk should be intriguing to a general audience and will hopefully inspire students to learn more about career prospects in this expanding field.