Q Club | St. Lawrence University Math, Computer Science, and Statistics

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 Thursday 11:50 am - 12:20 pm with pizza and beverages being served. Q-Club will meet in Valentine Hall, Room #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 the club advisers: Choong-Soo Lee and Ivan Ramler.

If you know of students interested in giving a talk during the semester, please contact Ivan Ramler.  (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 2020 - The schedule is as follows:

There will be a virtual Q-Club meeting at 4:00-4:30pm on Thu, Apr. 16. Here's the link and password to the Zoom meeting.
https://stlawu.zoom.us/j/397458196?pwd=YzZRVk1PZEY1YTJUam9FKzB0V1NEQT09
Password: qclub

Speaker: Taylor Pellerin ('17)
Title: Keeping a Level Head During COVID-19
Abstract: In this session, Taylor Pellerin ('17) will discuss a range of topics, focusing on his own experiences and observations about making the most of the global pandemic. Topics include the virtual hiring process and what to do with all this free time.Time and interest permitting, he’ll also conversationally cover careers in data science & analytics, discuss ongoing efforts for a virtual mentorship / SLU connect series being run by Jillian McKernan Walley, and hype up his grad school’s masters in data science program.

Thursday, March 12

Speaker: Alan Mersereau ('66)

Title: The Performance Review

Abstract: In many companies the annual performance review is a major milestone for employees.   What are the best ways to achieve top ratings on your performance review?  In this presentation, we will explain how to set realistic and appropriate goals for the coming year; how to ensure both you and your supervisor interpret the goals the same way; how to accomplish and exceed your goals, and how to deal with and resolve the inevitable problems you will face.

Thursday, March 5

Speaker: Muhammad Ruze

Title: An Application of Markov Chain Monte Carlo Methods to Predicting Storms

Abstract: Bayesian inference problems can sometimes be very difficult to solve. These difficulties can be overcome by using Markov chain Monte Carlo methods (MCMC). One of the most common MCMC algorithms is the Metropolis–Hastings algorithm. In this presentation, I will run the Metropolis–Hastings algorithm on the annual number of storms in the North Atlantic Ocean data to show the prediction results.

Thursday, February 20

Speaker: Therese Lupariello

Title: Simulating the Alaskan Driftwood Phenomenon

Abstract:  Driftwood research, in the field of dendrochronology, can be really revealing of climate change.  Unfortunately, it is historically under researched because performing the analysis is a difficult task.  The first step in most dendrochronological analyses is to use statistical models to remove biological and ecological trends that exist in tree-ring chronologies. This process is known as detrending, and the choice of detrending method used has been shown to seriously impact the conclusions that can be drawn from the analysis. For this project, we aim to conduct a simulation study using the data provided from the International Tree-Ring Data Bank (ITRDB) in Alaska to investigate the impact that detrending method has on the ability to correctly match driftwood back to its source of origin.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Speaker: Chelsea De Luca

Title: Linear Algebra in Computer Graphics

Abstract: In computer graphics, the programmer wants to present 3 dimensional images in two dimensions. To properly present these images, the programmer must take into account the different perspectives of the image. For my SYE, I studied the structural basics behind manipulating objects in 3-space and how to then represent that object in 2-space displayed on a computer screen. Linear algebra was used to present these images, including the display of how shapes are created, translated, rotated and scaled.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Speaker: Skylar Ratcliffe

Title: An Expository Look into the Banach-Tarski Paradox

Abstract: The proof of the Banach-Tarski Paradox, a theorem in which a solid ball may be split into pieces that are subsequently rearranged to form two solid balls, each identical to the first, utilizes mathematical concepts within group theory with an emphasis on the free group on two generators and the special orthogonal group. This research was conducted with the purpose of creating a companion piece to the proof in hopes of allowing those with little knowledge on the subject to be exposed to an interesting, albeit complicated, theorem. Due to constraints based on the length of the proof, this presentation will mainly consist of an introduction to the relation between the Paradox and group theory, a short proof vital to the big picture, and how the Banach-Tarski Paradox can mathematically occur in three-dimensional space.

FALL 2019

Meeting are in Valentine 205-206 at 11:50 am - 12:20 pm on Thursday's.  The schedule is as follows:

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Speaker: Shuyu Qiao

Title: Using MCMC and Graph Theory to Investigate Diversity of Birds Species

Abstract: We look at methods to access competitions among bird species based on Diamond’s finch data. The data matrix has rows for 13 different finch species and columns corresponding to 17 islands in Vanuatu. In each cell, a 1 represents the presence of the species on that island, and 0 is the absence. If the dot product for the rows for two species is zero, we may have evidence of competition. We call this a checkboard, 1s for one species are always matched with 0s for the other species. How do we know when the number of checkboards is unusually high, more than we would expect by random chance indicating competition? We investigate this question by simulating lots of random matrices and counting the number of checkerboards. To generate the random matrices, we use a Markov Chain to move from one matrix to the next. The connections between the matrices form the edges of a graph, and we use the graph to calculate a transition matrix and investigate the behavior of the MCMC.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Speaker: Sarah Coburn from Career Services -  What they can do for you, what our majors have done in the past. How to get in touch with alumni, etc. regarding both full time employment and internship opportunities.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Speaker: Alan Mersereau '66

Title: "Mathematics in Business"

Abstract: I finished my career in in corporate financial plans and controls. Major responsibilities included budgeting, forecasting the income statement and projected cash flow. I was also heavily involved in streamlining our inter functional business processes including customer order fulfillment, and field service logistics. Earlier in my career, I was in charge of the implementation of business applications including Environment Resource Planning, and Just-in-Time operations planning. I will discuss the use of mathematics in my business career.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Speaker: Dr. Michael Sheard

Title: "A Derivation of My Favorite Formula"

Abstract:

I will present a derivation of Euler's original solution to the Basel Problem, which shows that a simple infinite series adds up to the unexpected sum of "pi 2 / 6".  This is a fun and surprising application of some basic algebra and calculus. 

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Speaker, Susan Liu

Title: "Using Cluster Analysis to Understand Long Term Viability of Cards in Clash Royale".

Abstract:

Esports, a multiplayer video game played competitively for spectators, have become increasingly popular and mainstream among professional and casual players today. Clash Royale, a real time multiplayer game that combines elements from collectible card games, tower defense, and multiplayer online battle arena has reached $1 billion in revenue in less than a year on the market (Takahashi, 2017). Players build decks of eight cards which are used to defeat their opponent. Fan sites offer card win rates to assist players in identifying viable cards.

For example, the site Statsroyale, reports cards’ win rates along with their popularity. However, factors such as player skill level (measured in trophies) can skew the overall win rates for cards. This project aims to collect Clash Royale data from Kaggle and Clash Royale application programming interface (API), visualize card performance across trophy count, and identify cards with long term viability using cluster analysis.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Speaker: Xin Tao

Title: Build an All-Voice Reminder

Abstract:

Reminder systems, which allow people to set their devices to remind them to do things, can be helpful to people’s daily lives and increase their efficiency. For some elders, they become forgetful about daily things such as taking medicine; automated reminders could help them remember important tasks. For some students, time management is a challenge; using reminder systems, they could keep themselves on track. However, reminder systems also have limitations. Elders may find them difficult to use if they struggle using computers and other devices in general. Some students can be so distracted by social media and computer games that they ignore their reminders, and as a result, they do not follow the plans they make. The purpose of my research is to build a reminder system that operates entirely by voice.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Speaker: Sai Wei

Title: Aptapp - An In-app Program that Helps Novice User with WeChat Functions

Abstract:WeChat is the most widely used, multi-function super app in China, bringing convenience to every aspect of users’ daily life. However, novice users, those who are new to technology, are having a hard time trying to catch up with the updating functions in WeChat. Aptapp is a WeChat mini-program that allows users to easily get access to specific WeChat guidance with an intelligent customer service responding system. Launched by WeChat team in 2017, mini-programs are the sub-applications aiming to provide more possibilities for WeChat users. Customer service is one of the function components supported by the mini-program API. Working with cloud functions, the customer service in Aptapp is able to respond to users’ requests by sending back the corresponding web-link to the requested guidance. In order to make Aptapp more helpful for novice users, by analyzing the updating features and API’s from WeChat, Aptapp is expected to require less interactions but to provide more intelligent responding system to users in the future.