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Auburn University’s College of Sciences and Mathematics Colloquia are held on Fridays in Parker Hall, Room 250, from 4:00-4:50 (unless otherwise advised).
Refreshments are served in Parker Hall, Room 244, beginning at 3:30.

March 23, 2012
Speaker: Fuzhen Zhang (Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, FL)
Title: The Schur Complement

Abstract: Auburn is the birthplace of the mathematical term “Schur complement.” This talk will present the historical connection of Auburn and the term, review classical results, and show some new results on the topic.
Faculty host: T. Y. Tam

A brief bio: Fuzhen Zhang has about 50 research articles. He authored two books (Linear Algebra: Challenging Problems for Students, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996; 2nd edition 2009. Matrix Theory: Basic Results and Techniques, Springer, 1999; 2nd edition 2011) and edited the book The Schur Complement and Its Applications, Springer 2005). He is an associate editor of several journals, including Linear and Multilinear Algebra, International Journal of Information and Systems Sciences, Banach Journal of Mathematical Analysis (BJMA). He is also a collaborating editor for the American Mathematical Monthly.

Dr. Emilie Haynsworth was the first to call it the Schur complement. She directed the work of 18 students who earned doctorates, all at Auburn University.

Do you know these matrices described by Alan Rendall? If so, please point out a source where he may find more information about them. I am interested in knowing too!


I have come across a class of matrices with some interesting properties. I feel that they must be known but I have not been able to find anything written about them. This is probably just because I do not know the right place to look. I will describe these matrices here and I hope that somebody will be able to point out a source where I can find more information about them. Consider an $latex n\times n$ matrix $latex A$ with elements $latex a_{ij}$ having the following properties. The elements with $latex i=j$ (call them $latex b_i$) are negative. The elements with $latex j=i+1\ {\rm mod}\ n$ (call them $latex c_i$) are positive. All other elements are zero. The determinant of a matrix of this type is $latex \prod_i b_i+(-1)^{n+1}\prod_i c_i$. Notice that the two terms in this sum always have opposite signs. A property of these matrices which I…

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The Purple Comet! Math Meet is a free, on-line, international, team mathematics competition designed for middle and high school students conducted annually since 2003.

The 2012 Purple Comet! Math Meet will run Tuesday April 17 through Thursday April 26, 2012.
Team registration for the 2012 contest has begun!

This year contest problems will be provided in Arabic, Bulgarian, Chinese, English, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, and Vietnamese. Volunteers are accepted for other languages.

PLEASE NOTE: All contest times are given in UTC (GMT) form.

Click here for Quick Start Instructions!

Make sure you read all parts 1-3!

“I made a scatter plot of the 5,675 teachers. On the x-axis is that teacher’s language arts score for 2010. On the y-axis is that same teacher’s math score for 2010. There is almost no correlation.

Rather than report about these obvious ways to check how invalid these metrics are and how shameful it is that these scores have already been used in tenure decisions, or about how a similarly flawed formula will be used in the future to determine who to fire or who to give a bonus to, newspapers are treating these scores like they are meaningful. The New York Post searched for the teacher with the lowest score and wrote an article about ‘the worst teacher in the city’ with her picture attached. The New York Times must have felt they were taking the high-road when they did a similar thing but, instead, found the ‘best’ teachers based on these ratings.

I hope that these two experiments I ran, particularly the second one where many teachers got drastically different results teaching different grades of the same subject, will bring to life the realities of these horrible formulas. Though error rates have been reported, the absurdity of these results should help everyone understand that we need to spread the word since calculations like these will soon be used in nearly every state.”

Analyzing Released NYC Value-Added Data Part 2 by Gary Rubinstein.

World Maths Day 2012 is underway.

The competition is designed for ages 4-18 and all ability levels. Teachers, parents and media can also register and play.

Last year, more than five million students from 218 countries combined to correctly answer 428,598,214 World Maths Day questions.

Each game lasts for 60 seconds, and students can play up to 50 games, earning points for their personal tally. Students can play beyond 50 games during the event, but points will only count to the World Maths Day Mathometer, not their personal point score. The students who answer the most questions correctly appear on the Hall of Fame. There are 5 different levels of play, 10 challenges on each level.

The official World Maths Day competition begins with the first second of March 7 at midnight in Apia, Samoa, and continues as long as it is March 7 anywhere in the world. The total competition time is 48 hours.

For further information, visit the World Maths Day site and check out the Resources section.

Had to reblog this post! I love linear algebra and programming. I am very interested in learning more about REDUCE and REDLOG.

Without mathematics there is no art.
— Luca Pacioli, Italian mathematician (1445 – 1517)


JoAnne’s blog Intersections — Poetry with Mathematics
Mathematical language can heighten the imagery of a poem; mathematical structure can deepen its effect. Feast here on an international menu of poems made rich by mathematical ingredients.

Short Story

Ted Chang’s division by zero

Paintings and Sculptures

Dorothea Rockburne’s artwork

The College Mathematics Journal is designed to enhance classroom learning and stimulate thinking regarding undergraduate mathematics. It publishes articles, short Classroom Capsules, problems, solutions, media reviews and other pieces. All are aimed at the college mathematics curriculum with emphasis on topics taught in the first two years.

For subscribers, read recent issues online (Requires MAA Membership)

Sample articles from The College Mathematics Journal

January 2012 CMJ: The Mathematics of Martin Gardner (Full issue available for free)

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