Department of Mathematics and Statistics

Spring 2022

If you are interested in giving a talk, please email Dr. Nick Lytal (

Colloquia are typically held on Friday in various locations. Please see below for specific information.  Refreshments are served at 3:45 pm and the talk begins at 4:00 pm.  Everyone is invited to attend. 

Join us via Zoom! Link to Colloquium Meeting Room (Meeting ID: 530 898 5800; Passcode: SRSTRAND)(opens in new window)

Friday, Apr 29 -- Holt 173, 4:00pm

Zack Reed (Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University)

Title: Using Calculus I Final Exam Items as a Lens for Instructional Design

Abstract: A basic model for teaching characterizes the phenomenon as being composed of an instructor’s intended, enacted, and assessed curriculum. The interdependence of these triad elements allows us to discuss the implications of one element for the entire practice of teaching. I will use results from a study of the assessed curricula in Calculus I as a lens through which to discuss and make recommendations for the intended and enacted Calculus I curricula at U.S. institutions. I will begin by discussing insights gained from an analysis of a large sample of Calculus I final exams from U.S. colleges and universities. This analysis sheds light on the intended calculus curricula of U.S. undergraduate institutions, and allows us to consider the alignment of this intended curricula with recommendations from the mathematics education literature. I will offer recommendations for creating exam items that do require the application of productive mathematical meanings identified in the mathematics education literature, and will conclude with a discussion of some recently designed activities and formative assessments developed to support students’ adoptions of recommended mathematical meanings.

Friday, Apr 22 -- Holt 175, 4:00pm

Ian Agol (UC Berkeley)

Title: Ribbon Concordance of Knots is a Partial Order

Abstract: We will discuss a resolution of a conjecture of Gordon that ribbon concordance of knots is a partial order. The proof makes use of representations of knot groups to SO(N) and the subquotient relation between them induced by ribbon concordance.

Friday, Apr 8 -- Holt 173, 4:00pm

Daniel Vallieres (Chico State University)

Title: The Number of Spanning Trees in Some Infinite Towers of Graphs

Abstract: In this talk, we will try to see if one can predict how the number of spanning trees varies in some infinite towers of graphs. The motivation for studying this problem actually comes from number theory, but studying this question in the context of graph theory is appealing since graphs are easily visualized. This talk will be targeted towards undergraduate students at any level.

Past Colloquia