Colloquium 11/12: Dr. Ryan Jensen on Barcodes for Coloring Book Images

Today, Monday November 12, at 3:30 pm in Math Building 357, Dr. Ryan Jensen will be talking about Barcodes for Coloring Book Images. This talk should be interesting and accessible for many undergraduates, so please encourage your students to attend.

Abstract: Julie Barns, William Kreahling, and Beth Schaubroeckpublished several images generated by inverse images of complex valuedfunctions. Their work is available for purchase from the MAA Press under thetitle of Coloring Book of Complex Function Representations. Most itemsavailable for purchase need a “barcode” for a (somewhat) unique identifier. This talk will discuss generating barcodes for the images in Barns’s book usinglarge scale geometry and persistent homology. In particular, I will show howlarge scale geometry induces a filtration of complexes for an image  usingstarring and cubical homology. While there will be advanced math, there will besome ideas suitable for undergraduates. (flyer in PDF form)

October Faculty Spotlight: Mr. Chance Bradford

Editor's Note: This is the ninth in a series of spotlights on mathematics and statistics faculty. Mr. Bradford joined us in Fall 2018.

Do you have a hobby or collect something?  How did you get into that?

I collect Funko Pop figures, Pokémon cards, and quarters.

My wife and I watched the entire X-Files series for the first time last year, and my first two Pop figures were Mulder and Scully. I like how they are all uniform yet still unique.

When I was a kid, I collected sports cards (baseball, basketball, some football). A few years ago I became interested in Pokémon because I love the cute and silly artwork. It’s also a fun-for-all-ages game that uses math and encourages social interaction.

I also have a collection of quarters and two dollar bills. When I was taking Real Analysis with Dr. Clark in 2012 there was a bonus question “Who is on the $2 bill?”. When he returned the exams, a $2 bill was paper-clipped to them all. I still have that bill, and have collected many more since. I have a collection of state quarters (I still need Tennessee, Maine, Missouri, Minnesota, Missouri, Alabama, Virginia, DC, American Samoa) and America the Beautiful quarters which are still being released.

Tell us about an adventure you had, or would like to have.

I served in the Marine Corps for four years and have many stories to tell from that time. One of my go-to stories is the gas chamber. In boot camp and once every three years, Marines must train with their gas masks and sometimes MOPP gear (suits). You enter a brick building with your mask on, they close the door, and light CS gas (tear gas). You take the mask off, put it back on, do exercises like push-ups, jumping jacks, running in place, etc. Finally, you are released and so are the contents of your sinuses.

I also had tons of fun outside of Marine Corps life in Southern California. I lived in the barracks at the foot of a beautiful mountain (aptly named Old Smokey) and about 10 minutes from San Clemente beach, a world-renowned surfing spot. I spent lots of time at the beach but never learned how to surf. I also took advantage of the location by going to so many concerts to see my favorite bands, most of them in smaller venues.

What kind of music, books, movies, sports, games, cars, etc. (pick one or more) do you like?  Is there any particular reason?

Music: I have to say my favorite band is Ween (1990-current). They are a genre-bending band and truly silly. Some safe-for everyone songs to check out:
Country: I Don't Wanna Leave You on the Farm, Help Me Scrape the Mucus Off My Brain, I'm Holding You, You Were the Fool
Soft Rock: Stay Forever, The Mollusk, I Fell in Love Today, Joppa Road, Your Party

Movies: My favorite movie is The Big Lebowski. But that's just like, my opinion, man. So many Cohen brother movies are classics. Oh Brother Where Art Though, No Country for Old Men, Fargo, Raising Arizona, etc.

TV: Currently watching Brooklyn 99, I can't recommend it enough. I can't wait for Game of Thrones to come back. Some older favorites: Office, Parks and Rec, Community, Breaking Bad

Games: I play Pokémon Go, Stardew Valley, and got a Nintendo Switch this summer. I've played Zelda, Mario Kart, and Mario Tennis on that. I'm looking forward to all the great releases this fall.

What is the closest you have ever come to dying?

The time I threw a live grenade in training at SOI. Nothing bad happened, but it was a dangerous situation that most people have probably not been in. There's a lot of trust in that little mechanism!

What did you do to put yourself through school, or what weird job have you held?

Serving in the Marine Corps helped me pay my way through school. In junior high and high school, I would work with my grandpa every summer. He was an electrician and working with him taught me about hard work. In fact, it was so hard that I promised myself I would get an education so I wouldn't have to do it anymore! It doesn't get much worse than digging ditches in the Texas summer sun or crawling through attics in excess of 130 degrees. Still, I wouldn't trade those times for anything.

The thing that really makes you cool and unique is something that I would never have thought to list here.  What is it?

I share a birthday with Dr. Alton Birdwell and consequently SFASU!

About Us

The Department of Mathematics and Statistics is a friendly and supportive place for our students. Our faculty are committed to excellence and continual improvement in teaching and advising students through our challenging curriculum:

Our math clubs are very active in hosting math talks and participating in conferences, fundraisers, and social activities.

We offer one of the leading certification programs in the state in mathematics teaching. The department proudly produces qualified teachers at all levels.

We offer dual-credit courses to local and rural schools and make visits to speak about mathematics and statistics.

Why study mathematics?

Mathematics is perhaps the most intellectually challenging and practical major you can choose. Some major in math for the enjoyment and beauty of the subject. Others major in math for its practicality and applicability to the sciences, engineering, finance, and even the social sciences. Mathematics develops rigorous analytical thinking skills that are prized in all fields of human endeavor.

Programs offered at SFA

  • Bachelor of Science in Mathematics
  • Bachelor of Science in Mathematics with Secondary Teacher Certification
  • Minor in Mathematics
  • Minor in Applied Statistics
  • Master of Science in Mathematical Sciences with focus in
    • Mathematics
    • Statistics
  • Master of Science in School Mathematics Teaching with focus in
    • Middle-Level Teaching
    • Secondary Teaching

Mission Statement

The purpose of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics is to attract and retain the best available scholars who actively pursue knowledge of mathematics, statistics, and/or mathematics education and who skillfully communicate their knowledge of the subject to their students, colleagues, and the community as a whole.

Specific roles of the Department are:

  1. To provide a sound curriculum for students who wish to pursue a career in mathematics or statistics in business and industry;
  2. To provide service courses for students who are majoring in some other department, but who need mathematics or statistics as a tool or to satisfy general degree requirements;
  3. To offer preparation to those who are planning to pursue a graduate degree;
  4. To prepare teachers for positions in colleges, universities, and public or private schools.