Tim Chartier is a math professor at Davidson College in North Carolina. Among his many fine virtues, Dr. Chartier is a fellow math blogger!

He’ll be visiting the University of Oklahoma next week and will give some talks you’ll definitely be interested in seeing. Dr. Chartier received a national award from the Mathematical Association of America for his teaching and lectures, and you’ll be very sad if you miss out!

On Wednesday, November 9th at 4 pm in PHSC 1105 he’ll be giving the department colloquium and will speak on:

Title: Sports ranking — March Madness to Twitter

Abstract: In the past decade ranking methods have been used for a variety of applications from the web to ecological systems to sports teams. This talk will discuss the Massey and Colley methods, which are two of the six computer ranking methods factored into NCAA College Football’s BCS rankings that are used to determine which teams are invited to play in which bowl games. Both methods compute a ranking by solving a linear system of equations and can be applied to a large variety of sports. In this talk, we will introduce the integration of nonuniform weighting for these methods. Further, we will explore challenges in using PageRank, the very successful method of Google for ranking webpages. We will discuss how such methods can produce brackets for the Division I NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament also known as March Madness. Finally, we will discuss recent work that adapts sports ranking methods to social networks such as Twitter.

And then on Wednesday, November 9th at 5 pm in PHSC 1105 Dr. Chartier will be speaking in the Math Club:

Title: A Pretty Mathematical Face

Abstract: Have you ever wondered what celebrities you look like? This talk develops a mathematical answer to this question from a group of celebrity photos. Vectors norms enable us to discern what celebrity looks most like a selected individual. Then, we broaden the question to explore what linear combination of celebrity photos best approximates a selected photo. Would you describe yourself as a cross between Russell Crowe and Ben Stiller? or maybe Julia Roberts and Jennifer Aniston? In this talk, we learn how to answer this question using mathematical methods from undergraduate linear algebra classes.

And, as always, there’ll be **Free Pizza!**

And last, but not least, on Thursday, November 10th at 3 pm Dr. Chartier will be doing Mime-matics as part of Math Day*. Which is a mash-up of mime and mathematics. What you would get, we guess, if Marcel Marceau and Jean-Pierre Serre were to have a baby.

Here’s a video of Dr. Chartier explaining (isn’t talking while you mime against the rules?) some mime-matics:

* Math Day is the OU math department’s annual event for Oklahoma high school students. If you want to join in the fun, you can volunteer to help out for an hour or two. The sign-up is at the front reception in the math office in PHSC.

Pingback: 2011 Math Day! | OU Math Club