January Seminar

Speaker: Dr. Gary MacGillivray

Title: Take-away games

Abstract: Imagine there is a pile of 101 coins on a table. Two people play a game in which they take turns removing one or two coins from the pile. The person who takes the last coin wins. ¬†Does it matter if go first or second? Using inductive reasoning it turns out to be possible to determine which player wins and their winning strategy. We’ll talk about how to use it to analyze this game, and similar games.

Bio: Gary MacGillivray got his BSc from UVic in 1985, his MSc from UVic in 1986, and his PhD from SFU in 1989. After a couple of years as a faculty member in Regina he came back to UVic, where he has been a faculty member since 1992. His interests mostly lie in the intersection of mathematics and computer science, and also include mathematics education, mathematics in sports, and combinatorial games.



Speaker: Dr. David Goluskin

Title: A simple mathematical model with very complicated consequences

Abstract: We will explore properties of a simple mathematical model called the logistic map. This model arises naturally when thinking about how the size of a population might change from one year to the next. Despite the simplicity of the equation, its consequences can be very complicated. By experimenting with these consequences, you will be introduced to the concept of “chaos”. I will demonstrate some computer code too.

Bio: David Goluskin is an applied math professor at UVic. His research is about nonlinear differential equations. He develops general methods for studying these kinds of equations, and he studies particular equations coming from scientific applications. The application on which he works the most is the behaviour of fluids (like air and water), which are governed by relatively simple equations but display extreme complexity. Before coming to UVic, David completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Colorado and his PhD in applied math at Columbia University, in New York, and then he was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Michigan.