Knox College

Department of Mathematics

Department Colloquia

A public presentation is an enduring feature of our majors and our statistics minor. They help the student to focus on what is most important in their research. They also provide the researcher an opportunity to brag about their work.

In addition to these presentations, we are able to provide, throughout the year, presentations that explore aspects of Data Science, Mathematics, and Statistics. The following are several colloquia sponsored by the Department of Mathematics.

Here are the currently scheduled colloquia for the current and previous year.

Academic Year 2020–2021

Hao Li

Hao Li

Using neural networks to recognize handwritten digits and to approximate simple functions.

The problem we are going to solve is how to use neural networks to recognize handwritten digits. This presentation will focus on constructing the network and understanding the mathematical principles behind the network. The network will be implemented by Python code and through a little modification, such neural network can be used to approximate simple multivariable functions

  • Done in partial fulfillment of the Mathematics major.

Presentation Details:

    [f2f]
  • May 28, 2021 at 4:00pm
  • Room: SMC A-203 and Zoom
  • Advisor: Andrew Leahy
    Please contact the advisor for more information about this presentation.
  • Please download the flyer for more information.

Libby Winchester

Libby Winchester

Biases in the Great British Baking Show

In the weekly episodes of the Great British Baking Show (GBBS) there is a “technical challenge” round where the contestants’ final products are judged blind, and then ranked from worst to best. This research looks into how several cognitive biases play a role in the judging process, affecting the outcome of the challenge.
 If and when these biases are in effect, then the placement of the bake in the taste test affects its ranking. This information is important to recognize and notice how much cognitive biases play into people’s responses to various propositions, and how that might change the work of researchers and statisticians in the future.

  • Done in partial fulfillment of the Statistics minor.

Presentation Details:

    [f2f]
  • May 27, 2021 at 4:00pm
  • Room: SMC A-203 and Zoom
  • Advisor: Ole J. Forsberg
    Please contact the advisor for more information about this presentation.
  • Please download the flyer for more information.
  • Here is a quick video overview regarding this presentation.

Elliot Bainbridge

Elliot Bainbridge

Research into the use of advanced statistical models to forecast asset options prices

The focus of this research is to investigate the use of advanced statistical models, that have been developed during the 21 st century along with fast modern computer programming language, to create a model that accurately maps and forecasts market options prices. The forecasting of this model will provide vital information for the financer as to whether an option is under or overpriced, something that the BSM model does not allow. Throughout this research we will be developing our knowledge of options and their associated terminology, Python computer programming, advanced statistical modelling, and forecasting.

  • Done in partial fulfillment of an Honors Project in Economics.

Presentation Details:

    [f2f]
  • May 26, 2021 at 4:00pm
  • Room: SMC A-203 and Zoom
  • Advisor: Ole J. Forsberg
    Please contact the advisor for more information about this presentation.
  • Please download the flyer for more information.

Jason White

Jason White

Interdependency of Random Rates of Return

In this research, Jason investigates the independence assumption of Geometric Brownian Motion. He will share with us the various tests he conducted on a variety stocks throughout different years including the Chi-Square Independence Test, Student t distribution, and Runs test. There will also be a section investigating the stationarity of these rates of return based upon Autocorrelation Functions and Partial Autocorrelation Functions.

  • Done in partial fulfillment of the Financial Mathematics major.

Presentation Details:

    [zoom]
  • March 11, 2021 at 4:00pm
  • This will be held online using Zoom.
  • Advisor: Kevin Hastings
    Please contact the advisor for more information about this presentation.
  • Please download the flyer for more information.
  • Here is the poster prepared for this presentation.

Zoey Nguyen

Zoey Nguyen

Is There a Better Model for Predicting Stock's Rate of Return?

The research will be about testing to see whether stock's rate of return actually follows a normal distribution that a Geometric Brownian Motion assumes. By looking at many different stocks, we can see where normal distribution might fail and thus, propose other alternate distributions that might perform better. Then, I will be using three goodness of fit tests: Jacque-Bera, Kolmogorov-Smirnov, and Pearson's Chi Square to verify my findings.

  • Done in partial fulfillment of the Financial Mathematics major.

Presentation Details:

    [zoom]
  • March 11, 2021 at 4:00pm
  • This will be held online using Zoom.
  • Advisor: Kevin Hastings
    Please contact the advisor for more information about this presentation.
  • Please download the flyer for more information.
  • Here is a raw video of this presentation.

Elliot Bainbridge

Elliot Bainbridge

Forecasting Tesla's Opening Stock Price using Advanced Statistical Model Building Techniques

This research uses advanced statistical model building techniques to forecast the opening stock price of Tesla, Inc., on 2 November 2020. Modelling techniques used include: multivariate linear models, exponential smoothing methods, ARIMA modelling, and Vector Auto-Regressive (VAR) models. Each method provides different ways to forecast the price of Tesla on that day.
 Each model also gives some insight into stock prices. To determine which model was superior, the predicted and actual price of Tesla were compared. Surprising results arose. Come find out what they told us!

  • Done in partial fulfillment of the Statistics minor.

Presentation Details:

    [f2f]
  • February 25, 2021 at 4:00pm
  • Room: SMC A-204 and Zoom
  • Advisor: Ole J. Forsberg
    Please contact the advisor for more information about this presentation.
  • Please download the flyer for more information.

Joshua Schumacher

Joshua Schumacher

Introduction to Commodity Swaps, Interest Rate Swaps, and Currency Swaps

This presentation will focus on commodity swaps, interest rate swaps, currency swaps, and arbitrage pricing, reducing the confusing financial jargon, in a way more suitable for the average person to understand. We will also expand on commonly used financial terms, such as forward contracts and arbitrage.

  • Done in partial fulfillment of the Financial Mathematics major.

Presentation Details:

    [zoom]
  • February 17, 2021 at 4:00pm
  • This will be held online using Zoom.
  • Advisor: Kevin Hastings
    Please contact the advisor for more information about this presentation.
  • Please download the flyer for more information.

Ole J. Forsberg

Ole J. Forsberg

 Improving Electoral Estimates: Leveraging Available Information 

The United States elects its president with the Electoral College, a body of individuals elected by each state by the people of that state. This leads to some interesting results, especially when the national popular vote does not align with that of the Electoral College. Most tracking polls available to the people focus solely on the national vote, letting us know who is ahead and by how much… but only at the national level. It is the state vote that counts, however. 
 In this talk, I briefly explain my polling model in which I use a modified hierarchical time series model to estimate candidate support at the state level, thus allowing us to estimate the winner of the Electoral College over time. The results of the model align nicely with past elections. The model also allows us to discuss changes in support level over time and the likelihood of a Trump victory in 2020. 

  • Special presentation for the Statistics Program

Presentation Details:

    [zoom]
  • October 30, 2020 at 4:00pm
  • This will be held online using Zoom.
  • Please download the flyer for more information.