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Series: Dissertation Defense

The curve complex of Harvey allows combinatorial representation of a surface mappingclass group by describing its action on simple closed curves. Similar complexes of spheres,free factors, and free splittings allow combinatorial representation of the automorphisms ofa free group. We consider a Birman exact sequence for combinatorial models of mappingclass groups and free group automorphisms. We apply this and other extension techniquesto compute the automorphism groups of several simplicial complexes associated with map-ping class groups and automorphisms of free groups.

Series: AMS Club Seminar

Inkscape is an powerful open-source drawing program suitable for making
figures for your math papers and lectures. In this talk I will discuss
some of the useful tricks and features that you can take advantage of in
this
software, as well as some things to avoid. This will be a live demonstration talk, please bring a laptop if you can.

Series: Dissertation Defense

We will present three results in percolation and sequence analysis. In the first part, we will briefly show an exponential concentration inequality for transversal fluctuation of directed last passage site percolation. In the the second part, we will dive into the power lower bounds for all the r-th central moments ($r\ge1$) of the last passage time of directed site perolcation on a thin box. In the last part, we will partially answer a conjecture raised by Bukh and Zhou that the minimal expected length of the longest common subsequences between two i.i.d. random permutations with arbitrary distribution on the symmetric group is obtained when the distribution is uniform and thus lower bounded by $c\sqrt{n}$ by showing that some distribution can be iteratively constructed such that it gives strictly smaller expectation than uniform distribution and a quick cubic root of $n$ lower bound will also be shown.

Series: Dissertation Defense

In this dissertation, we studied the Back and Forth Error Compensation and Correction (BFECC) method for linear hyperbolic PDE systems and nonlinear scalar conservation laws. We extend the BFECC method from scalar hyperbolic PDEs to linear hyperbolic PDE systems, and showed similar stability and accuracy improvement are still valid under modest assumptions on the systems. Motivated by this theoretical result, we propose BFECC schemes for the Maxwell's equations. On uniform orthogonal grids, the BFECC schemes are guaranteed to be second order accurate and have larger CFL numbers than that of the classical Yee scheme. On non-orthogonal and unstructured grids, we propose to use a simple least square local linear approximation scheme as the underlying scheme for the BFECC method. Numerical results showed the proposed schemes are stable and are second order accurate on non-orthogonal grids and for systems with variable coefficients. We also studied a conservative BFECC limiter that reduces spurious oscillations for numerical solutions of nonlinear scalar conservation laws. Numerical examples with the Burgers' equation and KdV equations are studied to demonstrate effectiveness of this limiter.

Series: Dissertation Defense

The study of the longest common subsequences (LCSs) of two random words is a classical problem in computer science and bioinformatics. A problem of particular probabilistic interest is to determine the limiting behavior of the expectation and variance of the length of the LCS as the length of the random words grows without bounds. This dissertation studies the problem using both Monte-Carlo simulation and theoretical analysis. The specific problems studied include estimating the growth order of the variance, LCS based hypothesis testing method for sequences similarity, theoretical upper bounds for the Chv\'atal-Sankoff constant of multiple sequences, and theoretical growth order of the variance when the two random words have asymmetric distributions.