Math & Stats Events: 2023 - 2024

Math Table

Every Monday from 12:00 - 1:30 pm 
Usually held in Valentine Terrace Room A - downstairs in Valentine Hall 
Watch for emails for any changes

Math/Stat Table is an informal social time for students and faculty to get together and chat. There's no need to be majoring in Mathematics or Statistics; all are welcome. Please join us any time between noon and 1:30 pm.

Upcoming Statistics and Data Science talks:

The Amherst College Statistics and Data Science Colloquium is a series of talks for undergraduates.

All are welcome! The talks are intended to be  accessible to students who have taken several statistics courses, although they may also provide a preview of deeper waters. The colloquium talks are usually one hour long (50 + 10 minutes for questions). We usually have a 15 minute pre-talk small gathering (with snacks and refreshments) beforehand.

Tuesday, October 3rd,  Kaitlyn Cook - Smith College

Topic: Conditional power for cluster-randomized trials with interval-censored endpoints

Cluster-randomized trials (CRTs) of infectious disease progression often result in data where individuals belonging to the same contact networks and communities are more likely to be similar to one another. In addition, their infection status may be assessed only at intermittent study visits. The design, monitoring, and analysis of these CRTs must account for this data structure. I will discuss a flexible, simulation-based framework for conducting interim monitoring when outcomes are correlated and interval-censored and will show that this approach produces valid estimates of a trial’s ultimate probability of success (termed the conditional power) across a range of data-generating mechanisms and CRT design considerations. The framework also has high accuracy in classifying trials as futile based on available interim data. I will illustrate its use by applying it to the Botswana Combination Prevention Project, a cluster-randomized HIV prevention trial.

Upcoming Math Colloquium: 

The Amherst College Math Colloquium is a series of talks for undergraduates. More information about upcoming and past talks can be found at

All are welcome! The talks are intended to be mostly accessible to students who have taken calculus, although they may also provide a preview of deeper waters. The colloquium talks are usually one hour long (50 + 10 minutes for questions). We usually have a 30 minute pre-talk small gathering (with snacks and refreshments) beforehand. 
Tuesday, November 14 
Speaker: Geremías Polanco (Smith College)
4-5pm in SMUD 206; pre-talk gather at 3:45 in SMUD 208 
Topic: On Numbers… and Patterns… and Games… and Greed
Two sequences are complementary if their union gives the positive integers and their intersection is empty. For instance, the even and odd numbers are two complementary sequences. Similarly, the prime and composite numbers form another pair of complementary sequences.
Combinatorial Games are two player (usually alternating), deterministic games (no flipping coins, tossing dice, ...) and with perfect information (each player knows all information available about the state of the game. Nothing is hidden). 
On the other hand continued fractions are a special type of fractions that form under the following rules: "add a fraction to an existing fraction’s denominator."
In this talk we will present some old and new results about complementary sequences, see how some of they arise as winning strategies for combinatorial games and how these sequences relate to continued fractions and other mathematical objects like dynamical systems.

Speaker Bio: 
Geremías Polanco is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Smith College. He obtained his PhD in Mathematics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and his area of specialization is Number Theory. His research uses tools from combinatorics (counting techniques), tools from algebra and tools from analysis (a sophisticated version of calculus) to solve problems involving the integers, and he actively mentors students in this endeavor.

Putnam Sessions

The Putnam Competition is a national mathematics exam for undergraduate students.  
It is both a challenging and fun exam, in which you will practice your problem-solving and proof-writing skills. Most of the problems require basic calculus and algebra knowledge, so first-year students are encouraged to participate. 
Putnam sessions are an informal and friendly chance to meet other students, and talk about problem solving. Typically we will share some problems in advance to think about, we will have a focused discussion at the beginning of the session and then we will discuss some of the problems together and have students present  solutions.  
For more information contact: Prof. Ivan Contreras or Prof. Nathan Pflueger

Usually held in SMUD 206 (Dates/room subject to change)

Session 5: Thursday, October 5 (4:00-5:30 PM): Geometry 
Session 6:  Thursday, October 12 (4:00-5:30 PM): Matrices 
Session 7: Thursday, October 19 (4:00-5:30 PM) : Combinatorics 
Session 8: Thursday, October 26 (4:00-5:30 PM): Number Theory 
Session 9: Thursday, November 2 (4:00-5:30 PM): Probability 
Session 10: Tuesday, November 7 (4:00-5:30 PM): Algebra 
Session 11: Thursday,  November 16 (4:00-5:30 PM): Complex Numbers 
Session 12: Thursday,  November 29 (4:00-5:30 PM): Generating Functions 

Exam will be held Saturday, December 2, 2023 in SMUDD 206

A logo of a man coming out of a calculator that says Art Benjamin: Mathemagician

Art Benjamin: Mathemagician

Watch a video of Art Benjamin, mathematician and mathemagician, who preformed at the Lipton Lecture Hall in the Science Center on October 16, 2023. Please note: the video is restricted to logged in Amherst College students, faculty and staff.