March 16, 2020
Ashleigh Craig, Data Scientist, U.S. Department of Defense
3:30–4:30 p.m., Stright 226
Abstract: Mathematics can be more than just a subject
in school; it can be a vast, ever-evolving career. The U.S. Government is the
number one single employer of mathematicians in the country, where they can
find careers in research, cyber security, cryptanalysis, data science and more.
This talk will give an introduction to the roles of mathematicians in
government and illuminate a few sample problems with particular applications in
machine learning and statistics.
Derek Hanely, PhD Student, Mathematics Department, University of Kentucky
3:30–4:30 p.m., Stright 229
Abstract: In this talk,
we will explore the foundations of discrete geometry through an approachable
discussion of polytopes—geometric objects that are the generalization of
polygons with which we are familiar from elementary geometry. We will motivate
two definitions for polytopes, discuss strategies for verifying that they are
equivalent, and define some basic polytopal properties. Then, we will define
lattice polytopes, and I will give you a taste of the beginning stages of one
of my current research projects. Namely, my advisor and I have devised a
construction (which we have coined “rounding”) for obtaining new lattice
polytopes from old ones. While this construction is very cool, my ultimate
goal, however, is to convince you that polytopes are polydope.
Panelists: Ashleigh Craig, Data Scientist, U.S. Department of Defense, Derek Hanely, Ph. D. Student, Mathematics Department, University of Kentucky, and Lisa Vatavuk, DevOps Engineer, Risk Focus.
6:30–7:30 p.m., HUB Susquehanna Room
Ashleigh Craig is a 2014 graduate of
IUP with degrees in Applied Mathematics and Economics. She is also a graduate
of the Robert E. Cook Honors College. After graduating from IUP, Ashleigh
attended Clemson University where she earned her Master’s in Mathematical Sciences
with a concentration in Operations Research. While earning her degrees,
Ashleigh completed internships with Goldman Sachs as a summer analyst, The Walt
Disney Company as a decision science intern and the U.S. Department of Defense
as an operations researcher. She is currently employed as a data scientist for
the U.S. Department of Defense.
Derek Hanely attended IUP
from 2012 to 2017, obtaining a BS in Mathematics, a BA in Economics, and a MS in
Applied Mathematics as part of the 4+1 accelerated Master's program. He completed a thesis
project in graph theory with professor Shelly Bouchat for his Master’s degree and worked as a
Graduate Assistant in the Applied Research Lab. Currently, Derek is a third-year
PhD student in the Mathematics Department at the University of Kentucky. He is working
with Dr. Benjamin Braun, and his research interests lie in
the realm of algebraic/geometric combinatorics. More specifically, Derek studies
properties of lattice polytopes, i.e., polytopes whose 0-dimensional faces
(called vertices) have integer coordinates.
Lisa Vatavuk is a DevOps
Engineer for Risk Focus, a company located in Pittsburgh's North Shore that
provides consulting in Financial Services as well as DevOps and Cloud
Infrastructure. She graduated from IUP in 2015
with a degree in Computer Science, Languages and Systems Track and a minor in
Mathematics. Her time at IUP gave her the foundation to build a career in
technology. In her current role she works with various companies to help
them migrate their on-premise infrastructure to the cloud. In the past she
worked in traditional infrastructure as a Linux Administrator, but has
made the switch to cloud technologies. She has her AWS Certified Solutions
Architect - Associate certification and is studying to obtain the professional
September 9, 2019
Dr. Stephanie FitchettData Scientist, Transamerica
Come and meet with Dr. Fitchett
Machine learning models are becoming ubiquitous, as are data science positions for those who build them. This talk will start with a general discussion of machine learning, then focus on some specific machine learning models under development for life insurance underwriting. We will discuss how one or two models work at a high level, some of the challenges in building useful models, and the safeguards that are in place to prevent unintended negative consequences. If there is interest, we can also talk about data science as a career path.
There are many opportunities in industry for students with strong statistical and mathematical backgrounds—not necessarily majors. This talk will share a handful of projects that have a statistical or mathematical component and are driven by science or business needs. The projects include tracking the effects of landfill contaminants on fish over time; detecting anomalies in “pattern or life” transportation routes using imagery from synthetic aperture radar; estimating the extent of music piracy among an internet provider’s customers; and modeling the spread of avian influenza in Southeast Asia.
Stephanie Fitchett holds a PhD in mathematics from the University of Nebraska and an MS in statistics from Colorado State University. Following a postdoctoral position, she spent 12 years as a faculty member at Florida Atlantic University’s Honors College and at the University of Northern Colorado. She has worked as a statistician in industry for the past seven years, first at Sandia National Laboratories, and later at Neptune, a small environmental consulting firm. In her current position as a data scientist at Transamerica, a life insurance company, she builds statistical models that leverage corporate and external data to facilitate underwriting of life insurance policies. Steph lives in Boulder, Colorado, and is an avid whitewater kayaker.