Check out the upcoming events on our Calendar!

(There is also more info on our Calendar about these events!)



Check out our weekly meetings where we discuss upcoming events, have snacks and hang out!
Wednesdays 3-4pm in Vincent Hall 570


New bi-weekly tea!  
Fridays 1-2pm in Vincent Hall 213
Orientation BreakfastFri, Aug 25 (8-9:30am)Vincent 502
Student Orgs FairFri, Aug 31 (12-4pm)Lind Courtyard
Networking LunchFri, Sept 29 (12:10pm)Walter Library 101
Pizza PartyFri, Oct 5 (3:30pm)Vincent 120
Lunch with Gail LetzterThurs, Nov 16 (12pm)Vincent 120
Intro to Math Research SeminarFri, Dec 8 (3:30pm)Vincent 16
Lunch w/ Kathryn HessMon, Feb 5 (12:20pm)Vincent 120

Lunch with Kathryn Hess

Monday, Feb 5 at 12:20pm Vincent 120

Prof Karthryn Hess is visiting from the Laboratory for Topology and Neuroscience at Ecole Polytechnique Fedeale de Lausanne. Her visit is partially supported by the CSE Distinguished Scientists and Engineers from Underrepresented Groups Speakers Program.  She will speak in a special colloquium on Tuesday the 6th and WiM is organizing a lunch for women in the department on Mon, Feb 5th.  If you would like to join for lunch on the 5th, please RSVPby Feb 1 via e-mail ( and be sure to include any dietary restrictions.



WISE Medtronic Women Tell All Panel & Networking

Thursday, February 1, 2018, 5:30-7 p.m., reception following

Coffman Union, President’s Room

Make connections leading up to the CSE Spring Career Fair by networking with more than 20 scientists and engineers from Medtronic’s own WISE initiative! This is a unique opportunity to meet women working in research, testing, manufacturing, design, and business in one night! Medtronic hires a wide range of majors including electrical engineering, computer science, computer engineering, biomedical engineering, mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, materials science, and more. This evening will include speed networking, Q&A panel, and reception. Hot hors d’oeuvres will be provided.

RSVP here!



Intro to Math Research Seminar

Fri Dec 8 in Vin 16 from 3:30-5pm 

For most undergrads the idea of math research seems like a black box that they whose contents are a total mystery! The idea of this seminar is for young mathematicians to explain their research to undergrads in a fun, exciting and accessible way.  Lauren DeDieu, Katie Storey, Lindsey Hiltner and Sunita Chepuri will be giving short talks to provide an introduction to their for undergrads (see titles and absracts below). The talks will cover a variety of research interests with the aim of being comprehensible by and interesting to undergrads. All are welcome to attend! Food will be provided!


Lauren DeDieu

Title: Introduction to Graph Colouring

Abstract: Suppose you want to colour a map such that no two adjacent regions receive the same colour. What is the minimum number of colours that you would need? Are four colours always enough? It turns out that this famous problem was very hard to solve! In this talk, we will explore the four colour problem and in doing so introduce an area of mathematics called graph colouring. I will also give a brief introduction to harmonious graph colouring, which is the type of colouring I worked with during my masters.


Lindsey Hiltner

Title: Modeling Viral DNA Configurations Using the Theory of Liquid Crystals

Abstract: This project aims to study and understand the amazingly efficient packing of DNA within viruses. The structure of the DNA in such a confined environment is similar to that of a particular phase of liquid crystal, so we adapt existing models for that material to develop a state-of-the-art continuum model for the configuration of the DNA. We validate the model using experimental measurements.


Katie Storey

Title: Modeling cancer initiation in layered tissue

Abstract: Carcinogenesis, the transformation from healthy tissue to invasive cancer, is characterized by the progressive accumulation of mutations in a small group of founder cells. Driver mutations provide a fitness advantage to the affected cells, which leads to a clonal expansion of these mutated cells. We can describe this clonal expansion during the premalignant stages of cancer initiation using a spatial stochastic model. In this talk, I will describe this model, show how the rate of expansion depends on the structure of the underlying tissue, and discuss the clinical implications of the expanding premalignant clones.


Sunita Chepuri

Title: Total Positivity and Networks

Abstract: We will discuss the relationship between totally positive matrices and planar networks.  We will then explore Postnikov's results about the totally nonnegative Grassmannian and propose some further research questions.



Events from 2016-2017...


Grad School Application Workshop

Fri, April 29  in Vin 364 from 3:30-5pm 

Want to find out what is involved in the grad school application process?  Join us for a workshop where we will discuss how and where to apply.  Dr Paul Garrett (who have served on countless committees for the selection of incoming graduate students here at the UMN) will also provide insight on what criteria he uses in order to select graduate students at the UMN!  


Intro to Math Research Seminar

Wed Apr 29 in Vin 113 from 3:30-5pm 

For most undergrads the idea of math research seems like a black box that they whose contents are a total mystery! The idea of this seminar is for young mathematicians to explain their research to undergrads in a fun, exciting and accessible way.  Dr Christine Berkesch-Zamaere, Alice Nadeau and Madeline Handschy will be giving short talks to provide an introduction to their for undergrads (titles and abstracts below!). The talks will cover a variety of research interests with the aim of being comprehensible by and interesting to undergrads. All are welcome to attend! Food will be provided!


Alice Nadeau 

Title: Mathematical Tipping Points for a Better Understanding of the Effects of Climate Change


Madeline Handschy 

Title: The Ground State Energy of Spin Glasses or: Game of Thrones Goes to Hogwarts

Abstract: In this talk I'll introduce the Sherrington-Kirkpatrick spin glass, a model inspired by physics that describes a system of interacting spins. Then I will give a brief overview of the methods used to find the ground state energy of these models with an absolutely silly application to sorting Game of Thrones characters into Hogwarts houses. Finally, I'll talk about what I actually do when I do research - I try to apply these methods to more general spin glass models.


Movie Night

Friday, Feb 17
Join us for Good Will Hunting and popcorn!


Networking Lunch with Dr Burnell

Friday, Feb 10 12:15pm in Walter Library 101

Dr. Fiona Burnell is an assistant professor in School of Physics and Astronomy, and will be the speaker during the upcoming lunch and networking event for graduate and postdoctoral women in the College of Science and Engineering. RSVP


Study Session 

Wed, Feb 8 3:30-5pm in Vincent 311

Hang out, study for midterms and enjoy some snacks provided by WiM! All are welcome!

TA's and lecturers: Please announce this event to your students!


Hidden Figures

Tues, Feb 7th 6:45pm at St Anthony Main Theater

Join us for the 7:05 showing of Hidden Figures at St Anthony Main Theater.  Tickets are $5 at the door.  




WiM Intro to Math Research Seminar Friday, Dec 2, 2016 at 3:30 pm in Vincent 16

For most undergrads the idea of math research seems like a black box that they whose contents are a total mystery! The idea of this seminar is for young mathematicians to explain their research to undergrads in a fun, exciting and accessible way.  Kate Meyer, Julie Rana, Adrienne Sands and Natalie Sheils will be giving short talks to provide an introduction to math research for undergrads. The talks will cover a variety of research interests with the aim of being comprehensible by and interesting to undergrads. All are welcome to attend--sandwiches will be provided by Erbert and Gerberts!


Kate Meyer

Title: "Swimming against the current: measuring an attractor's strength via accessible regions"

Abstract: I am interested in methods for representing disturbance and quantifying resilience in models of systems ranging from cancer cells to ecosystems. When the model consists of ordinary differential equations, a continuous disturbance can be represented by a function g(t) that modifies the direction and magnitude of trajectories' velocities. If we start at an attracting equilibrium and want to get anywhere, the disturbance g(t) must work against the attracting forces in the system, much like a motorboat headed against a current. Given a limit on the size of g (e.g. the boat's maximum motor strength), which places can we access? Answering this question will be an important first step towards a theory of resilience to continuous disturbance. However, pinning down this "accessible region" has proven to be quite a puzzle in even simple examples. I will present such an example using the motor boat analogy, with no prior knowledge of differential equations required.


Adrienne Sands

Title: Hamiltonians and the Riemann Hypothesis

Abstract: The Riemann Hypothesis is one of the most important unsolved problems in mathematics. RH would make precise the amplitudes of the infinitely-many oscillating terms in the explicit formula for the distribution of primes. We give a historical account of prime distribution research and an extension of the P\'{o}lya-Hilbert approach to prove RH via operator theory. 


Natalie Sheils

Title: Partial Differential Equations and the Unified Transform Method

Abstract: Partial differential Equations (PDEs) are ubiquitous in applications including mathematical physics, mathematical biology, and engineering. Maybe you have already taken a PDEs course and maybe you haven’t.  Either way, this talk will convince you that many linear PDEs are hard to solve (even post PhD!).  Many of the classical methods fail when we look at equations that are higher than second order and figuring out what boundary conditions are necessary for a well-posed problem can be more difficult that it appears at first glance.  The Unified Transform Method (UTM) was introduced in the late 1990’s by A.S. Fokas and collaborators and offers a reliable way to solve any (piecewise) constant coefficient linear evolution PDE in one spatial dimension.  The method also provides a straightforward criteria for deciding which and how many boundary conditions are necessary.   Further, the UTM can be generalized to certain nonlinear problems and is useful in the creation of new numerical schemes.



Julie Rana



Each panel will take about 50 minutes around lunch on Mondays. Snacks will be provided. The rough themes will be:

 (1) How to Survive Your First Year in Grad School  (September 12 @12:20 in Vin 570)

The Panel: Katie S., Somyi, Adrienne and Katy W. 

Our first panel will be an opportunity for first years to ask upperclasswomen about their first year of grad school: What should you expect? What are they glad they did? What did they wish they did?  What was the most stressful/challenging part?


 (2) Applying for Fellowships and Grants  (October 3)

 (3) Oral Exams  (November 14)

 (4) #Adulting: How to be an adult in grad school (December 5)

 (5) Written Exams

 (6) Finding an Adviser

 (7) Research

 (8) Preparing for the Job Market

Midterm Study Session: Monday, October 3rd (4:30-6:30pm)


Undergrad Midterm Study Session is a chance for study groups to form.  We provide snacks and a classroom.  Possibly have grad students available as tutors.


Homecoming Friday, October 21 

5:00 to 6:30 p.m. (set-up by 4:30 p.m.)

Where:  U Recreation Center, North Gym

What:    Demos and interactive exhibits, buffet dinner, face painting and photo booth



Movie Night Thurs, Nov 10, 2016

Watch a math-related movie, each popcorn and have fun!



Grad School Workshop/How-to Spring 2017

A session about how to apply to grad school.  We will have speakers on the GRE (when it is offered, cost, subject tests etc), fellowships/funding, deadlines, letters of recommendation.  



Advisor Speed Dating  Spring 2017

Last year the panel on finding an academic advisor was very helpful.  However, it did not account for the facts that (1) actually talking to a potential advisor can be very intimidating and (2) choosing an advisor in not only about academic research but also about personal compatibility.


This year I thought I could add a ‘Speed Dating’ session in which faculty looking for students and students looking for advisors could have a pressure-free environment to break the ice and talk freely about their interests.  

The premise is similar to that of actual speed dating.  We would invite all faculty looking for students and have them sit at tables. All students looking for advisors would come cycle through for maybe timed 2-5 minutes asking faculty questions and vice versa.  I would probably have some spelled out for people just as a jumping off point (i.e. ’Describe your current research.'  ' What do you like most about your work?' 'How often do you like to meet with your students?' 'What do you expect from a student?' etc)

At the end there would be some extra time to chat and socialize.  


Open House Breakfast Spring 2017

Open House Breakfast gives potential female graduate students a chance to meet and women already in the program.  This is an opportunity for potential students to discuss and observe the department environment in a relaxed setting.



Past events...

Orientation Breakfast Wednesday, August 24, 2016 (8:45-10am)

Orientation Breakfast gives incoming female graduate students a chance to meet and women already in the program.  


MN State Fair Friday, August 26, 2016 (9am-9pm)

Our exhibit at the MN State Fair is focused on helping us appreciate math in our everyday lives. We have interactive activities, games, and tricks for fair-goers to learn about symmetry and pattern in mathematics. We will have spirographs set up for anyone to use to make fun drawings that people can take home!


UTA Lunch Tuesday, September 13 (12:20pm in Vin 213)

‘Lunch & Learn’ information session with UTC Aerospace Systems—bring a bag lunch and hear about possible internship opportunities with UTAS. 

UTC Aerospace Systems-SIS based in Burnsville, MN is giving a presentation about internship opportunities.  They will be attending the Career Fair but this would be a great opportunity to network and find out about the company beforehand! Please feel free to bring your lunch along.


Tea w/ Prof Layton Friday, September 16 (@3:30pm in Vin 120)

Prof Anita Layton is visiting from Duke University for the Applied and Computational Math Colloquium. Prof Layton's research focus' on applications of mathematics to biological systems, specifically, modeling renal physiology.  Tea and snacks will be provided!


Intel Lunch Wednesday, September 21

An informal lunch with Intel hiring managers and engineers who will be there to talk about their jobs and answer questions.


Trivia Night Thursday, September 29 (4-6pm in Vin 570)

In the past, department mixers have not really served much of their purpose of integrating, graduate, undergraduate and faculty members as well as we would hope.  To spice up the traditional Mesa Pizza Party mixer this year we will have a Trivia Night.

The rules will be simple.  Anyone can play by forming teams of up to 5.  However, no team can be made up of just graduate students or just undergraduate students.  I will read off themed questions (i.e. Math History, UMN Facts, Quick Puzzles, etc) and the team with the most correct answers wins.  

The idea is that everyone will meet at least one or two new people and form a more integrated community.


Medtronic Networking Lunch Fri, Sep 30 (12:15-1:15p Walter Library 101)

Kimberly Chaffin from Medtronic is speaking to Women in CSE.  Join for a free lunch and a chance to network with women in industry. RSVP