Dear colleagues,
I am pleased to announce that Prof. PoShen Loh will visit GSU on March 24 & 25.
Dr. Loh is an Associate Professor at Carnegie Mellon University and the National Coach of
the USA International Mathematical Olympiad team (see his bio below).
On March 24, 23pm COE 796, he will give a colloquium.
On March 25, 34pm Urban 220, he will give a public lecture.
See the abstracts below.
Hope to see you then,
Yi Zhao
Professor
Department of Mathematics & Statistics
Georgia State University
Colloquium: March 24, Friday 23pm COE 796
Title: Directed paths: from Ramsey to Pseudorandomness
Starting from an innocent Ramseytheoretic question regarding directed paths in graphs,
we discover a series of rich and surprising connections that lead into the theory around a
fundamental result in Combinatorics:
Szemeredi's Regularity Lemma, which roughly states that every graph (no matter how
large) can be wellapproximated by a boundedcomplexity pseudorandom object.
Using these relationships, we prove that every coloring of the edges of the transitive N
vertex tournament using three colors contains a directed path of length at least sqrt(N)
e^{log^* N} which entirely avoids some color.
The unusual function log^* is the inverse function of the tower function (iterated
exponentiation).
Public lecture: March 25, Saturday 34pm Urban Life Building 220
Title: Math, Olympiads, and Creativity
SHORT DESCRIPTION: What is the value of learning Math? What is the value of math
competitions? In this talk, PoShen Loh, national coach of the USA International Math
Olympiad team, will share his philosophy on the "why" of Math and Olympiads, which
centers around the development of creativity. He will discuss practical ways to build these
skills, and share his own experience transitioning from highschool Olympiads, to academia,
and to guide entrepreneurship for transforming the education landscape.
INTENDED AUDIENCE: General. A wide variety of age ranges may find the content
interesting, from middleschool students considering math competitions, to parents, to
educators and entrepreneurs.
BIOGRAPHY: PoShen Loh is a math enthusiast and math evangelist. He is the national
coach of the USA International Mathematical Olympiad team, a math professor at Carnegie
Mellon University, and the founder of expii.com, an education technology startup providing
a free artificialintelligence math tutor on every smartphone.
As an academic, PoShen has numerous distinctions, from an International Mathematical
Olympiad silver medal to the National Science Foundation’s CAREER award. His research
considers a variety of questions that lie at the intersection of combinatorics (the study of
networks), probability theory, and computer science. As an educator, he led Carnegie
Mellon University’s Putnam team to multiple 2ndplace finishes among all North American
universities. His approach to coaching the national Math Olympiad team received significant
press coverage after the USA’s historic victories in
2015 and 2016. Through Expii, PoShen extends his activity to the global mainstream,
combining algorithms and crowdsourcing to deliver a free personalized learning system to
all. He has been covered by media outlets spanning The Atlantic, Wall Street Journal,
Washington Post, and China Newsweek.
PoShen received his undergraduate degree in mathematics from Caltech in 2004,
graduating first in his class. He received a master’s degree in mathematics from the
University of Cambridge in 2005, where he was supported by a Winston Churchill
Foundation Scholarship. He continued his studies at Princeton, where he completed his
Ph.D. in mathematics at the end of 2009, and has been on the faculty at Carnegie Mellon
University ever since.
