Fields Notes 17:3 - Page 21

Distinguished Lecture Series in Statistical Sciences: Raymond Carroll ON OCT 4 AND 5, 2017 , Raymond James Carroll, professor of Statistics at Texas A&M University, gave two public lectures for the Distinguished Lectures Series in Statistical Sciences. Professor Carroll's many areas of methodological research cover a wide range of application fields, including radiation and nutritional epidemiology, molecular biology, genomics and many others. In his first lecture, Professor Carroll took the audience on a journey to understand how to measure dietary intakes in a population and how to relate such measures to mortality and chronic diseases. In animal experiments, different dietary patterns show that, for example, a fish oil enhanced diet is protective against colon cancer, DNA damage, deleterious 2016-2017 York-Fields Math Circle gene expression and more compared to a corn oil enhanced diet. In humans, the statistical questions are much more difficult, because it is impossible, in current practice, to measure an individual’s long-term average dietary intake across multiple foods and nutrients. This statistical issue, along with the media focus on dietary “magic bullets” has resulted in massive confusion, and sometimes silly conclusions. Professor Carroll emphasized that focusing on dietary patterns, instead of magic bullets, leads to far more robust statistical conclusions. In his second lecture, Professor Carroll discussed statistical methods for efficient analysis of case-control studies of gene- environment interactions using a retrospective likelihood framework that exploits the natural assumption of gene- environment independence in the underlying population. More than one hundred researchers and students attended the two lectures and the questions of diet, health, statistics, and mathematics lingered in the minds of audience members long after the lectures.  — Xin Gao in the area of number theory, real analysis, cryptography, graph theory, geometry, trigonometry, sequences and series, vectors and linear algebra, probability, advanced counting techniques and problem solving strategies. This year, the Math Circle was honored by a distinguished guest speaker, Professor Frank Sottile from the Department of Mathematics at Texas University, who spoke about “The Shape of Space”. The presentation focused on how mathematicians manage to make sense of higher- dimensional spaces and related this to the recent proof of the Poincare conjecture that won one of the Clay Institute’s Millennium Prizes. The York-Fields Math Circle is an outreach and enrichment program that brings together mathematicians and high school students from across the GTA. The Math Circle is headed by Dr. Varvara Nika, a York graduate, along with Dr. Corina Georgescu, a TCDSB high school teacher, and Stefana Penelea and Robert Jordan, graduate students in the MA for Mathematics Teachers program at York. Last year the York-Fields Math Circle attracted 40 Grade 11/12 students.Students explored several advanced topics From June 3rd to June 4th 2017, the York Math Circle team participated at the 2017 American Regions Mathematics League (ARML) competition in Pennsylvania, USA. This was the first time that York University sent their own team to the ARML competition. Although our team competed with only 13 students compared to the 15 that other teams had, we came 43rd among 140 teams. The strongest showing of our team was the power round questions in which our team scored 39 out 50. In the spirit of competition, the Math Circle students composed their own song, and wore red and white t-shirts.  — Varvara Nika 21