Matching Items (162)

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Supplementing Traditional Symbolic Logic Instruction with Historical Background and Real-World Applications

Description

A thorough understanding of the key concepts of logic is critical for student success. Logic is often not explicitly taught as its own subject in modern curriculums, which results in

A thorough understanding of the key concepts of logic is critical for student success. Logic is often not explicitly taught as its own subject in modern curriculums, which results in misconceptions among students as to what comprises logical reasoning. In addition, current standardized testing schemes often promote teaching styles which emphasize students' abilities to memorize set problem-solving methods over their capacities to reason abstractly and creatively. These phenomena, in tandem with halting progress in United States education compared to other developed nations, suggest that implementing logic courses into public schools and universities can better prepare students for professional careers and beyond. In particular, logic is essential for mathematics students as they transition from calculation-based courses to theoretical, proof-based classes. Many students find this adjustment difficult, and existing university-level courses which emphasize the technical aspects of symbolic logic do not fully bridge the gap between these two different approaches to mathematics. As a step towards resolving this problem, this project proposes a logic course which integrates historical, technical, and interdisciplinary investigations to present logic as a robust and meaningful subject warranting independent study. This course is designed with mathematics students in mind, with particular stresses on different formulations of deductively valid proof schemes. Additionally, this class can either be taught before existing logic classes in an effort to gradually expose students to logic over an extended period of time, or it can replace current logic courses as a more holistic introduction to the subject. The first section of the course investigates historical developments in studies of argumentation and logic throughout different civilizations; specifically, the works of ancient China, ancient India, ancient Greece, medieval Europe, and modernity are investigated. Along the way, several important themes are highlighted within appropriate historical contexts; these are often presented in an ad hoc way in courses emphasizing technical features of symbolic logic. After the motivations for modern symbolic logic are established, the key technical features of symbolic logic are presented, including: logical connectives, truth tables, logical equivalence, derivations, predicates, and quantifiers. Potential obstacles in students' understandings of these ideas are anticipated, and resolution methods are proposed. Finally, examples of how ideas of symbolic logic are manifested in many modern disciplines are presented. In particular, key concepts in game theory, computer science, biology, grammar, and mathematics are reformulated in the context of symbolic logic. By combining the three perspectives of historical context, technical aspects, and practical applications of symbolic logic, this course will ideally make logic a more meaningful and accessible subject for students.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018-05

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Mathematical Modeling: Lights Out!

Description

Lights Out is a puzzle game where the goal is to turn off all the lights on a nxn board starting from a random configuration. In order to find the

Lights Out is a puzzle game where the goal is to turn off all the lights on a nxn board starting from a random configuration. In order to find the solution of a configuration, the game is constructed using a matrix basis in the span of the field Z mod 2.This the game can be modeled by the system Ap=s which will be the center of the investigation when determining the solvability for any n×n board since A is not always invertable leading to some interesting cases. The goal of this thesis was to construct a model that will allow the player to solve for the pushes to attain the zero-state for an nxn system. Constructing the model gave a procedure that will allow to solve the puzzle game. The procedure presented here first uses a simple clearing technique (valid for any board size) to turn off all the lights except in the last row, which we call the standard-clear. The heart of the technique, is to give a way to use the information about which lights remain lit in the last row to determine which switches in the first row need to be pushed before the standard-clear. This part of the solution algorithm we call the first row adjustment, and it depends heavily on the specific board size n of the problem. Finally, after these first row pushes are made, the standard clear will now turn off all the lights including (seemingly magically) the last row. Thus the solution to the Lights Out puzzle of a given size is reduced to finding a first row adjustment for that size. (Please refer to the actual thesis for the full abstract)

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015-05

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Post-Optimization of Permutation Coverings

Description

Covering subsequences with sets of permutations arises in many applications, including event-sequence testing. Given a set of subsequences to cover, one is often interested in knowing the fewest number of

Covering subsequences with sets of permutations arises in many applications, including event-sequence testing. Given a set of subsequences to cover, one is often interested in knowing the fewest number of permutations required to cover each subsequence, and in finding an explicit construction of such a set of permutations that has size close to or equal to the minimum possible. The construction of such permutation coverings has proven to be computationally difficult. While many examples for permutations of small length have been found, and strong asymptotic behavior is known, there are few explicit constructions for permutations of intermediate lengths. Most of these are generated from scratch using greedy algorithms. We explore a different approach here. Starting with a set of permutations with the desired coverage properties, we compute local changes to individual permutations that retain the total coverage of the set. By choosing these local changes so as to make one permutation less "essential" in maintaining the coverage of the set, our method attempts to make a permutation completely non-essential, so it can be removed without sacrificing total coverage. We develop a post-optimization method to do this and present results on sequence covering arrays and other types of permutation covering problems demonstrating that it is surprisingly effective.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014-12

Application of Individual Based Models in Modeding Brain Tumor

Description

Cancer modeling has brought a lot of attention in recent years. It had been proven to be a difficult task to model the behavior of cancer cells, since little about

Cancer modeling has brought a lot of attention in recent years. It had been proven to be a difficult task to model the behavior of cancer cells, since little about the "rules" a cell follows has been known. Existing models for cancer cells can be generalized into two categories: macroscopic models which studies the tumor structure as a whole, and microscopic models which focus on the behavior of individual cells. Both modeling strategies strive the same goal of creating a model that can be validated with experimental data, and is reliable for predicting tumor growth. In order to achieve this goal, models must be developed based on certain rules that tumor structures follow. This paper will introduce how such rules can be implemented in a mathematical model, with the example of individual based modeling.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-12

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A Numerical and Analytical Study of Wave Reflection and Transmission across the Tropopause

Description

A numerical study of wave-induced momentum transport across the tropopause in the presence of a stably stratified thin inversion layer is presented and discussed. This layer consists of a shar

A numerical study of wave-induced momentum transport across the tropopause in the presence of a stably stratified thin inversion layer is presented and discussed. This layer consists of a sharp increase in static stability within the tropopause. The wave propagation is modeled by numerically solving the Taylor-Goldstein equation, which governs the dynamics of internal waves in stably stratified shear flows. The waves are forced by a flow over a bell shaped mountain placed at the lower boundary of the domain. A perfectly radiating condition based on the group velocity of mountain waves is imposed at the top to avoid artificial wave reflection. A validation for the numerical method through comparisons with the corresponding analytical solutions will be provided. Then, the method is applied to more realistic profiles of the stability to study the impact of these profiles on wave propagation through the tropopause.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017-05

Reproductive Cheating in Harvester Ants - An Agent Based Model

Description

Pogonomyrmex californicus (a species of harvester ant) colonies typically have anywhere from one to five queens. A queen can control the ratio of female to male offspring she produces, field

Pogonomyrmex californicus (a species of harvester ant) colonies typically have anywhere from one to five queens. A queen can control the ratio of female to male offspring she produces, field research indicating that this ratio is genetically hardwired and does not change over time relative to other queens. Further, a queen has an individual reproductive advantage if she has a small reproductive ratio. A colony, however, has a reproductive advantage if it has queens with large ratios, as these queens produce many female workers to further colony success. We have developed an agent-based model to analyze the "cheating" phenotype observed in field research, in which queens extend their lifespans by producing disproportionately many male offspring. The model generates phenotypes and simulates years of reproductive cycles. The results allow us to examine the surviving phenotypes and determine conditions under which a cheating phenotype has an evolutionary advantage. Conditions generating a bimodal steady state solution would indicate a cheating phenotype's ability to invade a cooperative population.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017-05

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Collaborative Computation in Self-Organizing Particle Systems

Description

Many forms of programmable matter have been proposed for various tasks. We use an abstract model of self-organizing particle systems for programmable matter which could be used for a variety

Many forms of programmable matter have been proposed for various tasks. We use an abstract model of self-organizing particle systems for programmable matter which could be used for a variety of applications, including smart paint and coating materials for engineering or programmable cells for medical uses. Previous research using this model has focused on shape formation and other spatial configuration problems, including line formation, compression, and coating. In this work we study foundational computational tasks that exceed the capabilities of the individual constant memory particles described by the model. These tasks represent new ways to use these self-organizing systems, which, in conjunction with previous shape and configuration work, make the systems useful for a wider variety of tasks. We present an implementation of a counter using a line of particles, which makes it possible for the line of particles to count to and store values much larger than their individual capacities. We then present an algorithm that takes a matrix and a vector as input and then sets up and uses a rectangular block of particles to compute the matrix-vector multiplication. This setup also utilizes the counter implementation to store the resulting vector from the matrix-vector multiplication. Operations such as counting and matrix multiplication can leverage the distributed and dynamic nature of the self-organizing system to be more efficient and adaptable than on traditional linear computing hardware. Such computational tools also give the systems more power to make complex decisions when adapting to new situations or to analyze the data they collect, reducing reliance on a central controller for setup and output processing. Finally, we demonstrate an application of similar types of computations with self-organizing systems to image processing, with an implementation of an image edge detection algorithm.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-12

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The Mathematical Successes and Failures of Students in an Introductory Physics Course

Description

A working knowledge of mathematics is a vital requirement for introductory university physics courses. However, there is mounting evidence which shows that many incoming introductory physics students do not have

A working knowledge of mathematics is a vital requirement for introductory university physics courses. However, there is mounting evidence which shows that many incoming introductory physics students do not have the necessary mathematical ability to succeed in physics. The investigation reported in this thesis used preinstruction diagnostics and interviews to examine this problem in depth. It was found that in some cases, over 75% of students could not solve the most basic mathematics problems. We asked questions involving right triangles, vector addition, vector direction, systems of equations, and arithmetic, to give a few examples. The correct response rates were typically between 25% and 75%, which is worrying, because these problems are far simpler than the typical problem encountered in an introductory quantitative physics course. This thesis uncovered a few common problem solving strategies that were not particularly effective. When solving trigonometry problems, 13% of students wrote down the mnemonic "SOH CAH TOA," but a chi-squared test revealed that this was not a statistically significant factor in getting the correct answer, and was actually detrimental in certain situations. Also, about 50% of students used a tip-to-tail method to add vectors. But there is evidence to suggest that this method is not as effective as using components. There are also a number of problem solving strategies that successful students use to solve mathematics problems. Using the components of a vector increases student success when adding vectors and examining their direction. Preliminary evidence also suggests that repetitive trigonometry practice may be the best way to improve student performance on trigonometry problems. In addition, teaching students to use a wide variety of algebraic techniques like the distributive property may help them from getting stuck when working through problems. Finally, evidence suggests that checking work could eliminate up to a third of student errors.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-12

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Asymptotic Stability of Biharmonic Shallow Water Equations

Description

The dissipative shallow-water equations (SWE) possess both real-world application and extensive analysis in theoretical partial differential equations. This analysis is dominated by modeling the dissipation as diffusion, with its mathematical

The dissipative shallow-water equations (SWE) possess both real-world application and extensive analysis in theoretical partial differential equations. This analysis is dominated by modeling the dissipation as diffusion, with its mathematical representation being the Laplacian. However, the usage of the biharmonic as a dissipative operator by oceanographers and atmospheric scientists and its underwhelming amount of analysis indicates a gap in SWE theory. In order to provide rigorous mathematical justification for the utilization of these equations in simulations with real-world implications, we extend an energy method utilized by Matsumura and Nishida for initial value problems relating to the equations of motion for compressible, vsicous, heat-conductive fluids ([6], [7]) and applied by Kloeden to the diffusive SWE ([4]) to prove global time existence of classical solutions to the biharmonic SWE. In particular, we develop appropriate a priori growth estimates that allow one to extend the solution's temporal existence infinitely under sufficient constraints on initial data and external forcing, resulting in convergence to steady-state.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017-05

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Statistical Properties of Coherent Structures in Two Dimensional Turbulence

Description

Coherent vortices are ubiquitous structures in natural flows that affect mixing and transport of substances and momentum/energy. Being able to detect these coherent structures is important for pollutant mitigation, ecological

Coherent vortices are ubiquitous structures in natural flows that affect mixing and transport of substances and momentum/energy. Being able to detect these coherent structures is important for pollutant mitigation, ecological conservation and many other aspects. In recent years, mathematical criteria and algorithms have been developed to extract these coherent structures in turbulent flows. In this study, we will apply these tools to extract important coherent structures and analyze their statistical properties as well as their implications on kinematics and dynamics of the flow. Such information will aide representation of small-scale nonlinear processes that large-scale models of natural processes may not be able to resolve.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018-05