Aaron Abrams and Skip Garibaldi have received the 2011 Lester R. Ford Award from the Mathematical Association of America
news Published Date: 2011-08-29
Aaron Abrams and Skip Garibaldi, “Finding Good Bets in the Lottery, and Why You Shouldn’t Take Them”, American Mathematical Monthly, 117 (2010), no. 1, 3-26.

Lottery operators make money – lots of it apparently – so on average, players must lose money. But does this apply to rolling jackpots, where winnings can reach staggering amounts? (Rolling jackpots are those games in which prize money is rolled over from one game to the next when no one wins the jackpot.) Does there come a time when playing such a lottery makes a good bet? If so, when is that? And does that make playing a good investment?

After constructing a model of a rolling jackpot lottery, the authors of this paper consider these questions. They develop an analysis of rate of return, from which they draw their conclusions regarding bets. Two outstanding features of this work are the incorporation of concrete lotteries as examples and the mathematics (mostly elementary calculus) and statistics used. They do not end their analysis at bets however, but go on to explore the less familiar (to most readers) territory of investments. This necessitates considering risk. And so, economics and subsequently linear algebra get involved. This supports their conclusion that lotteries will almost never be good investments.

The subject matter, the mathematics used, the examples, and the conclusions, but especially the presentation of the material, all combine to make “Finding Good Bets” an exceptional article.

Pictured: Skip Garibaldi (right) receives the award from MAA President Paul Zorn.

This award-winning article can be read here without subscription.
ACM Special Interest Group on Information Retrieval (SIGIR) “Best Paper” Award
Published Date: 2011-08-08
This year's ACM Special Interest Group on Information Retrieval (SIGIR) annual conference best paper award was presented to Mikhail Ageev (Moscow State University), and Qi Guo, Dmitry Lagun, and Eugene Agichtein (Emory University), for their paper "Find It If You Can: A Game for Modeling Different Types of Web Search Success Using Interaction Data". The paper, written while Mikhail was visiting the IR Lab at Emory, proposes a principled formalization of different types of success for informational search, and it presents a scalable game-like infrastructure for crowdsourcing search behavior studies. The SIGIR annual conference is the premier conference in information retrieval. This year, the rate of acceptance for submitted papers was 19.8%. More details on the conference and award can be found on the SIGIR website:
PAlmetto Number Theory Series (PANTS) XVI meeting
Published Date: 2011-07-14
Emory University is hosting the PAlmetto Number Theory Series (PANTS) XVI conference in Atlanta, Georgia. The conference will take place September 10-11, 2011. The goal of the PANTS meetings is to provide an opportunity for number theorists in the Southeast, to hear about recent research in all areas of number theory, pure and applied. For more information, please click here
The Department will host The 15th International Conference on Random Structures and Algorithms, May 24 - 28.
Published Date: 2011-05-25
The Department of Mathematics and Computer Sciences is pleased to host this biennial international research meeting devoted to probabilistic methods in discrete mathematics, theoretical computer science and optimization. The purpose of the meeting is to provide a venue for these communities to explore the most recent theoretical developments and their applications.

More information can be found at the conference website:

Participants are encouraged to visit the site and to register now. We will be able to support some participants, due to the generous funding provided by Emory University, our co-hosts the Georgia Institute of Technology and Adam Mickiewicz University, and by the National Science Foundation.
Conference: Ramification in algebra and geometry, May 16-20
news Published Date: 2011-05-16
The Department will host the conference Ramification in Algebra and Geometry @ Emory (RAGE), May 16-20, 2011. This conference will bring together international experts from algebra, number theory, and algebraic geometry. More information can be found at the conference website.
New dual degree program in Computer Science!
Published Date: 2011-04-28
Emory and Agnes Scott have joined forces to launch a dual degree program for computer science majors. Agnes Scott students will be able to take classes in the department and fulfill the requirements of the BS in Computer Science. Read all about it at the Emory Report and at the Emory Wheel.
Evans/Hall Speaker Announced!
news Published Date: 2011-04-26
The Department of Mathematics and Computer Science is pleased to announce the 17th annual Evans/Hall Lecture and Award Ceremony on Tuesday, April 26 at 4pm in E208, Mathematics and Science Center, with reception following.

Our speaker this year will be Joshua M. Pollet of Michigan State University's Broad College of Business.

The Evans/Hall Lecture honors graduate and undergraduate students in the department and recognizes outstanding student accomplishments via the Trevor Evans Award, Deborah Jackson Award, Marshall Hall Award, and Departmental Awards.
Congratulations to Michelle Chu!
news Published Date: 2011-04-24
Michelle Chu has been awarded a Waldemar Trjitzinsky award from the American Mathematical Society. The award is given to support students majoring in Mathematics at a member institution of the AMS. Michelle is a senior at Emory. In addition to excelling in her coursework she is actively engaged in mathematics research. During the summer of 2010, Michelle conducted research in physical knot theory at the Williams College SMALL REU and is currently writing a paper based on her project. She is the recipient of a Confucius Institute Summer Scholarship from Beijing Normal University, and a Deborah Jackson Award in Mathematics and Computer Science from Emory University. She is an active member of the Gamma Phi Beta sorority and currently serves as president of the Reformed University Fellowship at Emory.
Ken Ono to give the American Mathematical Society's 2012 Erdos Memorial Lecture.
Published Date: 2011-02-21
Ken Ono, Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Mathematics, has been selected to give the American Mathematical Society's 2012 Erdos Memorial Lecture. The lecture is an annual invited address made possible by a fund created by Andrew Beal, a Dallas banker and mathematical enthusiast. It is named for the mathematician Paul Erdös. The Beal Prize Fund ($100,000) is being held by the AMS until it is awarded for a correct solution to the Beal Conjecture. In the meantime, the interest from this fund is used to support the Erdös Memorial Lecture. The Erdos Lectures are one the most prestigious endowed invited addresses hosted by the American Mathematical Society. Previous speakers include Ron Graham, John Conway, Hillel Furstenberg, Avi Wigderson, Bernd Sturmfels, Persi Diaconis, Bela Bollobas, Andrew Granville, W. Timothy Gowers and Jeffrey C. Lagarias.
The Department will host The Georgia Scientific Computing (GSC) Symposium on Saturday, February 12.
Published Date: 2011-02-12
The Department of Mathematics and Computer Science is pleased to host the 3rd edition of The Georgia Scientific Computing (GSC) Symposium on Saturday, February 12, 2011. The purpose of the GSC Symposium is to provide an opportunity for professors, postdocs, and graduate students in the Atlanta area to meet in an informal setting, to exchange ideas, and to highlight local scientific computing research. However, it is open to the whole research community.

The symposium will include seven invited talks, a poster session, and substantial time for interaction among the participants. The invited speakers include:

- Alfio Quarteroni, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Politecnico di Milano
- Jim Nagy, Emory University
- Allen Tannenbaum, Georgia Institute of Technology
- George Biros, Georgia Institute of Technology
- Hao-min Zhou, Georgia Institute of Technology
- Vladimir Bondarenko, Georgia State University
- Thiab Taha, University of Georgia

Further information, including a preliminary program and directions, can be found at: