MIT: Independent Activities Period: IAP

IAP 2016 Activities by Sponsor - Mathematics

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5 Minute Math Madness

Asra Ali

Jan/20 Wed 06:00PM-08:00PM 4-159

Enrollment: If you'd like to sign up, please contact

Come join us for 5-minute Math Madness: a 1-2 hour activity where we get together and each give a 5 minute math-related talk. The talk can really be about anything -- a theorem, proof idea, construction, conjecture, etc -- any small bit of information you find really cool. It should be accessible and importantly, engaging! (This maybe shouldn't be so hard, you'll be talking about your favorite theorem!) This event is geared towards math undergrads.

If you'd like to sign up, or are interested in attending, please contact: Asra Ali at

Sponsor(s): Mathematics
Contact: Asra Ali, asra@MIT.EDU

Directed Reading Program in Mathematics

Slava Gerovitch

Date TBD Time TBD Location TBD

Enrollment: Limited: Advance sign-up required
Sign-up by 11/13
Prereq: at least two math courses at 18.100 level or higher.

For undergraduates wanting to learn mathematical topics through guided self-study. Application deadline for Jan 2016 IAP is: FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2015.

After you get admitted, we'll pair you up with a graduate student mentor with similar interests. You two will agree on a topic to explore, and find a suitable textbook.
During IAP, you and your mentor will meet regularly to discuss the material. This is directed reading - You have the opportunity to ask in-depth questions, discuss your impressions, and receive feedback.

For more information and application instructions, see

Sponsor(s): Mathematics
Contact: Slava Gerovitch, E18-420, 4-1459,

IAP math + knitting

Teal Guidici

Enrollment: complete form:
Limited to 8 participants
Attendance: Participants welcome at individual sessions

Looking to spread your love of mathematics through the soft power of hand knits? Wish you had squishy, approachable models of mathematical objects for classroom purposes? Or perhaps regular knitting patterns just aren’t…..mathy enough for you.

Whatever the case, these classes in mathematical knitting will help you achieve your mathy and/or knitterly dreams.

Session 1 will cover the construction of hyperbolic planes and Moebius strips, while in Session 2 we will discuss knitting patterns based on fractals, numerical sequences and, time permitting, space-filling curves.

These classes will be suitable for all levels of knitting experience, provided experience >0.

Update: Class is at capacity, but you can sign up to be included in email list for course materials

Please fill out the following form to register for the class or to be put on the wait list: . An email confirmation of enrollment or waitlist status will be sent in a moderately timely manner, as will a materials list. Instructor can be reached at if you have questions about either session.


Sponsor(s): Mathematics
Contact: Teal Guidici,

Things that won't lay flat

Jan/26 Tue 04:00PM-07:00PM 4-253

Things that won't lay flat: Moebius strips and hyperbolic planes. Tired of knitting scarves with two sides? Longing for your knitting to break free from Euclidean constraints? Or just ready for a knitting challenge?
Then this knitting class is for you! We'll cover the basics of knitting Moebius strips and hyperbolic planes. Additionally we'll discuss how stitch patterns can be adapted to yield a non-Euclidean surface.

Color and nothingness

Jan/28 Thu 04:00PM-07:00PM 4-253

Color and nothingness: Mandelbrot, Fibonacci, Peano. Have a passion for lace, but bored with knitting feathers, fans or flowers? Is your color work lacking self-similarity? In this class we'll look at patterns based on the Fibonacci sequence and Sierpinski's triangle. We'll also discuss how to use color work and lace knitting techniques to
create a pattern based on a fractal, numerical series or space filling curve.

Integration Bee

Samuel Elder

Enrollment: Unlimited: No advance sign-up
Attendance: Contestants must qualify: see Tuesday Jan. 19
Prereq: need to pass the qualifying test on 1/19 to enter the bee

See individual session descriptions below.

Sponsor(s): Mathematics
Contact: Samuel Elder,

Integration Bee Qualifying Testing

Jan/19 Tue 04:00PM-06:00PM 4-145

Stop by at any point during the session, for a quick test of your single variable integration skills. Top scorers qualify for the Integration Bee. No knowledge beyond 18.01 necessary.                                                               


Integration Bee

Jan/21 Thu 06:30PM-09:00PM 32-123

No enrollment limit. No advance sign up (but contestants must qualify, see Tuesday, Jan. 19). Come watch your fellow students match wits and single variable integration skills for prizes and the title of "Grand Integrator".          




Math mini-talk

Eva Belmont

Jan/14 Thu 12:00PM-01:00PM 4-145

Enrollment: Unlimited: Advance sign-up required

Give a five-minute talk about your favorite theorem, and hear about other people's favorite theorems. The primary audience is graduate students in math, but others are welcome too. Feel free to come without giving a mini-talk, but if you want to speak, please contact

Sponsor(s): Mathematics
Contact: Eva Belmont,

Mathematics Department Music Recital

Alexander Moll

Jan/25 Mon 02:00PM-04:00PM Killian Hall

Enrollment: Contact Alexander Moll (

This annual concert gives those in the mathematics community, together with family and friends, a chance to perform for each other. Come to play or listen.

Sponsor(s): Mathematics
Contact: Alexander Moll,

Mathematics of Big Data: Spreadsheets, Databases, Matrices, and Graphs

Jeremy Kepner, Fellow

Enrollment: Limited: Advance sign-up required
Sign-up by 12/23
Limited to 10 participants
Attendance: Participants must attend all sessions
Prereq: Linear Algebra

"Big Data" describes a new era in the digital age where the volume, velocity, and variety of data created across a wide range of fields (e.g., internet search, healthcare, finance, social media, defense, ...)  is increasing at a rate well beyond our ability to analyze the data.  Many technologies (e.g., spreadsheets, databases, graphs, linear algebra, ...) have been developed to address these challenges.  The common theme amongst these technologies is the need to store and operate on data as whole collections instead of as individual data elements.  This class describes the common mathematical foundation of these data collections (associative arrays) that apply across a wide range of applications and technologies.  Associative arrays unify and simplify Big Data leading to rapid solutions to Big Data volume, velocity, and variety problems.  Understanding these mathematical foundations allows the student to see past the differences that lie on the surface of Big Data applications and technologies and leverage their core mathematical similarities to solve the hardest Big Data challenges.


NOTE: This class is currently full.

Sponsor(s): Mathematics
Contact: Jeremy Kepner, 2nd Floor, 300 Tech Sq, 781 981-3108, KEPNER@LL.MIT.EDU

Four Perspectives on Data

Jan/05 Tue 11:00AM-01:30PM 2nd Flr 300 Tech Sq, Pizza will be provided

Preface and Chapter 1 of "Mathematics of Big Data" text

Jeremy Kepner - Fellow

D4M: A New Tool for Big Data

Jan/12 Tue 11:00AM-01:30PM 2nd Flr 300 Tech Sq, Pizza will be provided

Chapter 2 and Chapter 3 of "Mathematics of Big Data" text. Introduction to D4M (

Jeremy Kepner - Fellow

Manipulation Big Data

Jan/19 Tue 11:00AM-01:30PM 2nd Flr 300 Tech Sq, Pizza will be provided

Chapters 4, 5, 6, 7 of "Mathematics of Big Data" text.

Jeremy Kepner - Fellow

Mathematical Foundations of Big Data

Jan/26 Tue 11:00AM-01:30PM 2nd Flr, 300 Tech Sq, Pizza will be provided

Student presentations

Chapters 8, 9 of "Mathematics of Big Data"

Jeremy Kepner - Fellow

The Fundamentals of Reservoir Simulation

Ali H. Dogru, Visiting Scientist

Jan/04 Mon 10:00AM-12:00PM 4-159
Jan/06 Wed 10:00AM-12:00PM 4-159
Jan/08 Fri 10:00AM-12:00PM 4-159
Jan/11 Mon 10:00AM-12:00PM 4-159
Jan/13 Wed 10:00AM-12:00PM 4-159
Jan/15 Fri 10:00AM-12:00PM 4-159
Jan/20 Wed 10:00AM-12:00PM 4-159
Jan/22 Fri 10:00AM-12:00PM 4-159
Jan/25 Mon 10:00AM-12:00PM 4-159
Jan/27 Wed 10:00AM-12:00PM 4-159

Enrollment: Limited: First come, first served (no advance sign-up)
Limited to 40 participants
Attendance: Participants must attend all sessions

Reservoir simulators are essential tools in the oil and gas industry.  They are used to estimate hydrocarbon reserves, predict future production (income), and estimate the size of the separation plants (cost).  They are composed of a set of nonlinear coupled partial differential equations describing multi-phase, multi-component fluid flow in porous media and associated pipeline networks. 

This course will describe the relevant PDEs in a reservoir simulator, the thermodynamic constraints, and the rock-fluid interaction relationships.  It will also explain descretizing the equations to yield a large linear system, and the use of sparse linear solvers to solve the system.  The course will be hands-on, and students are expected to write computer programs and discuss the findings in class.  Students will learn how to write a three dimensional multi-phase, multi-component reservoir simulator with production and injection wells.

Ali H. Dogru is a Fellow and the Chief Technologist of the Computational Modeling Technology Group for Saudi Aramco.  He has 38 years of international experience in both industry and academia.  He is a Visiting Scientist in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences at MIT.  He has 12 US patents and has received SPE’s John Franklin Carll Award, SPE’s Reservoir Description and Dynamics Award, and World Oil’s Innovative Thinker Awards.


Sponsor(s): Mathematics
Contact: Michael Szulczewski,