CECM Computational Math Day 2024

Date: Thursday May 2, 2024

Location: Math West WMC 2800-2830

Webpage: https://www.cecm.sfu.ca/~nbruin/compday/

Registration: The event is free but registration is required. Please register by April 18 by filling out THIS SURVEY.

Organizer/contact: Nils Bruin, nbruin@sfu.ca

Description: This event consists of several presentations and tutorials that will help you to be more efficient and productive in your mathematical research.

Modern mathematical research uses computational tools in many ways: You use computers to typeset your results in the form of an article, report, poster, or presentation slides. You will also use computers to archive and keep track of your work and to share it with your collaborators and supervisor. Furthermore, there are various advanced (and some experimental!) software packages that can do advanced and complicated computations for you, in a way similar to how you used a graphing calculator for basic problems in high school. This event consists of several presentations and tutorials that show you some of these tools and how to use them. You will also have opportunities to try them yourself.

Possible Presentations and tutorials

The exact offerings and schedule will be tuned closer to the event, with input from the participants. The proposed tutorials below are preliminary. They may be changed or cancelled depending on interest.

Jack of all trades: using Mathematica to integrate analytical, numerical, and simulation-based approaches by Ailene McPherson
Is there one program to rule them all? No, but when it comes to deciding whether you need a hammer or a screwdriver, why not pick the multi-tool? This introduction to Matheamtica will show how this powerful program can be used to bring together analytical, numerical, and simulation-based approaches to address problems in applied mathematics. Using the logistic model of population growth and the Lotka-Volterra model of predator-prey dynamics as a basis, we will examine how having a wide variety of methods at our fingertips is essential for drawing robust biological conclusions. Attendees are encouraged but not required to install Wolfram Notebook Player for the tutorial.

Computing in Cafes: using remote computing tools to help make your programming life more flexible by Amarpreet Rattan
Do you find yourself often running programs and computing when on the go? Perhaps you are travelling, or you are simply working in a cafe or library. In any case, such fun and flexible computing environments have their drawbacks. For example, you may have access to a more powerful computer elsewhere that you would prefer to use except for the lack of flexibility. Or, when computing on the go, you may face interruption issues (you need to sleep your laptop until you are near a long term stable power source). One solution to these issues is to run programs *remotely*. In this presentation, I will explain how to use simple tools like a terminal, ssh, screen and others to allow you to do your computing more flexibly when you are on the go.

How to make a prize-winning poster by Jane MacDonald
Listing an award-winning poster in your CV can impressively enhance your professional profile, as it showcases your ability to present complex ideas in a compelling, accessible, and stand-alone format. This communication skill is highly valued in industry and academic positions alike. In this workshop, we explore the essential ingredients to crafting an award-winning poster, offering insider insights from a past judge.

Visual aids in Maple for teaching Calculus, Linear Algebra and DEs by Michael Monagan
Maple is a general purpose mathematical software package. I'd like to first give an introduction to show you how to calculate integrals, evaluate sums, solve systems of equations, calculate eigenvalues and eigenvectors, and solve differential equations. For the second part of the tutorial I'd like to show you how to use Maple to create good visuals, including 2D and 3D parametric plots, plots of solutions of DEs, eigenvector plots, and animations. SFU has a site license for Maple. Faculty, staff and graduate students can get a free copy.

Cython for quickly and easily making your Python code fast by Nils Bruin
Python is now a ubiquitous language in science and research and is also very suitable for mathematical applications, as for instance the computer algebra system SageMath shows. Sadly, Python also has a reputation of being slow. Cython addresses this issue by letting you smoothly and easily adapt your code from plain Python to optimized C-code, while very easily interfacing with Python code and requiring a minimum of boilerplate. I will show you the process using a worked examples and give pointers on how to start using Cython productively yourself.

Introduction to AnyLogic simulation modelling platform by Sandy Rutherford
AnyLogic is a simulation modelling platform for discrete event, agent-based, and deterministic models. It is widely used in many industries and fields, including healthcare, transportation, and supply chains. In this tutorial you will learn how to build a discrete event simulation of a stochastic (random) model. We will begin with simple queueing theory models and move on to models of patient flow in a hospital. This will be a hands-on tutorial in which students will build models themselves on their laptop using the Personal Learning Edition of AnyLogic, which is a free download. AnyLogic has a graphical user interface that allows you to quickly build and experiment with models.

Practical Data Science in R: From Data Management to Dynamic Reporting by Shab Molan
In this interactive, 2-hour workshop, participants will be immersed in the practical aspects of data science using the R programming environment, focusing on skills crucial for managing, visualizing, and reporting data effectively. The session begins with an exploration of data import and export techniques, teaching attendees how to seamlessly work with data from diverse sources such as CSV files, Excel spreadsheets, and SQL databases.
Building on this, we delve into data manipulation using the 'dplyr' package. Attendees will learn to select, filter, summarize, and transform data, utilizing the package’s syntax to write clean, readable code.
Visual data storytelling will be a major focus, with 'ggplot2' at the forefront. This segment aims to teach participants the principles of aesthetic mappings and how to leverage 'ggplot2' to create insightful visualizations. From histograms and scatter plots to line charts and boxplots, attendees will gain the skills to convey complex data narratives through graphics, including customization techniques for themes, labels, and publication-quality outputs.
The workshop will be dedicated to dynamic reporting with R Markdown. Participants will learn how to create comprehensive reports that blend code, results, and narrative in a single document. By integrating LaTeX, we will demonstrate how to incorporate mathematical notation, enhancing the report's clarity and expressiveness, particularly valuable for academic and research-focused presentations.
Designed for an audience ranging from beginners to intermediate R users, this workshop aspires to equip students with a comprehensive toolkit for data analysis and visualization. Through hands-on exercises and real-world examples, participants will leave with the confidence to apply these techniques in their academic and professional projects, enhancing their data science capabilities within the R ecosystem.

If there is sufficient interest we may schedule an install fest where people can help each other getting software installed and working on their own machines.


Time WMC 2810 WMC 2820 WMC 2830
9:30-10:30 Visual aids in Maple Computing in Cafés
10:30-11:00 Coffee
11:00-12:00 Introduction to AnyLogic simulation software How to make a prize winning poster
12:00-12:45 Lunch
12:45-13:30 Install Fest
13:30-14:30 Practical data science in R Mathematica
14:30-15:30 Cython

Install Fest: Bring your own laptop and get help from other participants to get mathematical software installed on your own computer. Results not guaranteed, but we'll try and help you.