Wavelets, The Manhattan Project and Mark Twain Topics of the Mount Union College Faculty Forum

April 06, 2010

Mount Union College's annual Faculty Forum, held Tuesday, March 27 on campus, allowed three professors ' two from Mount Union and one from Ashland University ' to present the research they have been pursuing.

Dr. Gerry Wuchter

Mount Union faculty members Dr. Gerry Wuchter, associate professor of mathematics and Dr. Clark Archer, associate professor of computer science and information systems, as well as Dr. David Foster, assistant professor of political science at Ashland University, were this years featured speakers.

Wuchter elaborated on Wavelets: The Real 'New Math.' He said that wavelets are a newer concept in mathematics.

The idea of wavelets first came about through the FBI. In the 1990s, the FBI was looking for a way to consolidate finger print images, but still tell the differences between the finger prints.

Wuchter explained Haar and Daub wavelets in relation to the compression of music files into Mp3 files; but also explained the benefits of the study of wavelets to geology, cardiology, neurology and radiology.

'You have the real world and the wavelet world,' he said. 'You can draw stick-like figures in wavelet world and let a computer do the rest.' This is how Pixar and Disney now create movies.

Archer has been researching The Manhattan Project, which began when President Franklin Roosevelt launched the major initiative to create nuclear weapons in order to win World War II.

Los Alamos, NM was the most famous site to test these nuclear weapons.

'When the bomb exploded it took sand and fused it together to form Trinite,' said Archer as he showed a picture of Trinite from his recent trip to Los Alamos.

Archer also said that visitors at Los Alamos are advised to stay no longer than two hours due to the radiation that is still present in that area.

Foster discussed presented The Critical Reflection on the American Character in Mark Twain's 'Connecticut Yankee.'

Connecticut Yankee is the story of a man that was taken from 19th century Camelot to the 6th century. While in the 6th century the Yankee was celebrated and praised for his innovations, which he had learned through the progress of technology through the centuries. Once his reputation was secured, the Yankee was sent back to 19th century.

'The Yankee undermined self denial by giving pleasure of personal desires,' said Foster. 'His first goal was to create comfort.' According to Foster, this was proven through the Yankee's trickery to convince the monks to go against their beliefs and bathe.

Foster offered an attempt to explain the ways the Yankee dealt with his situations. 'Whereas the progressive Yankee lives for the future, the nostalgic Yankee longs for the past; both of them are ways of escaping the present,' he said.

The Faculty Forum, organized by Dr. Santosh Saha, professor of history, was moderated by Dr. John F. Kirchmeyer, professor of computer science and information systems. Opening remarks were given by Dr. Richard F. Giese, president of the College and closing remarks were given by Dr. Carol E Canavan, assistant vice president for academic affairs.

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