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Math professor shares steepest descent method in Provost Lecture Series

Austin Peay State UniversityClarksville, TN – For many people, understanding complex mathematical equations and concepts is more difficult than walking in the mountains. Somehow, an Austin Peay State University mathematics faculty member makes the ideas relate.

Dr. Ben Ntatin, associate professor of mathematics, will present the next session in the weekly Provost Lecture Series at 3:00pm, Thursday, September 8th in the Morgan University Center, Room 303. The title of his presentation is “Walking in the mountains: The steepest descent method.”

His talk will be about how the notion of linearity is fundamental for numerous considerations in mathematics and engineering science.

“In rough terms, if a problem is linear or can be well approximated by a linear model, then there may very well be standard means of approaching it,” he said. “Most physically significant problems can be modeled into partial differential equations, and in the talk, I would demonstrate how such problems could be reduced into a large matrix equation, for which the steepest descent method is appropriate.”

Ntatin has taught at APSU since 2007 and has been instrumental in revitalizing calculus courses. The chair of the mathematics section of the Middle Tennessee Academy of Mathematics, he has presented at several conferences, meetings and workshops. He earned a Ph.D. in mathematics from Ruhr-Universitaet Bochum in Bochum, Germany, a master’s in mathematics from the University of Ilorin in Ilorin, Nigeria, and a bacehlor’s in mathematics from the University of Jos in Jos, Nigeria.

Other sessions in the Provost Lecture Series also are planned for the academic year. All sessions are from 3:00pm-4:30pm in the MUC, Room 303 (unless noted otherwise) and include the following:

September 15th: Dr. Donald Luck, professor of education
September 22nd: Dr. Clark Maddux, associate professor of English
September 29th: Dr. Rebecca Jones, associate professor of chemistry
October 6th: Dr. Dwayne Estes, associate professor of biology
October 13th: Dr. Korre Foster, assistant professor of music
October 20th: Susan Bryant, professor of art
October 27th: Angelina Fowler, Center of Excellence for Field Biology
November 3rd: Dr. Dan Frederick, professor of geology and geography
November 10th: Dr. Kathrine Flower, assistant professor of sociology
November 17th: Darren Michael, associate professor of theater and dance
December 1st: Dr. Tim Leszczak, assistant professor of health and human performance
January 12th: Dr. Ellen Smyth, instructor of mathematics
January 19th: Dr. Ann Silverberg, professor of music
January 26th: Dr. Marsha Lyle-Gonga, assistant professor of political science
February 2nd: Dr. Rebecca Johansen, assistant professor of biology
February 9th: Dr. Sergei Markov, associate professor of biology
February 16th: Cynthia Marsh, professor of art
February 23rd: Dr. Christine Mathenge, associate professor of geology
March 1st: Dr. Robert Shelton, associate professor of chemistry
March 15th:  MUC 307: Dr. Allyn Smith, associate professor of physics
March 22nd: Dr. Sharon Mabry, professor of music
March 29th: Dr. Cameron Sutt, assistant professor of history
April 5th: Mark DeYoung, assistant professor of art
April 12th: Dr. Tim Winters, professor of English
April 19th:  MUC 103: Dr. Jeffrey Wood, professor of music

The Provost Lecture Series seeks to foster a spirit of intellectual and scholarly inquiry among faculty, staff and students. The program will be used as a platform for APSU faculty members who are recent recipients of provost summer grants, who have been awarded faculty development leaves and who have engaged in recent scholarly inquiry during sabbatical leaves.

APSU faculty members with recent research of acclaim also will be given a platform within this series. In addition, other faculty members of local or widespread renown will be invited to lecture within this series.

For more information about the Provost Lecture Series, call Dr. Brian Johnson, assistant vice president of academic affairs at APSU, at 931.221.7992 or email him at .

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