ESP Biography
JESSICA OEHRLEIN, Fitchburg State University math/stats professor
Major: Applied Mathematics College/Employer: Fitchburg State University Year of Graduation: Not available. 

Brief Biographical Sketch:
I'm a statistics and applied math professor who studied atmospheric science in grad school and mechanical engineering as an undergrad. Romeo and Juliet is my favorite ballet (but one of my least favorite plays), and I've seen ten versions of it performed in four countries. My favorite contra dance figures are a hey for four and a ladies chain with a courtesy turn. 193 distinct roller coasters and counting! Past Classes(Clicking a class title will bring you to the course's section of the corresponding course catalog)A14741: From Swans to Spartacus: Ballet in the Soviet Union in Splash 2021 (Nov. 20  21, 2021)
We often associate classical ballet with Imperial Russia  long, royalthemed stories, extravagant costumes, technical choreography that is still revered today. However, ballet was also culturally important during the Soviet period, and balletic developments in the Soviet Union were really different from those elsewhere. We'll talk about the history of Soviet ballet, how it influenced and was influenced by ballet in the West, and why only a few Soviet ballets survived the fall of the Soviet Union.
M14213: Mathematical Modeling in Splash 2020 (Nov. 14  15, 2020)
Math modeling is how we use mathematics to study openended questions about realworld phenomena. What's the best location for a food truck? How does an invasive species affect an ecosystem? How do we clean up space debris? These are all questions that we can start to answer with math modeling. The goal of this class is to introduce you to the modeling process. By the end, you'll have developed models to answer questions about a couple of different scenarios, and you'll know about some of the tools you can use to tackle more significant modeling problems.
Z14214: History of Ballet: 1900Present in Splash 2020 (Nov. 14  15, 2020)
This class will cover the past century of ballet, focusing on the westward spread of Russianstyle classical ballet, the establishment of new major ballet traditions in England and the United States, and the rise of contemporary ballet. We'll look at photos and video and discuss as a class how different techniques and styles emerged in different parts of the world. We'll also talk about where ballet is headed now.
M13459: How to (Mathematically) Guard an Art Gallery in Splash 2019 (Nov. 23  24, 2019)
Suppose you have a polygonal art gallery with $$n$$ sides that you want to guard with 360degree cameras at some of the polygon's vertices. What is the least number of cameras you could use? This is the classic art gallery problem, and it uses a lot of ideas from the mathematical field of graph theory. We'll cover some basic graph theory concepts and then tackle the art gallery problem!
M13460: Bridges, Maps, and Networks: An Introduction to Graph Theory in Splash 2019 (Nov. 23  24, 2019)
Graph theory is a relatively young area of mathematics, focused on studying structures that show the relationships among people, places, or objects. We'll talk about two of the first key questions in graph theory, the Königsberg bridge problem and the Four Color Theorem. We'll also explore some applications of graph theory, such as modeling social networks or the spread of information or disease.
P12812: A Brief Tour of the Stratosphere in Spark 2019 (Mar. 16  17, 2019)
What is the ozone hole, and when will it recover? What did a scientist actually observe when he noticed an "explosionlike warming" over the Arctic? Why did 1883 and 1908 data show tropical winds going in opposite directions? All of these questions are about phenomena that happen in the stratosphere, the layer of the atmosphere about 1050 km above us. In groups, you'll explore questions like these, the related stratospheric phenomena, and their impacts on us. We'll put them all together to create a coherent picture of the stratosphere.
M12863: Disease Modeling in Spark 2019 (Mar. 16  17, 2019)
When studying infectious diseases like the flu, we can use math to describe how the illness spreads. Those descriptions or sets of equations are called a mathematical model of the disease. We'll talk about a common model for infectious disease, and then we'll simulate that model together and discuss the results. We'll also come up with some possible variations on that model.
M12864: How to (Mathematically) Guard an Art Gallery in Spark 2019 (Mar. 16  17, 2019)
Suppose you had a polygonal art gallery with $$n$$ sides that you wanted to guard with 360degree cameras at some of the polygon's vertices. What is the least number of cameras you could use? This is the classic art gallery problem, and it uses a lot of basic concepts in the mathematical field of graph theory. We'll cover some basic graph theory concepts and then tackle the art gallery problem!
Z12865: History of Ballet: 1900Present in Spark 2019 (Mar. 16  17, 2019)
This class will cover the past century of ballet, focusing on the westward spread of Russianstyle classical ballet, the establishment of new major ballet traditions in England and the United States, and the rise of contemporary ballet. We'll look at photos and video and discuss as a class how different techniques and styles emerged in different parts of the world. We'll also talk about where ballet is headed now.
M12358: Population Modeling in Splash 2018 (Nov. 17  18, 2018)
Can trapping invasive crawfish save a newt population? How do regional or minority languages like Galician survive? When can two species with the same food sources coexist? In this class, we'll build mathematical models of populations to answer questions like these. In groups, you will mathematically describe different ways in which populations grow, decline, and interact. Each group's model will answer key questions about population behavior or control. We'll also discuss challenges and alternate methods for modeling.
M12359: Bridges, Maps, and Networks: An Introduction to Graph Theory in Splash 2018 (Nov. 17  18, 2018)
Graph theory is a relatively young area of mathematics, focused on studying structures that show the relationships among people, places, or objects. We'll talk about two of the first key questions in graph theory, the Königsberg bridge problem and the Four Color Theorem. We'll also explore some applications of graph theory, such as modeling social networks or the spread of information or disease.
M12084: Mathematical Modeling in Spark 2018 (Mar. 17  18, 2018)
Math modeling is how we use mathematics to study openended questions about realworld phenomena. What's the best location for a food truck? What would be the effects of sea level rise? How do we best distribute medicine to control a disease outbreak? These are all questions that we can start to answer with math modeling. The goal of this class is to introduce you to the modeling process. By the end, you'll have developed models to answer questions about a couple of different scenarios, and you'll know about some of the tools you can use to tackle more significant modeling problems.
M12085: Bridges, Maps, and Networks: An Introduction to Graph Theory in Spark 2018 (Mar. 17  18, 2018)
Graph theory is a relatively young area of mathematics, focused on studying structures that show the relationships among people, places, or objects. We'll talk about two of the first key questions in graph theory, the Königsberg bridge problem and the Four Color Theorem. We'll also explore some applications of graph theory, such as modeling social networks or the spread of information or disease.
P12094: A Brief Tour of the Stratosphere in Spark 2018 (Mar. 17  18, 2018)
We live in the layer of the atmosphere called the troposphere, where nearly all weather happens. But the stratosphere, just above the troposphere, is also important for climate! We'll talk about the ozone layer, why the direction of the winds in the tropics switches direction every 28 months, and what a scientist actually observed when he noticed an "explosionlike warming" over the Arctic.
A11518: From Swans to Spartacus: Ballet in the Soviet Union in Splash 2017 (Nov. 18  19, 2017)
We often associate classical ballet with Imperial Russia. However, ballet was also culturally important during the Soviet period, and balletic developments in the Soviet Union were really different from those elsewhere. We'll talk about the history of Soviet ballet, how it influenced and was influenced by ballet in the West, and why only a few Soviet ballets survived the fall of the Soviet Union.
M11651: Mathematical Modeling in Splash 2017 (Nov. 18  19, 2017)
Math modeling is how we use mathematics to study openended questions about realworld phenomena. What's the best location for a food truck? How does an invasive species affect an ecosystem? How do we clean up space debris? These are all questions that we can start to answer with math modeling. The goal of this class is to introduce you to the modeling process. By the end, you'll have developed models to answer questions about a couple of different scenarios, and you'll know about some of the tools you can use to tackle more significant modeling problems.
A11258: From Swans to Spartacus: Ballet in the Soviet Union in Spark 2017 (Mar. 11  12, 2017)
We often associate classical ballet with Imperial Russia. However, ballet was also culturally important during the Soviet period, and balletic developments in the Soviet Union were really different from those elsewhere. We'll talk about the history of Soviet ballet, how it influenced and was influenced by ballet in the West, and why only a few Soviet ballets survived the fall of the Soviet Union.
P11259: Understanding Weather Data in Spark 2017 (Mar. 11  12, 2017)
Atmospheric sounding charts are generated from weather balloon data, and they help us understand and predict weather conditions. Come learn what temperature through the atmosphere looks like when there's freezing rain and how to predict whether there will be a thunderstorm soon!
B10561: Introduction to Hungarian Through Song in Splash 2016 (Nov. 19  20, 2016)
We'll cover basic Hungarian* by singing (mostly children's) songs! You'll learn very important vocabulary words like yellow, raspberry, icicle, and animal.
*I do not guarantee that you'll be able to hold any kind of reasonable conversation.
M10632: Mathematical Modeling in Splash 2016 (Nov. 19  20, 2016)
Math modeling is how we use mathematics to study openended questions about realworld phenomena. What's the best location for a food truck? How does an invasive species affect an ecosystem? How do we clean up space debris? These are all questions that we can start to answer with math modeling. The goal of this class is to introduce you to the modeling process. By the end, you'll have developed models to answer questions about a couple of different scenarios, and you'll know about some of the tools you can use to tackle more significant modeling problems.
B7794: Introductory Azerbaijani in Splash! 2013 (Nov. 23  24, 2013)
Come and learn Azerbaijani! Azerbaijan was along the Silk Roads, so the country and the language have lots of different influences. Azerbaijani is also the second most commonly spoken language in Iran! We'll also cover a little history along the way.
