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Fourth Annual PRIMES Conference, May 17-18, 2014

Room 4-163, MIT

Open to the public

Conference abstracts booklet

Download conference poster (24x36) or flyer (8x11)

See also the materials of 2011, 2012, and 2013 PRIMES conferences

Saturday, May 17



8:30 am Welcoming Remarks

Prof. Michael Sipser, Acting Dean of the MIT School of Science, Head of the MIT Mathematics Department

Prof. Pavel Etingof, PRIMES Chief Research Advisor

Dr. Slava Gerovitch, PRIMES Program Director

PRIMES-USA student Jessica Li


9:00 am Session 1

Kavish Gandhi, Geodesics in the hypercube (mentor Yufei Zhao) (slides)

Noah Golowich, Removing cycles from dense digraphs (mentor Laszlo Lovasz) (slides)

Eric Nie and Alok Puranik, Cellular automata on a hexagonal grid (mentor Dr. Tanya Khovanova) (slides)

PRIMES-USA student Yilun Du


10:20 am Session 2

Arjun Khandelwal, Compact dot representations in permutation avoidance (mentor Rik Sengupta) (slides)

Joseph Zurier, Generalizations of the joints problem (mentor Ben Yang) (slides)

PRIMES-USA student Eric Neyman


11:05 pm Session 3: PRIMES-IGL

Jessica Li, On the geometry and mathematical modelling of snowflakes and viruses (mentor Prof. Laura Schaposnik, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) (slides)

Yilun Du, Tiling harmonic functions (mentor Prof. Sergiy Merenkov, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) (slides)

PRIMES-USA students Andrew He, Suzy Lou, and Max Murin


12:00 pm Session 4: PRIMES-USA

Eric Neyman, Cylindric Young tableaux and their properties (mentor Darij Grinberg) (slides)

Sara Kim, Connected matchings in graphs of independence number 2 (mentor Dr. Peter Csikvari)

Andrew He, Suzy Lou, and Max Murin, On the existence of srg(99, 14, 1, 2) (mentor Dr. Peter Csikvari) (slides)

PRIMES-USA student Peter Tian


2:15 pm Session 5: PRIMES-USA

Shyam Narayanan, Improving the accuracy of primality tests by enhancing the Miller-Rabin theorem (mentor David Corwin) (slides)

Kyle Gettig, Linear extensions of directed acyclic graphs (mentor Benjamin Iriarte) (slides)

Brice Huang, G-parking functions and monotone monomial ideals (mentor Wuttisak Trongsiriwat) (slides)

PRIMES reading group students Cameron Derwin and Margalit Glasgow


3:30 pm Session 6: PRIMES-USA 

Alexandria Yu, Classification of unital 7-dimensional commutative algebras (mentor Sherry Gong) (slides)

Peter Tian, On the extremal functions of multi-dimensional forbidden matrices (mentor Jesse Geneson) (slides)

Shashwat Kishore, Decomposition of tensor products of Verma modules (mentor Gus Lonergan) (slides)

PRIMES reading group students Rohil Prasad, Isaac Xia, and William Kuszmaul. Kuszmaul is explaining the concept of trefoil, using his shoelaces.


4:45 pm Session 7: Reading groups 

Cameron Derwin and Margalit Glasgow, The probabilistic method (mentor Chiheon Kim) (slides)

Rohil Prasad, William Kuszmaul, and Isaac Xia, Proving the trefoil is knotted (mentor Umut Varolgunes) (slides)

Ravi Jagadeesan and Luke Sciarappa, Simplicial homology (mentor Akhil Mathew) (slides)

PRIMES reading group students Ravi Jagadeesan and Luke Sciarappa


Sunday, May 18

Computer Science

Physical and Computational Biology


8:45 am Welcoming Remarks

Prof. Srini Devadas, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Dr. Slava Gerovitch, PRIMES Program Director

PRIMES students Nicolaas Kaashoek and William Wu


9:00 am Session 8

Nicolaas Kaashoek and William Wu, How to teach a class to grade itself (mentors Christos Tzamos and Matt Weinberg) (slides)

Amy Chou and Justin Kaashoek, Automatically generating puzzle problems of different complexity levels (mentor Rishabh Singh) (slides)

Istvan Chung and Oron Propp, Inferring the structure of probabilistic graphical models for efficient natural language understanding (mentor Dr. Tom Howard) (slides)

Prof. Srini Devadas and PRIMES students Amy Chou and Justin Kaashoek


10:40 am Session 9

Nathan Wolfe and Ethan Zou, Protecting private data in the cloud: A path oblivious RAM protocol (mentors Ling Ren and Xiangyao Yu) (slides)

Lalita Devadas, Modelling changes in gene expression in neurodegeneration in mice (mentor Angela Yen) (slides)

Michael Colavita, Network motifs of pathogenic genes in human regulatory network (mentor Soheil Feizi) (slides)

Dr. Stephen Wolfram is investigation the distribution of color in cats


12:00 pm Invited Lecture

Stephen Wolfram, Making discoveries using computation

Left to right: PRIMES students Michael Colavita, Ethan Zou, Dr. Stephen Wolfram, William Wu, John Zhang, and Arul Prasad


2:15 pm Session 10: Medical Informatics

Dr. Gil Alterovitz, Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Introductory remarks (slides)

Yishen (Tom) Chen, SMART Genomics API (mentor Dr. Gil Alterovitz) (slides)

Xi (Steve) Chen, Genomics development library for Android (mentor Dr. Gil Alterovitz) (slides)

John Zhang, Integrating genomic, clinical, and patient questionnaire information for breast cancer diagnosis and treatment (mentor Dr. Gil Alterovitz) (slides)

Andrew Li and Arul Prasad, Exploration of disordered proteins related to drug resistance in Hepatitis B virus and lung cancer (mentor Dr. Gil Alterovitz)

PRIMES student Yishen (Tom) Chen


4:00 pm Session 11: Physical and Computational Biology

Prof. Leonid Mirny, Program in Health Sciences and Technology and Physics Department, Introductory remarks

Andrew Luo, The impact of protein aggregates on the sub-diffusion of a DNA locus (mentors Geoffrey Fudenberg and Maxim Imakaev) (slides)

Carolyn Lu, Loop extruding enzymes in interphase: Dynamic folding of chromatin domains (mentors Geoffrey Fudenberg and Maxim Imakaev) (slides)

PRIMES student Carolyn Lu


5:00 pm Session 12: Mathematics

Yonah Borns-Weil and Junho Won, Discrete and continuous dynamical systems: Applications and examples (mentor Dr. Aaron Welters) (slides)

Joshua Xiong, On the winning positions in generalizations of Nim (mentor Dr. Tanya Khovanova) (slides)

Niket Gowravaram and Uma Roy, A diagrammatic approach to the K(π, 1) conjecture (mentor Alisa Knizel) (slides)

PRIMES students and mentors (left to right): Junho Won, mentor Alisa Knizel, Niket Gowravaram, Joshua Xiong, Prof. Pavel Etingof, head mentor Dr. Tanya Khovanova, Yonah Borns-Weil, and Uma Roy



With questions, contact PRIMES Program Director Dr. Slava Gerovitch at