The CaMS Seminar Series

The CaMS Seminar Series focuses on the great ideas in Mathematics, Computer Science, and Computer Engineering and the applications that employ them to transform the world. Each month, the series explores the theory and application of an impactful idea or innovation in these three interrelated fields. The series seeks to help students understand those fundamental ideas that shape modern technologies as well as emerging issues related to the technologies themselves. Topics will include algorithms and concepts and their application to cyber security, software development, web technologies, and intelligent systems.

You might also be interested in our CaMS Cyber Defense Group. The CaMS Cyber Defense Group offers hands-on opportunities to students to learn cyber security concepts, skills, and tools. Please contact Dr. Ray Klump or Computer Science seniors Brandon White or Steven Day if you are interested in participating. The Cyber Defense Group meets on Tuesday afternoons at 3:30 when there is not a CaMS Seminar Series event scheduled.

How Web Search Works

Dr. Ray Klump, Professor and Chair of Computer and Mathematical Sciences
September 8, 2015

Searching the Internet for a particular item of interest is like searching the world's largest haystack for the universe's smallest needle. And yet, search engines like Google and Bing are able to do just that, and they do it quickly and effectively. In this talk, we explore the algorithms that enable web search engines to do what they do. We find that there are three primary tasks: indexing, matching, and ranking. The presentation explains each of these tasks with simple examples.

An Overview of Cyber Security

Michael Skwarek, Chief Information Security Officer, Argonne National Lab
September 15, 2015

Cyber Security is one of the most important focus areas of Computer Science today. In this talk, Mike Skwarek, Chief Information Security Officer and Deputy Chief Information Officer at Argonne National Laboratory, discusses how the cyber security challenge has evolved over the last several years, how widespread and damaging the threats have become, and what can be done to continue to protect our nation against cyber attack. Mike holds a degree in Computer Science from Lewis. He also shares advice for students on what to study if they are interested in cyber security. One thing he emphasizes is the importance of being able to write code, as vulnerabilities usually start either as malicious instructions that a hacker writes or poorly written code that a developer fails to secure adequately.

Bletchley Park

Dr. Paul Kaiser, Professor Emeritus, Lewis University
October 6, 2015 @ 3:30pm

In this presentation, Dr. Paul Kaiser describes the work done by Polish and British codebreakers to defeat the Nazis in World War II. He describes the encryption tools used by the Nazis - the Enigma and Lorenz Machines - and the approaches the Ally cryptanalysts used to decrypt their messages. Much of this work was done at Bletchley park and by pioneers such as Alan Turing and Bill Tutte.

IT'S A TRAP! How not to be victimized by Social Engineering

Joe Petersen, System Administrator, Argonne National Laboratory
October 13, 2015 @ 3:30pm

In this presentation, you will learn what Social Engineering is and how to avoid being a victim of it (or learn to utilize this if you decide to go to the dark side). Some techniques that will be discussed are: Pretetxting, diversion, phishing, and dumpster diving (EW! Who does that?). Also, you will learn some of the successful social attacks attacks that have occurred over time. Most importantly, you will learn how to avoid these attacks. You can also learn more about this topic at

Web Development in Flask: A Python Microframework

Michael Korzon, Senior, Computer Science
November 3, 2015 @ 3:30pm

The talk will cover what Flask is and how it compares to other web frameworks. A few of the major web development concepts like restful routing, ORM, templating, authentication, and form handling will be implemented in Flask via several of its many extensions. This will be demonstrated with code examples and give the big picture of what a Flask application looks like.

Meet an Actuary

Barry McKeown, Retired Actuary and Consultant, Towers Watson
November 4, 2015 @ 4:00 pm

One of the many great fields a mathematician can pursue is Actuarial Science. In this talk, Barry McKeown, who was an actuary and actuarial consultant for Towers Watson for over 30 years and now speaks on behalf of the Be An Actuary organization, will tell us what an actuary does and how a math major prepares to be one. He'll also answer any questions you have about this field, which is consistently ranked as one of the best careers in terms of professional satisfaction. This talk is sponsored by the Lewis Math Club.

The "WeakDH" Result and Its Significance for Security and Privacy

Dr. Jason Perry, Assistant Professor, Computer and Mathematical Sciences
December 1, 2015 @ 3:30 pm

In this talk, Dr. Jason Perry discusses the content and implications of the paper "Imperfect Forward Secrecy: How Diffie-Helman Fails in Practice". Diffie-Helman is a popular algorithm for sharing a symmetric key for encrypted communications between a client and a server. Dr. Perry explains what the authors of the paper discovered and what their findings mean for our expectations regarding the privacy of our data.

(Unfortunately, about 15 minutes of the talk are without video, but you can still follow along with the slides.)

Web Development and Data Programming with Python-Django

Curt Lebensorger, Graduate Student, Master of Science in Data Science
December 3, 2015 @ 2:00 pm

Django is a popular framework for developing server-side web applications in Python. In this talk, Master of Science in Data Science student Curt Lebensorger explains how to develop database-driven server-side web applications with Python-Django. He covers how to install the environment and then use it change and retrieve data from a mysql database.