Teaching Awards for Two St. Edward’s Math Faculty

Monica Cicciarelli was selected for the University’s 2019-2020 Outstanding Teaching Award for her thoughtful and pedagogically rich teaching materials and her engaging work in the classroom. This prestigious award involves a rigorous and extensive selection process; in a university filled with intelligent, dedicated, and engaged faculty, St. Edward’s recognizes Ms. Cicciarelli’s work as being exceptional. Congratulations, Monica!

Paul Savala, our newest math faculty member, was selected for the University’s 2019-2020 DeLayne Hudspeth Award for Innovative Instruction, for his teaching innovation in helping students develop critical understanding of statistics in a personally meaningful project. Dr. Savala’s open-ended project, “Show Me the Data” encourages students to apply the statistics techniques they’ve learned to a question and topic they care deeply about, bringing their authentic selves to a mathematics course.  Congratulations on this prestigious award, Paul!

Senior Seminar Spring 2020

Congratulations to our seven math majors who presented the results of their four semesters of math research at our Spring 2020 Mathematics Senior Seminar on February 28:

  • Adam Lamoureux – “Balancing the Coin Toss Advantage in the NFL”
  • Antonio Tapia – “Discrete Bidding in the Game of Connect $n$”
  • Karlee Bradley – “Permutation Pattern Containment”
  • Nathaniel Leech – “Planning a Shared Meal: Adding a Pinch of Thyme”
  • Rafael Montes – “The Valley Of Functions”
  • Samuel Johnson – “Dynamics of Paper Folding”
  • Sydney Mack – “Bounded Chomp”

Congrats again — we’re so proud and excited for all the wonderful things you all will do!

Link to an album of pictures

Math Majors present award-winning posters at the Joint Mathematics Meeting

Two math majors at St. Edward’s traveled to the Joint Mathematics Meeting (JMM) to present their research at the JMM Poster Session: Adrian Silva Jr. (graduated in Fall 2019) and Antonio Tapia (currently a senior).  The JMM 2020 was held January 15-18 in Denver, Colorado.

Both Antonio and Adrian received awards for their posters:

  • Antonio received an Outstanding Poster Award for his poster, “Discrete Bidding in the Game Connect n” (mentored by Dr. Kaitlyn Phillipson)
  • Adrian received an Honorable Mention for his poster, “Comets in the SET Universe” (mentored by Dr. Jason Callahan)

Antonio and Adrian both received support from the Dr. M. Jean McKemie Endowed Student/Faculty Fund for Innovative Mathematics Summer Scholarships, and Adrian also received support from NSF grant #1525490.

Congratulations to both Antonio and Adrian on their awards!

Math majors give Senior Seminar presentations

Congratulations to our six graduating math majors who presented the results of their four semesters of math research at our Fall 2019 Mathematics Senior Seminar on November 1:

  • Adrian Silva Jr, “Charting the SET Universe”
  • Alyxandria Garcia, “Counting Liars and Their Lies”
  • Austin Scully, “Cyclic Towers of Hanoi”
  • Jacob Spencer, “Examining Square Ratios of Triangular Numbers in Pascals Triangle”
  • Jennifer Garcia Villanueva, “Lattice Point Visibility for a Diamond Configuration”
  • Omar Dominguez, “Investigating Racial Gerrymandering”

Congrats again — we’re so proud and excited for all the wonderful things y’all will do!

TUMC 2019

This year TUMC was located at UT-Tyler in Tyler on October 25 and 26 Dr. Mitch chaperoned 9 students, 6 of whom gave talks. The talks were:

  • Nathaniel Leech – Planning a Shared Meal: Adding a Pinch of Thyme
  • Rafael Montes – Wonders of the Cos Graph
  • Luisa Asencio – Graph Splines and the Universal Difference Property
  • Sam Johnson – Paper Fold Dynamics
  • Adam Lamoureux – Balancing the Coin Toss Advantage in the NFL
  • Adrian Silva Jr. – Comets in the set Universe

An album of our students giving talks

Lucian Poster Session 2019

This year we had 6 students present at the Lucian Poster Session. To view a photo album, click here

Luisa Asencia – Graph Splines and the Universal Difference Property

Karlee Bradley – Mapping Accumulated Heat and Plant Phenology Data

Stella Cunningham – Comparing Particulate Matter Averages Between Road and Creek Transects Along Waller Creek

Sam Johnson – Paper Fold Dynamics

Adrian Silva – Comets in the SET Universe

Antonio Tapia – Discrete Bidding in the Game Connect n


Math major’s success in 3+2 dual-degree engineering program

Antoine Chamoun-Farah is our first math major to continue our 3+2 dual-degree engineering program at Washington University in St. Louis. Here are some highlights of what he has been up to:

  • He received the 2018 Harold P. Brown Scholarship for full tuition for his first two years at Washington University in St. Louis where he is studying chemical engineering.
  • He completed an internship at Exxon in Spring 2019.
  • He completed an internship at Molecular Rebar Design in Austin in Summer 2019.
  • He participated in the weeklong Summer Venture in Management Program (SVMP) at Harvard Business School in June.
  • He was selected for the MIT Access Program (http://access.mit.edu/) later this month.
  • He was invited to attend the Forbes Under 30 Summit in Detroit, MI, next month.
  • He received a SHPE (Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers) scholarship for this year.

Congratulations, Antoine, and keep up the great work — we’re very proud of you!

Welcome, Dr. Paul Savala!

Please join us in welcoming a new faculty member to the math department. Dr. Paul Savala is an assistant professor of mathematics, and will be teaching Calculus 1 and Applied Stats this fall. We asked him to tell us a bit about himself:

My name is Paul Savala, and I am an Assistant Professor in the Math department here. I grew up in California, did my PhD at the University of Iowa, and came back to Southern California to work for several years as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Whittier College. I then worked for a while as a data scientist, and am thrilled to be returning to teaching! I did my PhD research in analytic number theory, which is the study of using real and complex analysis to study how the integers (and especially the primes) work. At this point, I spend more time working on data science than I do number theory. For my work as a data scientist, I built a model for one of the largest drug stores in the US to help them determine if their employees were committing fraud. I also helped build software used by all fifty states in order to track opioid prescriptions to help look for and fight opioid abuse. For my academic research, I like to apply machine learning and AI to any topic I find interesting, including sports, restaurants, and math. Lately I’ve been working on learning how certain types of neural networks (in particular so-called “recurrent neural networks”) learn to do math. As far as my personal interests, I love running, cycling, eating, programming, reading, traveling, and just generally learning new things. If you’re interested in learning more about any of this, please stop by and say hi! I’m in JBWS 374.

Welcome to SEU, Dr. Savala!