Recording-breaking 12 SEU students participate in Putnam Competition

On December 2, organized by Dr. Edward Early with the help of Dr. Matthew Shirley, Monica Cicciarelli, and Sarah Reyna, a record-breaking twelve SEU students participated in the William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition, the preeminent mathematics competition for undergraduate college students in the United States and Canada:

Grace Akomezogho
Jacob Belmares
Elias Bocanegra
Antoine Chamoun-Farah
Brianna Collins
Omar Dominguez
Sarah Goldrup
Ayesha Gonzales
Amira Mahler
Agnes Mirando
Ivan Mota
Skyler Young

The Putnam Competition occurs annually on the first Saturday of December. The competition consists of two three-hour sessions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. During each session, participants work individually on six challenging mathematical problems.

The Putnam began in 1938 as a competition between mathematics departments at colleges and universities but has since grown to be the leading university-level mathematics examination in the world. Although participants work independently on the problems, there is a team aspect as well. Prizes are awarded to participants who score the highest and to the departments whose teams rank highest. Congratulations to all our students who participated, and thanks to Dr. Early for organizing it!

TUMC 2017

This year the Texas Undergraduate Math Conference was held at Incarnate Word in San Antonio on October 21, 2017. Dr. Mitch and Dr. Phillipson chaperoned 12 students. We had 5 students give 4 separate talks. The talks were:

  • Bianca Salinas and Stephanie Thrash – A Combinatorial Approach to RNA-Inspired Foldings
  • Maria Mota – Solving 2-by-2 Scramble Squares Puzzles with Repetitions
  • Amira Mahler – American Roulette: How Long and Boldly Can You Play
  • Sarah Goldrup – A New Lower Bound on Unstable Neural Codes

An album of our students giving talks

Lucian Symposium 2017

Seven math major students presented 5 posters at this year’s Lucian symposium.

  • Adrian Silva and Juliette Garcia – Troposheric Ozone Pollution Project Workshop in El Paso
  • Amira Mahler – American Roulette: How Boldly Can You Play?
  • Maria Mota – Solving 2×2 Scramble Squares Puzzles with Repetitions
  • Antoine Chamoun-Farah – Optimization of Lignin Depolymerization for R. opacus Bioconversion
  • B Salinas and Stephanie Thrash – A Combinatorial Approach to RNA-Inspired Folds

Here is a link to several photos of our students:

Photo Album

Recent Alumna featured on ESTEEM Blog

Valeria Gonzalez, a math alumna who is now participating in the ESTEEM Graduate Program, was recently featured on the ESTEEM Blog:

Valeria discusses her experiences as a math major at St. Edward’s and the skills she developed to be successful in the entrepreneurial program at Notre Dame.

Congratulations to Valeria, and we wish her continued success in the ESTEEM Program!

AMS Sectional Meeting

Over the weekend of September 8th through the 10th, Dr. Kaitlyn Phillipson and Dr. Mitch Phillipson traveled to the AMS Fall Central Sectional Meeting at the University of North Texas in Denton, TX.  Both faculty members were invited to give talks in Special Sessions: Dr. Mitch spoke in the Special Session on Generalizations in Graph Theory on “Generalized RNA foldings and their move graphs,” while Dr. Kaitlyn Phillipson spoke in the Special Session on Applicable and Computational Algebraic Geometry on the “Structure of the neural ideal for convex and non-convex codes.”  Between talks, the Phillipsons met new colleagues at nearby universities and caught up with friends and research collaborators.

Math alum visits campus to speak about his work at SpaceX and as an actuary

One of our recent math alumni, Alex Johnson ’13, visited campus on September 1, 2017, to speak with current math majors about his experiences as a procurement analyst for SpaceX in California, where he currently works, and as an actuarial analyst at Houston Casualty Company (now Tokio Marine HCC), where he worked for three years after graduating from SEU in 2013.

Math major presents at national conference with full funding

Math major Maria Mota presented her research on solving Scramble Squares puzzles without repetitions conducted with Dr. Jason Callahan this summer at the Young Mathematicians Conference August 11-13, 2017, at the Ohio State University. The conference fully funded Maria’s travel, lodging, and meal expenses and accepted only 52 of 120 abstracts submitted by 160 students nationwide judged by twenty faculty from universities across the nation, including Dr. Callahan, who did recuse himself from judging Maria’s abstract. Maria’s summer research with Dr. Callahan was funded by our National Science Foundation (NSF) Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) grant #1525490. Congratulations to Maria on these honors and for taking advantage of these wonderful opportunities to conduct and present research this summer!

Math prof completes research meeting in Virginia

Dr. Jason Callahan met with Drs. Richard Rebarber of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Eva Strawbridge of James Madison University, and Shenglan Yuan of the City University New York-LaGuardia Community College July 31 to August 4, 2017, at James Madison University to continue collaboration that began at a Research Experiences for Undergraduate Faculty (REUF) workshop July 22-26, 2013, at the Institute for Computational and Experimental Research in Mathematics (ICERM) and continued in a meeting here at SEU August 11-15, 2014. All three meetings were fully funded by the American Institute of Mathematics (AIM), and the one here at SEU yielded the publication “Analysis of a Coupled n-Patch Population Model with Ceiling Density Dependence” in the International Journal of Difference Equations along with presentations at the 2017 Joint Mathematics Meetings and 2016 Mathematical Association of America (MAA) Texas Section Meeting. Dr. Callahan is excited for what all the most recent meeting will yield.

Math major completes Washington University Summer Engineering Fellowship

This summer (May 30-July 28), math major Antoine Chamoun-Farah, who is also Vice President of our Math Club, completed the Washington University Summer Engineering Fellowship (WUSEF) program designed to encourage exceptional students from diverse backgrounds to participate in engineering research by engaging in an independent research project under the guidance of a faculty member in the School of Engineering & Applied Science at Washington University in St. Louis. This past winter, Antoine also completed a J-Term Course in Engineering Mechanics at Washington University in St. Louis. Congratulations to Antoine for participating in these opportunities at one of the top universities in the U.S.!