Putnam results

Amira Mahler became the third SEU student in the past decade to earn a positive score on the Putnam exam. There are thousands of math majors nationwide who score 0 points every year due to the hyper-strict grading scale, so any positive score is a noteworthy accomplishment. Congratulations!

Problems and solutions from 2017 and past exams are available at http://kskedlaya.org/putnam-archive/

Official results and press release are at https://www.maa.org/programs-and-communities/member-communities/maa-awards/putnam-competition-individual-and-team-winners

Math major, faculty attend Geometry of Redistricting Workshop at UT-Austin

Math major Omar Dominguez and faculty Drs. Jason Callahan, Kaitlyn Phillipson, and Michael Saclolo attended the Geometry of Redistricting Workshop at The University of Texas-Austin February 3-4.

This was a regional workshop of the Metric Geometry and Gerrymandering Group, a Boston-based team of mathematicians launched by Dr. Moon Duchin of Tufts University, whose mission is to study applications of geometry and computing to U.S. redistricting under the belief that gerrymandering of all kinds is a fundamental threat to our democracy.

In our MATH 4157 (Research) seminar on February 9, Omar, under the mentorship of Dr. Callahan, then presented a recent paper entitled “A Formula Goes to Court: Partisan Gerrymandering and the Efficiency Gap” by Dr. Duchin on the efficiency gap as a measure that has successfully been used in court to show gerrymandering in Wisconsin and is now headed to the Supreme Court.

Omar plans to continue research on this topic with Dr. Callahan over the next two years, and Dr. Duchin is now helping redraw gerrymandered voting districts in Pennsylvania, making this a timely and important research topic.

Math majors earn travel grants to present at Joint Mathematics Meetings

Math majors Maria Mota, Amira Mahler, and Stephanie Thrash earned Mathematical Association of America (MAA) Student Travel Grants to present their research at the Joint Mathematics Meetings (JMM) Student Poster Session in San Diego on January 12, 2018. JMM is the largest mathematics meeting in the world. Maria and Amira conducted their research with Dr. Jason Callahan, and Stephanie conducted her research with Dr. Mitch Phillipson. All three were partially supported Dr. M. Jean McKemie Endowed Student/Faculty Fund for Innovative Mathematics Summer Scholarships and NSF grant #1525490. Dr. Michael Saclolo also presented at JMM in the MAA Session on Mathematical Themes in a First-Year Seminar on January 11.

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!