Math alumni start graduate programs this fall

This fall, math alum Harris Greenwood ’14 will begin a master’s program in mathematics at the Laney Graduate School at Emory University in Atlanta, GA, and recent math graduate Crisel Suarez ’17, who was also a McNair Scholar, will start the Fisk-Vanderbilt Master’s to PhD Bridge Program for physics in which she will earn a master’s degree at Fisk University with full funding support followed by fast-track admission to a PhD program at Vanderbilt University with full funding. Congratulations, Harris and Crisel, and best wishes in graduate school this fall!

Math major will be counselor and TA for BEAM this summer

This summer (July 6 to August 2), math major B Salinas will change the lives of talented middle school students from underserved backgrounds as a counselor and teaching assistant (TA) for Bridge to Enter Advanced Mathematics (BEAM), a project of the Art of Problem Solving Foundation. See The New York Times’ recent and amazing article about BEAM.

At this residential summer program for mathematically-talented low-income rising 8th graders in Hudson Valley (New York), counselors such as B will live with the students in college campus dorms to create a vibrant social experience for kids who are discovering for the first time that there are other people who like doing mathematics. She’ll also be a TA for classes on topics such as number theory, combinatorics, problem solving, and computer science and serve as a role model and guide for students who are just beginning to set their educational path.

Counselors must take initiative and be strong mathematically, reliable, charismatic, and able to help kids have fun, so this quite an honor for B to be part of this summer program that gives everyone a chance to excel in mathematics. Congratulations, B — we’re very proud of you!

Math faculty have papers published

Drs. Jason Callahan and Carol Gee recently had a co-authored paper entitled “Aesthetics in a Mathematics for Liberal Arts Project” published in the Journal of Humanistic Mathematics (Volume 7, Issue 1, pages 139-146, January 2017).

Last year Dr. Callahan also had a paper entitled “Assessing Online Homework in First-Semester Calculus” published in PRIMUS: Problems, Resources, and Issues in Mathematics Undergraduate Studies (Volume 26, Issue 6: Special Issue on Teaching with Technology, pages 545-556, 2016).

Congratulations to Drs. Callahan and Gee!

Math major, faculty present at largest conference in the world

Math major Stephanie Thrash earned a Mathematical Association of America (MAA) Student Travel Grant to give a presentation entitled, “Mathematical Analysis of Lottery Voting,” at the 2017 Joint Mathematics Meetings (JMM) of the MAA and American Mathematical Society (AMS), the largest math conference in the world, held January 4-7 in Atlanta, GA.

Also at the 2017 JMM, Dr. Carol Gee gave presentation entitled, “Cut-Apart Proofs: a hands-on activity in varied contexts” while Dr. Jason Callahan gave two presentations entitled, “Analysis of a Coupled, n-Patch Population Model with Ceiling Density Dependence” and “Chutes, Ladders, and Markov Chains” based on research he conducted with math alum Harris Greenwood. In addition, Dr. Callahan served on the MAA Panel “Research Support Networks,” co-organized the AMS Special Session “ApREUF: Applied Research Experience for Undergraduate Faculty,” and staffed the Exhibit Hall booth for the AMS Mathematical Research Communities, for which he also served in a focus group. Congratulations to Stephanie and Drs. Gee and Callahan for presenting and serving at the largest math conference in the world!

Math majors attend, present at national conferences

Math major Crisel Suarez presented at a national McNair Scholars Research Conference at Florida International University, October 19-21, 2016. Her presentation, “Online SPARC Visualization: Drawing and Animating with Answer Set Programs,” was based on research she conducted in a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program on Declarative Programming and Its Applications sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) at Texas Tech University from June 5 to August 13, 2016.

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Crisel and fellow math major Stephanie Thrash also attended the National Alliance for Doctoral Studies in the Mathematical Sciences Field of Dreams Conference in St. Louis, MO, November 4-6, 2016; both were nominated by Alliance Mentor Dr. Jason Callahan. Congratulations to both Crisel and Stephanie for taking advantage of opportunities to attend and present at national conferences!

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Math Club officers for 2016-17

Congratulations to our Math Club officers for 2016-17:

President: Crisel Suarez
Vice President: Stephanie Thrash
Secretary: Antoine Chamoun-Farah
Social Chair: Valeria Gonzalez
Treasurer: Bianca “B” Salinas

Please thank them for their willingness to lead our Math Club, whose faculty sponsor and advisor is Dr. Jason Callahan. Anyone may join our Math Club on CollegiateLink to receive announcements of future meetings, events, and opportunities, and any member may suggest an activity or event — just contact one of the officers or send a message on CollegiateLink.

Math student talks featured on CUR’s Undergraduate Research Week website

On November 16, 2010, the U.S. House of Representatives declared the week of April 11, 2011, “Undergraduate Research Week.” Each year since then, the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) has designated a week in April as “Undergraduate Research Week.”  This year Undergraduate Research Week was celebrated the week of April 11, during which math majors Crisel Suarez, Valeria Gonzalez, Toni Galvan, and Trenton Barnett presented research conducted with Drs. Jason Callahan, Edward Early, and Michael Saclolo respectively. These talks were featured on CUR’s Undergraduate Research Week website.

Math alum, prof have research together published

Dr. Jason Callahan and Harris Greenwood, a mathematics major who graduated in 2014, have just had a paper, Markov Chains to Compute Expected Game Lengths of “Chutes and Ladders,” on research they conducted together while Harris was a student published by the Pi Mu Epsilon Journal (Spring 2016, Volume 14, Number 4, pages 243-250). Using Markov chains, they prove a conjecture that on any “Chutes and Ladders” board with n squares, uniformly distributed spinners of range n-1 and n always yield equal expected game lengths. They then show that non-uniformly distributed spinners can yield shorter games than uniformly distributed spinners but can also lead to seemingly paradoxical results when the related Markov chain is not absorbing. Their research was supported by the Brother Romard Barthel, CSC, ’47 Student/Faculty Summer Research Fund Wilems Fellowship in 2013 and the Dr. M. Jean McKemie and Suzanne Mason Endowed Student/Faculty Fund for Innovative Mathematics Summer Scholarship in 2014. They presented their research at the 2013 and 2015 Texas Section Meetings of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA), the 2013 Texas Undergraduate Mathematics Conference, the 2014 Joint Mathematics Meetings, and the 2014 MAA MathFest. Harris now plans to pursue graduate study in mathematics.

Math major, prof accepted to summer research programs

Math major Crisel Suarez will participate in a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program on Declarative Programming and Its Applications sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) at Texas Tech University in Lubbock from June 5 to August 13, 2016, where she will learn the state of the art of declarative programming to tackle challenging research problems in areas of great societal impact including Cybersecurity, Energy, Healthcare, and Space Exploration. Congratulations to Crisel on this honor and opportunity!

Meanwhile, Dr. Jason Callahan earned full funding from the NSF and American Institute of Mathematics (AIM) to attend the Research Experiences for Undergraduate Faculty (REUF) Workshop on the Mathematics of Data in the Topological Data Analysis (TDA) research group at Information Initiative at Duke University July 18-22, 2016, and will also attend the NSF-CBMS Regional Conference on Topological Data Analysis at The University of Texas at Austin May 31-June 4, 2016. He is excited to learn this new field of research and share it with students at St. Edward’s University!