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!

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.!


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!