Math majors present, win awards at MAA Texas Section Meeting and ASA DataFest

Four math majors presented at the 2021 Mathematical Association of America (MAA) Texas Section Meeting on April 9 hosted by Collin College, and two earned best presentation awards for their sessions:

  • Stella Cunningham: “Counting Constellations in Tarot Card Readings” (mentored by Dr. Jason Callahan)
  • Taylor Huey: “Unfolding Platonic Solids” (mentored by Dr. Casey Sherman) earned best presentation award for the Algebra, Number Theory, Discrete Math session
  • Laufey Jörgensdóttir: “Component-Preserving Amphicheiral Links” (mentored by Dr. Jason Callahan) earned best presentation award for the Education, Art and History, Geometry session
  • Nicholas Phan: “The Tale of Mickey The Tricky Mouse” (mentored by Dr. Michael Saclolo)

Math majors Stella Cunningham, Taylor Huey, Ruvi Jamies, and Katalina Rubio also participated in the 2021 American Statistical Association (ASA) DataFest April 9-11 hosted by Southern Methodist University. Their team received recognition for Best Visualization and placed 2nd overall out of 17 teams!

Congratulations to all our students for participating and presenting their research as well as for representing St. Edward’s University so well — we’re very proud of you!


DataFest Team:

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!

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!

Math Faculty presents at SACNAS

Dr. Kaitlyn Phillipson attended the annual SACNAS (Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science) conference, October 11th to 13th, in San Antonio, Texas. She presented in the Women in Mathematics Science Symposium on “What can Math tell us about a Stimulus Space?”

She also attended the exhibition and received numerous flyers and information packets about summer opportunities and graduate school programs. The flyers have been displayed outside the seminar room by Monica Cicciarelli. Be sure to check them out!

Student, Faculty attend Mathfest

Dr. Kaitlyn Phillipson and senior math major Sable Levy attended Mathfest over August 1st-4th in Denver Colorado. Each gave a talk:

-Sable presented “The Curious Pivot Points of Best-Fit Lines,” her Math 4157 project with mentor Dr. Edward Early

-Dr. Phillipson presented “Women Empowered through Graduate Opportunities Awareness Transformation (weGOAT),” her mini-grant project with Co-PI’s Dr. Jason Callahan and Dr. Carol Gee

Congratulations to Sable and Dr. Phillipson on their well-received talks!


Math Faculty attends CMBS workshop

Over the week of June 4th to June 8th, Dr. Kaitlyn Phillipson participated in the CMBS Regional Conference on Applications of Polynomial Systems at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, TX. During the week, participants attended 10 lectures given by David A. Cox, an expert in algebraic geometry.  Additional lectures were given on specific topics during the conference, including elimination theory, numerical algebraic geometry, geometric rigidity theory, and chemical reaction networks.

Dr. Phillipson also participated in the poster session, presenting a poster on her paper “Gröbner Bases of Neural Ideals.”  Pictures of the conference are included below.


Math Faculty has research paper published

Dr. Kaitlyn Phillipson recently had a paper published in the International Journal of Algebra and Computation entitled “Gröbner Bases of Neural Ideals” with coauthors Rebecca Garcia, Luis David García Puente, Ryan Kruse, Jessica Liu, Dane Miyata, Ethan Petersen, and Anne Shiu. This paper was the result of research done with undergraduates over two REU programs: the PURE Math Program in Hilo, Hawaii and the Texas A&M Math REU Program in College Station, Texas. Dr. Phillipson was a mentor for both REU programs.

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!