Lucian Poster Session 2019

This year we had 6 students present at the Lucian Poster Session. To view a photo album, click here

Luisa Asencia – Graph Splines and the Universal Difference Property

Karlee Bradley – Mapping Accumulated Heat and Plant Phenology Data

Stella Cunningham – Comparing Particulate Matter Averages Between Road and Creek Transects Along Waller Creek

Sam Johnson – Paper Fold Dynamics

Adrian Silva – Comets in the SET Universe

Antonio Tapia – Discrete Bidding in the Game Connect n


Math major’s success in 3+2 dual-degree engineering program

Antoine Chamoun-Farah is our first math major to continue our 3+2 dual-degree engineering program at Washington University in St. Louis. Here are some highlights of what he has been up to:

  • He received the 2018 Harold P. Brown Scholarship for full tuition for his first two years at Washington University in St. Louis where he is studying chemical engineering.
  • He completed an internship at Exxon in Spring 2019.
  • He completed an internship at Molecular Rebar Design in Austin in Summer 2019.
  • He participated in the weeklong Summer Venture in Management Program (SVMP) at Harvard Business School in June.
  • He was selected for the MIT Access Program ( later this month.
  • He was invited to attend the Forbes Under 30 Summit in Detroit, MI, next month.
  • He received a SHPE (Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers) scholarship for this year.

Congratulations, Antoine, and keep up the great work — we’re very proud of you!

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 majors present at School of Natural Sciences Senior Seminar Symposium

Congratulations to our six graduating math majors who presented the results of their four semesters of math research at the 2019 School of Natural Sciences Senior Seminar Symposium on April 12:

Bianca Salinas, “Foldings on Generalized Bonding Graphs”
Juan Pablo Chouza, “Parking Functions”
Ayesha Gonzales, “The design of satellite constellations and the Antarctica problem”
Ivan Mota, “Integer Values for Generating Functions of Gibonacci Sequences”
Skyler Young, “Non-transitive Dice: Which One Wins When”
Elias Bocanegra, “Analyzing Radiosonde Data During Extreme Weather Events”

Math majors & faculty attend, present, & win award at MAA Texas Section Meeting

Drs. Jason Callahan and Michael Saclolo accompanied math majors Walther Chong, Omar Dominguez, Ayesha Gonzales, Taylor Huey, Sam Johnson, Nathaniel Leech, Rafael Montes, Ivan Mota, Kat Rubio, and Adrian Silva to the 99th Annual Meeting of the Texas Section of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) at Tarleton State University.

Omar and Adrian each presented research they conducted with Dr. Callahan, Ayesha presented research she conducted with Dr. Kaitlyn Phillipson, and Ivan presented research he conducted with Dr. Saclolo. Ivan also won an award for best presentation in his session and got to meet banquet speaker, author, and Southwestern University President, Dr. Edward Burger.

Congratulations to all our majors and faculty who took advantage of this opportunity to attend a math conference and present their research!

Putnam results

Congratulations to Ayesha Gonzales, who earned a positive score on the 2018 Putnam Exam! A total of 4623 students at 568 institutions participated in the competition, which takes place on the first Saturday of December every year. Our team rank was 339.

Problems and solutions from 2018 and past exams are available at

Official results and press release are at