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!

Math majors present at national and campus conferences

Math majors Roman Morales and Gilbert Rivera presented research they conducted with Drs. Jason Callahan and Paul Walter respectively at the 30th Anniversary of the National Conference on Undergraduate Research at the University of North Carolina-Asheville April 7-9, 2016.

Roman and Gilbert also presented their research along with fellow math major Sharon Freshour, who conducted her research with Dr. Callahan as well, at the 15th annual Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression (SOURCE) at St. Edward’s University on April 15, 2016.

Finally, the following math majors presented research conducted with the listed faculty at the St. Edward’s University School of Natural Sciences Senior Seminar Symposium on April 22, 2016:

  • Sharon Freshour: “Solving the KO labyrinth” (Dr. Callahan)
  • Roman Morales: “Rank of Recurrence Matrices” (Dr. Callahan)
  • Jasmynne Wilson: “Towards Better Physics Labs for Future Biologists” (Dr. Walter)
  • Gilbert Rivera: “Corona Discharge and Tropospheric Ozone Levels” (Dr. Walter)
  • Justin Myers: “Variations of Nim” (Dr. Casey Sherman)
  • Jesse Thomas: “Packing Unit Triangles into an Equilateral Triangle” (Dr. Sherman)
  • Alexandra Rudder: “Extension of Instant Insanity II” (Dr. Sherman)
  • Natalia Ramos: “Binominal Coefficients” (Dr. Edward Early)

Congratulations to all our students for taking advantage of these opportunities to present research they conducted with faculty!

Math majors, prof attend, present at MAA Texas Section Meeting

Dr. Jason Callahan accompanied math majors Roman Morales, Crisel Suarez, Valeria Gonzalez, Toni Galvan, and Bianca “B” Salinas to the 96th Annual Meeting of the Texas Section of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA). Roman Morales and Crisel Suarez each presented research conducted with Dr. Callahan, and Dr. Callahan presented research from his paper “Analysis of a Coupled, n-Patch Population Model with Density Dependence” with Richard Rebarber et al. published by International Journal of Difference Equations at the end of 2015. Congratulations to all our students and faculty for taking advantage of the opportunity to attend and present at a conference!


Math major accepted to REU program this summer

Math major Stephanie Thrash has been accepted to an NSF-sponsored Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan, June 12 to August 7, 2016. Research topics for the program include lottery voting (can randomness lead to better representation?), graphs and election simulation (use graphs to simulate diverse electorates in referendum elections), big data analysis and visualization (solve applied mathematics problems that involve large data sets and creative visualizations), outer billiards (explore fundamental domains of outer billiard maps in the hyperbolic plane and/or Euclidean plane), geometry and groups (create and classify finite geometries from finite groups), graph embeddings (enumerate the embeddings of graphs into a flat three-torus), and equal circle packing (find and prove the optimality of dense arrangements of circles on tori or Klein bottles). Congratulations to Stephanie for being accepted to this nationally competitive program and for taking advantage of such an exciting opportunity to conduct research in mathematics!

Math major, prof attend Texas Undergraduate Topology and Geometry Conference

Math major Andy Barnes and professor Dr. Jason Callahan attended the Texas Undergraduate Topology and Geometry Conference at The University of Texas at Austin February 27-28, 2016. Congratulations to Andy for taking advantage of this opportunity to attend a conference and learn some new mathematics!

Math prof has two papers & a book published

Dr. Jason Callahan recently had two papers and a book published:

Math major wins MAA Student Travel Grant, presents at JMM and TUMC

Math major Roman Morales, whose research with Dr. Jason Callahan was funded by the McNair Scholars Program and an Orlowski Fellowship of the Brother Romard Barthel, CSC, ‘47 Student/Faculty Summer Research Fund respectively the past two summers, was awarded a Mathematical Association of America (MAA) Student Travel Grant to present this research in the MAA Student Poster Session at the Joint Mathematics Meetings (JMM) in Seattle on January 9, 2016. He previously presented this research at the Texas Undergraduate Mathematics Conference (TUMC) at the University of Texas at Tyler on October 10, 2015.

Fellow student Amulya Deva also attended the JMM with Drs. Carol Gee, Edward Early, Cindy Naples, and David Naples, and fellow math majors Jasmynne Wilson, Valeria Gonzalez, Crisel Suarez, Sharon Freshour, Stephanie Thrash, Jesse Thomas, Gilbert Rivera, and Toni Galvan also attended TUMC with Dr. Michael Saclolo. Congratulations to all our students for taking advantage of the opportunity to present at or attend national and regional conferences!

Math major wins MAA MathFest Outstanding Presentation Award

Math major Abigail (Abby) Edgar, whose research with Dr. Jason Callahan was funded by the Dr. M. Jean McKemie and Suzanne Mason Endowed Student/Faculty Fund for Innovative Mathematics Summer Scholarship the past two summers, won an Outstanding Presentation Award  for her presentation at the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) MathFest Conference in Washington, DC, on August 6, for which she was also awarded an MAA Student Travel Grant. Congratulations to Abby on her well deserved award and for taking advantage of the opportunity to present her research at a national conference!