JMM + Boston = Fun!
Three Hood students (Dubravka Bodiroga, Kizza Nandyose, and Michael Mudarri) joined Professors Dunham, Stewart, Whieldon, and Mayfield at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in Boston early in January. More than seven thousand people participated in the conference, making it the largest ever gathering of mathematicians and math students on the planet.
Dubravka and Kizza presented posters about their summer research in the Undergraduate Poster Session, where faculty members from other colleges and universities admired their work, asked questions, and gave them feedback. Dr. Stewart gave a talk about her research on using "clickers" to teach differential equations and linear algebra. Dr. Dunham gave a talk about Math Tea, explaining to those at other colleges how to set up a fun, successful program like ours. Dr. Mayfield gave a talk about discovering and writing the history of the Maryland-DC-Virginia Section of the Mathematical Association of America. We all had fun cheering each other on at our various presentations, as well as attending many other talks and events.
Student Perspective: Dubravka Bodiroga
This was the first time I attended the JMM and I was surprised by the level of organization and by the number and diversity of activities offered. There was something for everybody and there was no way to attend all the events going on. I had a very hard time choosing.
I participated in the undergraduate poster session and that was the quickest two hours of my life. I got a chance to explain my research not only to professors, graduate school chairs, and students, but I got a chance to explain it to myself, once again and in more depth. The questions raised made me think about my research in a whole new way.
I had an opportunity to find out about graduate schools through the graduate school fair, and about the careers in math through many panels and discussions that I attended. And finally, one of the most important features of the JMM is networking. I met many students from all over the country and a few professors, including the head of the graduate school in mathematics of a university where I applied for graduate school. I expected to go and learn, but I got much more out of the JMM!
What aRE-U Doing This Summer?
Every summer, at sites all around the country, undergraduates participate in summer research activities called REUs (Research Experiences for Undergraduates). Each student participant works for eight or nine weeks on a research project associated with a faculty member or other researcher. Students receive a stipend in compensation for the summer work. Each summer, there are REU programs sponsoring research in all of the physical sciences and in mathematics. Several Hood students have participated such programs in recent years; among current mathematics majors, participants include Dubravka Bodiroga, Dorothy Kirlew, Kizza Nandyose, and Dylan O'Connell. REU projects in mathematics range from those suitable for students who have completed two semesters of calculus to those requiring knowledge of advanced mathematics. Application deadlines for REUs are approaching fast, and so if you are interested in this sort of summer activity, now is the time to investigate. Most REU programs are funded by the NSF (National Science Foundation), which offers extensive information, including a directory of programs, at http://www.nsf.gov/home/crssprgm/reu/.
Nebraska. In January. On Purpose.
Recently three Hood students and one faculty member traveled to Lincoln, NE for the 14th annual Nebraska Conference for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics. This conference, with major funding from NSF and NSA, brings together college women from all over the country to share the results of their research, to learn about grad school, careers and other opportunities in mathematics, and to network.
This was Jessica Garshell's third year at the conference. She says "I think I pick up on something new each time I go. Last year I was looking at summer research opportunities and grad school. This year, I wanted to know what was out there with only a bachelor's degree. I also went to a
session about Math Club activities and got quite a few ideas for our own Least Squares Math Club." This was the first year Hood students have given talks at the conference: Kizza Nandyose and Dubravka Bodiroga both made presentations about their summer research experiences.
This was also the first time a Hood faculty member made the trek to Nebraska in January. Dr. Mayfield decided she wanted to find out why our students enjoyed this conference so much, so this year she accompanied them to Lincoln. She really enjoyed the conference and especially the chance to visit with Abigail Brackins '08 who is a Ph.D. students in mathematics at the University.
COMAP Is Back!
The annual international COMAP mathematical modeling contest will take place February 9th-13th, 2012. During the contest, teams composed of three students work on a mathematical modeling problem at Hood.
Last year two Hood teams participated. One team, whose members were Jessica Garshell, Andrea Haines, and Jessica Lipscomb, studied the problem of efficiently placing repeaters for VHF radio transmission. The other team, whose members were Jessica Jeffrey, Kizza Nandyose, and Cal Silvious, studied the problem of designing a snowboard course to maximize "vertical air." Participants report having had a good time and having done good mathematics.
You may find further information about the contest at www.comap.com/ undergraduate/contests/. If you are interested in forming or joining a team, contact Dr. Parson.
Recent Faculty Publications
An important part of a mathematician's job is research, and new discoveries in mathematics are disseminated through peer-reviewed, published articles. Several members of Hood's faculty have had papers or book chapters published recently, including:
Professor James Parson
with Aravind Asok, Equivariant Sheaves on Some Spherical Varieties, Electronic Research Announcements in Mathematical Sciences,Volume18, 2011.
with Benedict Gross, On the local divisibility of Heegner points, to appear in the book Number Theory, Analysis and Geometry: In Memory of Serge Lang, Goldfeld et al. eds., Springer-Verlag, 2011.
Professor Gwyneth Whieldon
Stabilization of Betti Tables, Journal of Commutative Algebra, to appear.
Professor Ann Stewart
with H. Zullo, K. Cline, et al. Student Surveys: What Do They Think, Teaching Mathematics with Classroom Voting – With and Without Clickers, MAA Notes vol. 79, 2011.
with K. Cline, H. Zullo et al. Classroom Voting Questions that Provoke Teachable Moments in Differential Equations, Teaching Mathematics with Classroom Voting – With and Without Clickers, MAA Notes vol. 79, 2011.
Professor Jill Dunham
with Geir Agnarsson, A note on the maximum number of edges of nonflowerable coin graphs, SIAM Journal of Discrete Mathematics, to appear.
- Feb. 7, 9 p.m. in Hodson 236
Math Club Meeting: Pizza and Poker
COMAP Mathematical Modeling Competition
- Feb. 27, 3:30 p.m. in Hodson 235
Seminar by Proffesor Alissa Crans
Feb. 28, 6:30 p.m. MAA Cariage House, Washington DC
Proffesor Tim Chartier Lecture, "March Mathness"
- March 17-18, The George Washington University
AMS Spring Sectional Meeting
March 19, 3:30 p.m. in Hodson 235
Seminar by Proffesor Spencer Hamblen
April 13-14, Stevenson University
MAA Spring Section Meeting