Gordon people attended many math-related conferences during 2013-14. In addition to the Joint Mathematics Meetings and MAA Sectional Meeting mentioned below, in April, we hosted the third annual North Shore Undergraduate Math Conference.
Last November, Dr. Veatch gave a talk in Minneapolis at a national operations research conference. The topic, robust optimization, included some research done with Gordon senior Olivia Gray.
Drs. Crisman, Senning, and Stout all attend the May/June 2013 meeting of the Association of Christians in the Mathematical Sciences at Bethel University.
Museum of Math in NYC
In March the math club organized a daytrip to the National Museum of Mathematics in Manhattan. The only museum in the nation dedicated to mathematics, the MoM opened in 2012 and has exhibits and programs for all ages. The participants got to see not only the museum but took in lunch and visited Central Park during this one-day trip
Congratulations to Olivia Gray and Katharine Adamyk, two senior mathematics majors! Olivia successfully presented and defended her honors thesis "Robust Optimization of Queues and Variations on a Series Line" this past December, while Katharine is entering the PhD program in mathematics at the University of Colorado.
Also congratulations to junior Joy Kimmel, who has been accepted to several REU programs for the summer. She will be attending a program at Ohio Wesleyan University, working on weather modeling with several other students from across the country.
MIT Graduate Student Speaks
In 2013, the proposal of an MIT graduate student in Operations Research, Peng Shi, was selected as the new way to help select schools for thousands of Boston public school students. Peng's combination of listening and robust analysis led to this adoption, showing data-driven simulation is a powerful tool for guiding public policy decisions. Peng is also the president of MIT's Graduate Christian Fellowship, and spoke about all of these things on January 30th, 2014 in a well-attended Math Forum event in KOSC 109.
Students and Faculty Present at Joint Mathematics Meetings
Several Gordon faculty and one Gordon student attended the Joint Mathematics Meetings in Baltimore, the largest mathematics meeting in the world, during the first few days of the new semester in 2014.
Senior Katharine Adamyk presented a poster on her research into genes, games, and graphs from a summer research experience, and Dr. Crisman presented a poster on the new Mentoring Math Circles partnership with Girls Inc. of Lynn. Will we see you at the next meeting in San Antonio?
Gordon Students Place in Regional Math Competition
Mathematics seniors Olivia Gray and Katharine Adamyk placed second out of dozens of teams in the team math competition at the Northeastern Sectional meeting of the MAA in November. The problems were from geometry, calculus, number theory, and other areas. This is the fourth year Gordon has participated in the competition.
Summer Student Research in High Gear
Summer break doesn't keep Gordon mathematics students from pursuing new knowledge. Olivia Gray '14 and Juliann Booth '15 are engaged in two different types of applied research. Professor Jonathan Senning points out that it's not just useful, either - "there's beauty to be seen; here it comes by way of trying to do something useful."
Professor Mike Veatch is working with Olivia on investigating how manufacturing systems for everything from circuit boards to battleships can become 'clogged', and how to tell how congested a system is. Juliann's goal while working with Dr. Senning is to develop a computer tool using a method for generating random numbers following some constraints that can solve global optimization problems. See the full article for more details on their exciting summer of research!
Off to Graduate School
We'd like to congratulate seniors Melissa Haire and Leonard Stevenson, who will both be starting PhD programs this fall! Melissa will be headed to the University of Connecticut, while Leonard will be studying at Drexel University in Philadelphia.
Gordon Math program receives MAA grant
After two successful pilot events, Gordon College has received a grant from the Tensor Foundation and the Math Association of America in conjunction with the middle school program at Girls Inc. of Lynn. Gordon students will run a "Mentoring Math Circle" to inspire girls to adopt positive attitudes and curiosity towards mathematics. The Mentoring Math Circle will meet six times a semester (including a field trip) with Girls Inc. students to facilitate an exploratory mathematical experience.
The photo is from one of the pilot events, on soap films and math. Everyone had fun and some people even got a little wet!
High-Performance Computing comes to Gordon
For the past year, Professor Jonathan Senning (who holds a joint appointment in Mathematics and Computer Science) has been helping teach students to enter the cutting-edge world of high-performance computing with the help of grants from XSEDE, the Shodor Foundation, and the HPC Educators Program (SC12). Along with Peter Story '14 he attended a conference and built our own LittleFe small high-performance cluster, and students in the Parallel and High Performance Computing class in Spring 2013 learned about topics such as using graphics cards and Hadoop - all for distributed computing.
Read more about these opportunities in Gordon's Faculty Central blog post about it!
Gordon Professor on two grants
Sometimes projects are a long time in brewing. Associate Professor of Mathematics Karl-Dieter Crisman recently has been involved with two grants on topics of personal interest, both of which should have impact on students and the broader community.
For the 2013-14 school year, Dr. Crisman was named one of the inaugural Faculty Fellows of Gordon's Center for Faith and Inquiry. His project, The Moral Case for Open-Source Software, brings together strands of thought on effective teaching using free resources, student participation in software development, and Christian commitments to promoting creativity and stewardship. The goal of the grant is to bring some of the theological ideas underlying open-source software to a wider audience, including the pastorate.
In 2012, Dr. Crisman was asked to join Project MOSAIC, an NSF-funded program to find new ways to introduce computation and modeling early in the college mathematics curriculum. The goal is to make it easier to introduce more realistic modeling of real-life data for students as they are introduced to math concepts, as opposed to seeing things such as calculus divorced from this data. Some of the work of the project can be seen at the website for the Math Association of America professional development workshop in the summer of 2013, held at the College of Idaho.
Gordon College hosts conference on Humanitarian relief
On March 2, 2013, Professor of Mathematics Mike Veatch brought scores of practitioners and interested students to campus for a conference on the logistics of humanitarian relief. Partnering with the MIT Humanitarian Response Lab, speakers from NGOs such as Doctors without Borders and the Salvation Army presented on a wide variety of related topics. Pike Scholar Anna Jonker '13 also presented on her senior capstone project analyzing a potential high-calorie supplement for such situations.