Joint Mathematics Meetings 2014

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Westminster College Mathematics and Computer Science Department was represented by six faculty members and two mathematics majors at the Joint Mathematics Meetings, the annual conference of the American Mathematical Society (AMS) and the Mathematical Association of America (MAA), the two largest mathematical professional organizations in the country.  This year's conference was held in Baltimore, MD from January 15-18, 2014.
Held early each January, the conference is the largest annual mathematics meeting in the world.  The program provides plentiful opportunities for attendees to engage with fellow mathematicians and learn about innovative research, including numerous invited addresses, minicourses, short courses, panel sessions, workshops, paper sessions, posters, exhibits, and more.
Gregory Clark, mathematics major, gave a talk entitled, "An Algebraic Approach to Tile Invariants" at the MAA General Contributed Paper Session on Research in Algebra and Topology.  Clark's presentation was based on his research conducted during the summer of 2013 as part of the Willamette Valley Research Experience for Undergraduates.  
Emily Walther, mathematics ‘13, gave a presentation entitled "Prime Factorization of Kaszonyi Numbers" during the MAA General Contributed Paper Session on Research in Graph Theory and Combinatorics. The presentaion was based on research that Emily did while attending the Indiana University, Bloomington Research Experience for Undergraduates in the summer of 2013.

Dr. Carolyn Cuff, Westminster College professor of mathematics, was invited to lead a four-hour minicourse entitled "Teaching Introductory Statistics."  Designed for instructors who are new to teaching introductory statistics, this workshop exposed the participants to statistical concepts, assessment techniques, and classroom materials.  Dr. Cuff also attended an officers meeting as an appointed member of the MAA's "Committee for SIGMAAs," a committee charged with overseeing the special interest groups within the MAA.  She also attended a session on redesigning the undergraduate mathematics curriculum.
Dr. Natacha Fontes-Merz, Westminster College associate professor of mathematics, gave a talk entitled "More Results on Harmoniously Critical Graphs," which was a presentation of joint research that she did with Mr. James Anthony, Westminster College lecturer of mathematics, and Dr. Jeffrey Boerner, University of Wisconsin-Stout assistant professor of mathematics.  She also attended a meeting for new MAA committee chairs since she is this year's chair of the George Polya Awards Committee.  Finally, Dr. Fontes-Merz helped to build a sculpture which will be exhibited at MoMath, the new Modern Museum of Mathematics.
Dr. David Offner, Westminster College assistant professor of mathematics, gave a research presentation, "Counting Matrices Over a Finite Field With All Eigenvalues in the Field," in an MAA session on graph theory and combinatorics.  In this talk Dr. Offner presented research that he conducted jointly with Lisa Kaylor (class of 2013) while she was an undergraduate.
Dr. Pamela Richardson, Westminster College associate professor of mathematics, organized a day-long Graduate Education Mentoring workshop for female mathematics graduate students.  Dr. Richardson also attended meetings and performed duties as a member of the MAA's "Committee on Undergraduate Student Activities and Chapters."  In particular, Dr. Richardson helped to run the MAA Undergraduate Student Poster Session, an event that included approximately 450 undergraduate research participants.
Dr. John Bonomo, Westminster College associate professor of computer science, also attended the conference with his colleagues.
Dr. Barbara Faires, faculty emerita, prepared scripts, agendas, and citations for many sessions of the Joint Meetings and ran meetings of various MAA groups in her role as secretary of the Mathematical Association of America.

Click image to enlarge.
Emily Walther and Gregory Clark