Westminster College Hosts Allegheny Mountain Section Meeting of MAA

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Westminster College hosted the annual Allegheny Mountain Section Meeting of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) on April 4-5, 2014.
Dr. Pamela Richardson, associate professor of mathematics, and Dr. Natacha Fontes-Merz, associate professor of mathematics, were the local organizers for the conference.  As local organizers, Dr. Richardson and Dr. Fontes-Merz oversaw most of the conference event planning, including arranging parking, housing, and dining for the participants, reserving and setting up spaces for events, and making arrangements for audio visual and technology needs. They were assisted by Dr. Carolyn Cuff, professor of mathematics; Dr. Terri Lenox, professor of computer science; and Dr. David Offner, assistant professor of mathematics.
The program consisted of mathematical presentations by students and faculty from Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia, invited talks by three nationally-known speakers, a problem-solving competition and a career panel for undergraduates, and social events. 
One Westminster faculty member, Dr. David Offner, and three mathematics majors gave talks at the conference as follows:

Dr. David Offner:  "Counting Matrices Over a Finite Field with all Eigenvalues in the Field" 
Gregory Clark:  "A Push in the Right Direction: Proving the Density of Complement Sets" 
Jenna Huston:  "Neural Network Hidden Layer Size"
Connor MacKenzie:  "Applying Topological Concepts of Geographic Information Systems to the Digital Plane" 

Dr. Richardson also served as the Coordinator of Student Programs for the Section, organizing the student talks and the problem-solving competition, which was attended by over 60 students.  Additionally, as an officer, she participated in the Section Officers' Meeting.
Dr. Offner attended the Section NExT workshop for new faculty in the section.  The workshop, titled "Putting the Legacy of Martin Gardner to Work in the Classroom," was led by Colm Mulcahy of Spelman College.

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Seated: Dr. Pamela Richardson; Standing: Dr. Natacha Fontes-Merz and Dr. Carolyn Cuff

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Dr. David Offner and Dr. Terri Lenox

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Westminster Student Presenters: Jenna Huston, Gregory Clark, Connor MacKenzie

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Gregory Clark's Presentation

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Students During Problem Solving Competition