Students and Faculty Participated in National Conference on Undergraduate Research

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Two Mathematics and Computer Science Department majors were among the thirty-four Westminster College students who presented their research at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) held from March 29-April 1, 2012, at Weber State University in Ogden, UT:  Coty Hainsey, a senior mathematics major, and Lisa Kaylor, a junior mathematics major.

Hainsey's presentation was entitled "A Look at Benford's Law." He was advised by Dr. David Offner, assistant professor of mathematics.

Kaylor's presentation was entitled "Straightline Hanoi." Her advisors were Dr. Jeffrey Boerner, assistant professor of mathematics, and Dr. Natacha Fontes-Merz, associate professor of mathematics.

The interdisciplinary conference hosted over 3,000 students from across the country.  Presenters were invited from all institutions of higher learning and from all academic curricula.  The conference created an environment for the celebration and promotion of undergraduate student achievement, provided models of exemplary research and scholarship, and helped improve the state of undergraduate education.

Westminster faculty who accompanied the students were: Dr. Kerri Cornell Duerr, assistant professor of biology; Dr. Patrick Krantz, associate professor of education and director of Westminster's Drinko Center for Experiential Learning; and Dr. Terri Lenox, associate professor of computer science and chair of Westminster's Department of Mathematics and Computer Science.

The Westminster students received travel/presentation grants from Westminster's Drinko Center for Experiential Learning to help fund the trip.

"Participation in the conference has grown every year, from 10 students in 2008 to the 34 that went this year," Krantz said.  "Because so many were accepted, it was a challenge to find the funding.  Academic departments contributed, but it was Westminster's Student Government Association that stepped up to make sure everyone could attend.  They passed a resolution, not only for this year but also for years to come, to donate 50% of the prior year's unspent programming fund (up to $8,000) to support travel related to undergraduate research, including NCUR.  That speaks to the importance they place on participation in this conference."

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Coty Hainsey

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Lisa Kaylor