Westminster College Mathematics and Computer Science Department Hosts Orientation Program

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - Westminster College's Department of Mathematics and Computer Science hosted a series of orientation workshops for incoming mathematics and computer science majors in September.

First-year students met weekly over lunch with department faculty and upper-class majors for the first four weeks of the fall semester for an informal introduction to each other and to members of the department.

Dr. Natacha Fontes-Merz, associate professor of mathematics, organized a problem-solving competition with prizes for the first session.  During the second session upper-class majors shared their experiences from summer internships and research opportunities. The upper-class students included:

  • Jenna Huston, a junior computer science and mathematics major, is a daughter of Robert and Robin Huston of Beaver Falls and a graduate of Blackhawk High School.
  • Lisa Kaylor, a senior mathematics major, is a daughter of Karen Kaylor of Chicora and a graduate of Karns City Area High School.
  • Connor MacKenzie, a senior mathematics major, is a son of Dwayne and Amy MacKenzie and a graduate of Ephrata High School.
  • Emily Walther, a junior mathematics major, is a daughter of Jeff and Brenda Walther of Washington and a graduate of Trinity High School.

Dr. Jeffrey Boerner, assistant professor of mathematics, presented "This is Math?! An Introduction to Knots" during the third session. Dr. John Bonomo, assistant professor of mathematics, presented "Computer Science Can Be Fun…Really!" for the final session.

Boerner and Dr. David Offner, assistant professor of mathematics, co-organized the program.

The objectives of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science are to provide a program that enables the student to acquire the knowledge and skills in mathematics and/ or computer science necessary for a chosen field, to develop an appreciation of the integration of each into our society, and to generate a mode of analytical thinking that can be extended to all areas of human thought and exploration.

Throughout the academic year mathematics and computer sciences majors participate in a variety of activities, including an international mathematical contest in modeling, local and regional programming contests, the Mathematical Association of America section meeting, and volunteering at Westminster's Campus Learning Center. There is also an opportunity for students to meet with faculty to prepare for the prestigious national Putnam exam, and Actuarial and Graduate Record Exams (GRE).

Contact Boerner at (724) 946-6023 or email for additional information.

About Westminster College...
Founded in 1852 and related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Westminster College ranks first in the nation as "Best College for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math," according to Forbes.com. Westminster is a top-tier liberal arts college and a national leader in graduation rate performance, according to U.S. News Best Colleges guide. Westminster is also honored as one of "The Best 377 Colleges" by The Princeton Review, and is named to the President's Honor Roll for excellence in service learning.

Nearly 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students benefit from individualized attention from dedicated faculty while choosing from 41 majors and nearly 100 organizations on the New Wilmington, Pa., campus. Visit www.westminster.edu/advantage to view "Advantage: Westminster" A Strategic Plan 2010-2020.


Click image to enlarge.

Upper-class majors mentor incoming math and computer science majors. (l-r) Emily Walther, Jenna Huston, Connor MacKenzie, and Lisa Kaylor.