Undergraduate Mathematics Conference Receives High Marks
By Andrew Molchany, JMU Office of Public Affairs
Students from as far away as the University of Southern California, the University of Utah, and the University of Nevada traveled to the third annual Shenandoah Undergraduate Mathematics and Statistics (SUMS) Conference at JMU.
The students from the western schools, along with 86 JMU students, were among 250 presenters and attendees of this years conference, held Saturday, Oct.13 at the Health and Human Services building on JMUís campus east of Interstate 81.
Laura Taalman, associate professor of mathematics and a co-organizer of SUMS, said the conference serves both JMU students and the larger mathematical community. "Within JMU, SUMS provides an incentive for students to prepare research papers and expository posters that extend their usual coursework, and a venue for both math and non-math majors to experience what mathematicians do," she said. "Presenting at SUMS has become a standard part of some of our math major courses, and attending SUMS is worth credit in courses throughout the department, including liberal arts and calculus courses."
Elizabeth Theta Brown, assistant professor of mathematics and also a co-organizer, added: "SUMS also reaches out to high school students and faculty, on the premise that just as undergraduates can learn a lot from attending a faculty mathematics conference, so can high school students learn a lot from attending an undergraduate conference."
In addition to student presentations, the conference featured keynote speakers Mike Krebs, a math professor from the California State University, Los Angeles and Ann Trenk, a math professor from Wellesley (Mass.) College. Krebs presented Beaucoup de Sudoku, an investigation into the mathematical techniques behind the popular brain game sudoku. Trenk presented Groovy Graphs: Coloring, Scheduling and Solving Mysteries, an exploration into the practical applications of graph theory.
Students presented 32 posters and 28 discussions; nine students participated in both the poster and oral presentations.
This yearís presenters were:
Published October 2007 by JMU Public Affairs