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Research and presentations

June 30, 2010

Six mathematics undergraduates participated in undergraduate research on campus during the 2009-2010 academic year, under the direction of Prof. Jo Ellis-Monaghan. Several papers, posters, and talks at academic meetings resulted from these collaborative efforts, and students wrote reflections on their experiences. This work was supported by a grant from the Center on Undergraduate Research in Mathematics.

During August of 2009, at the VGN Retreat Poster Session, Andrew Gilbert, Jacob Girard, Daniel Lewis  presented “Design Optimization for DNA Nanostructures.” During the Fall of 2009, Dan Lewis presented “Self-assembling DNA nanostructures” at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and the Vermont Space Grant Consortium Awards Ceremony.

As of January 2010, Prof. Jo Ellis-Monaghan became Associate Editor of the journal PRIMUS: Problems Resources and Issues in Mathematics Undergraduate Studies.

Profs. George Ashline and Jo Ellis-Monaghan continue to give invited talks and workshops at schools in Vermont through the Vermont State Math Coalition’s Expanding Horizons program. Prof. Ellis-Monaghan presented “Graphs in Your Neighborhood” for Swanton Schools in April, and Prof. Ashline presented “Bias and Margin of Error in Statistical Analysis” and “Correlation Properties and Applications” for Swanton Schools in December and March, respectively, and also at Canaan High School in March.

Profs. George Ashline, Jo Ellis-Monaghan, Zsuzsanna Kadas from the Mathematics Department and Declan McCabe from the Biology Department published a UMAP (Undergraduate Mathematics and Its Applications)/ ILAP (Interdisciplinary Lively Application Project) module, which describes how vector calculus tools from multivariable calculus can be used to generate three-dimensional models of mollusk shells from growth measurements. The publication details are: “Modeling Seashell Morphology.” 2009. UMAP Module 801. In UMAP/ILAP Modules 2009: Tools for Teaching, edited by Paul J. Campbell, 101-139. Bedford, MA: COMAP.

Students and Faculty participated in April, 2010 Hudson River Undergraduate Mathematics Conference at Keene State College.

Several mathematics majors are participating in off campus mathematics programs for the summer of 2010.

  • Brittany Baker ’11: Selected to participate in competitive Summer Mathematics Program for Women in Mathematics REU program at George Washington University from June 26 through July 31, 2010. 
  • Kaiti Tuthill ’11: Selected to participate in competitive mathematics REU program on Applied Mathematics, Combinatorics or Graph Theory at the Northern Arizona University from June 7 through July 30, 2010. 
  • Emily Pratt ’12: Selected to participate in a summer undergraduate research project at the University of Vermont in Applied Mathematics. The research is part of a NASA project, entitled “The Vermont CubeSat Lunar Lander Project,” to study the feasibility of designing a single unit CubeSat package with a propulsion system capable of transferring from a low Earth orbit to a lunar orbit and
    possibly landing on the Moon. This Flight Path Analysis will focus on the study of mathematically different transfer paths that require lower energy.
  • Mary Spuches ’12: Selected to participate in the competitive summer mathematics pre-REU program on “Signal and Image Analysis” at Texas A & M University during June 27-July 31, 2010.  As technology becomes more sophisticated, the need for efficiently handling vast amounts of data has grown tremendously. This pre-REU program will introduce the basic ideas behind Fourier analysis and wavelets, the two main tools used to analyze signals and images. As time goes on, the students will break up into groups and work on projects involving real-world examples.
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