## Faculty News

Principal Investigator, Professor Ellis-Monaghan, and co-principal investigator Professor Pangborn were awarded a major three-year National Science Foundation grant of $200,002 for Sep. 2010-Aug. 2013 to support the collaborative work between the math and computer science departments of designing nanoconstructs, with student assistants, that has the potential for wide practical application.

On campus collaboration in undergraduate research in the area of graph theoretical self-assembly design strategies has continued with four mathematics undergraduates during the 2010-2011 academic year, under the direction of Professors Ellis-Monaghan and Greta Pangborn from the Computer Science Department. 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 an REU supplement to NSF Grant No. 1001408.

## Student News

Four Saint Michael’s students, Andrew Gilbert ’11, Jake Girard ’12, Dan Lewis ’10, and Mary Spuches ’12, had a paper “Design Optimization for DNA Nanostructures” accepted for publication in the American Journal of Undergraduate Research. This research used mathematical tools, particularly from the area of Graph Theory, to determine the minimum numbers of component molecules necessary for the self-assembly of geometric nanostructures, such as Platonic and Archimedean solids, from strands of DNA. The work was advised by Prof. Ellis-Monaghan and Prof. Pangborn.

Kaiti Tuthill ’11 published the article “Constraint Consensus Methods for Finding Interior Feasible Points in Second Order Cones” in the Journal of Applied Mathematics. Kaiti’s joint research for this paper was done while working at a National Science Foundation-supported Research Experiences for Undergraduates program at Northern Arizona University inFlagstaff during the summer of 2010.

Mary Spuches ’12 gave at the talk “Design Optimization for DNA Nanostructures” at the national MAA Mathfest conference in Pittsburgh, PA in Aug. 2010.

## Colloquium Series

In our Departmental Colloquium Series, we continued to offer regular talks on relevant mathematics topics. Presentations and other events from 2010-2011 are listed below.

**September of 2010**

Several undergraduates presented results from their summer undergraduate research work, including:

Brittany Baker ’11 and “Winning Combinations: Connecting Study Abroad to a Summer Program through Combinatorics”

Emily Pratt ’12 and “Trajectory Design Using a Linearized Restricted Three-Body Problem”

Mary Spuches ’12 “Signature Recognition: Wavelet Decomposition versus Fourier Analysis”

Kaiti Tuthill ’11 “Methods for Finding Near Feasible Points for a System of Constraints”

**October 2010**

Professor Thomas Hull fromWesternNew England College presented our annual Pi Mu Epsilon Lecture “Origami – Math is in the Creasing.”

**November 2010**

Patricia Cahn, Ph.D. candidate from Dartmouth College, gave the Colloquium talk “Counting Self-Intersections of Loops on Surfaces.”

**January 2011**

Professor Richard Foote from UVM gave the Colloquium talk “Symmetry and the Monster: Mathematics as the Ultimate Complex System.”

**March 2011**

Professor Debra Boutin from Hamilton College gave the Colloquium talk “Graphs and Symmetry.”

**April 2011**

Professor Tim Whiteford from the Education Department gave the Colloquium talk “Teaching Math to ELLs.” Also, Professor Jo Ellis-Monaghan has continued to serve as co-organizer/coordinator of the weekly Combinatorics Seminar jointly hosted by Saint Michael’s and theUniversity ofVermont.

## Another successful year

Volume 2 Summer 2010

An exciting year in the Saint Michael’s Mathematics Department has come to a close with the graduation of another one of our classes. Our graduates look forward to building upon their undergraduate education in future endeavors, ranging from graduate school to employment in education or industry to service work in the Peace Corps or Americorps.

**Our 2010 mathematics graduates are:
**Catherine Dalton

Erick Gallager

William Jeralds

Mary Leavy

Dan Lewis

Nadine McBride

It is worth noting that once again many of the top rated jobs in 2010 require significant mathematical abilities and skills. For example, please visit the Jobs Rated 2010 top 10 list, in which the top 3 positions and at least half of the top 10 need advanced education in mathematics.

We continue to have students participating in grant-supported undergraduate research on campus during the academic year and off campus during the summer.

## Research and presentations

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.