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Mathematics

Mathematics provides the opportunity to develop analytical problem solving skills and to think abstractly. It provides foundational knowledge not only for more in-depth study in areas such as bioinformatics and discrete mathematics, but also complementary knowledge for the sciences and social sciences.

This year Mathematics was well represented by its students, several of whom accompanied faculty to four regional conferences at which they made poster presentations or competed in collegiate-level mathematics competitions. Three graduate students completed Master’s theses and one senior completed an honors’ thesis. A recent graduate, Stephen Gueble (advised by Dr. Aaron Clark), published two findings from his thesis in the On-line Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences. Mathematics inducted five new members (both mathematics majors and minors) into Pi Mu Epsilon, the national mathematics honor society.

Mathematics is most proud of the extra-curricular mathematics experiences of its majors. The Math Club advised by Dr. John Scheuermann meets every other Monday during the regular semesters and co-sponsored and co-hosted the 2015 New Haven High School Mathematics Competition. Friday afternoons the Math seminar room is the hotspot for more problem solving activity, as Drs. Joe Fields and Ross Gingrich lead faculty and students working on mathematics problems that extend the typical undergraduate curriculum in all STEM-related fields. In the fall semester, this group prepared for the Putnam exam, which is well known to be the most challenging national undergraduate mathematics competition (the median individual score is 0), and in the spring semester, the group works on general mathematics competition problems. This year, five of our students took the Putnam exam.

In the area of creative activity, several Math faculty published articles, curriculum chapters, and proceedings, made many presentations at local, regional, national, and international meetings, and submitted several grant applications, 7 of which were funded. At the state level, Dr. Marty Hartog was asked to be the principal author and coordinator of a unit on polynomials for the Common Core Algebra 2 curriculum. Drs. Braxton Carrigan, Len Brin, and Joe Fields all gave invited lectures at local institutions, and Dr. Maria Diamantis organized a one-day conference for the Connecticut Academy for Mathematically Precocious Youth (CAMPY).

Under the leadership of Mathematics, Southern hosted the Fall 2014 meeting of the Northeastern Section of the Mathematical Association of America. Southern also welcomed the Second Annual Conference of the GeoGebra Institute of Southern Connecticut. The institute, led by Marie Nabbout-Cheiban, has brought together our faculty, current students, alumni, and faculty from other institutions, both regional and national, to discuss a common goal of learning to use this free software to enhance learning in mathematics classrooms at all levels.

Mathematics Department

Recent Departmental and Faculty Successes

Dr. Terri Bennett (w. Dr. Lisa Lancor, CSC) was awarded a Curriculum Development Grant for the project, “Developing an Interdisciplinary Major in Data Sciences at SCSU.”

Dr. Braxton Carrigan presented the plenary address at the MAA Spring Sectional at Keene State University, NH, and at the Joint Meetings of the AMS and MAA in San Antonio, TX, he presented his work, “Extendability of Surface Triangulations.”

Dr. Aaron Clark co-presented “Parameters Governing Deviations from the Beer-Lambert-Bouger Law for Direct Transmission,” at the American Meteorological Society's 14th Conference on Atmospheric Radiation in Boston, MA.

Dr. Richard DeCesare recently published an article, “Robert Patterson; American ‘Revolutionary’ Mathematician” in the Bulletin of the British Society for the History of Mathematics. He also presented this work at MAA MathFest in Washington, DC and wrote a Reader Reflection for The Mathematics Teacher.

Dr. Maria Diamantis co-presented her research on mathematics education at several venues including the Annual Conference of the Association of Teachers of Mathematics in New Jersey (ATMNJ), and the NCTM Regional Conference. She presented, “Mathematics, Language Arts, and Art!” at the ATOMIC Annual Conference.

Dr. Joe Fields presented, “Graphics and Figures for Open-Source Textbooks,” at the Joint Meetings of the AMS and MAA in San Antonio, TX.

Dr. Jooyoun Hong has co-authored several articles on commutative algebra in the Journal of the London Mathematical Society, Acta Mathematica Vietnamica, and the Journal of Algebra. She also presented at the International Congress of Women Mathematicians in Seoul, Korea.

Dr. Klay Kruczek co-authored Preparing Middle School Mathematics Teachers. 2015 CUPM Curriculum Guide to Majors in the Mathematical Sciences, from the Mathematical Association of America. He presented on Southern’s GEAR UP Summer Mathematics Program at MAA MathFest in Portland, OR and the Joint Meetings of the AMS and MAA.

Dr. Ray Mugno co-authored with Dr. Julie Pang a conference proceeding, “Constructing Collaborative Learning Groups with Maximum Diversity Requirements,” for The 15th IEEE international conference on advanced learning technologies (ICALT).

Dr. Marie Nabbout-Cheiban recently published, “Explorations in Geometry and Algebra using GeoGebra,” in the Connecticut Mathematics Journal. She also presented her work at the PME 38 & PME-NA 36 Conference in Vancouver, Canada and the ATOMIC Annual Conference in Cromwell, CT.

Dr. Julie Pang authored two conference proceedings from the 13th IEEE International Conference on Machine Learning and Applications as well as articles for the Journal of Software and the journal, Nonlinear Dynamics. She presented her research in Haikou, China and at Southern for the First Annual Conference of the Chinese-American Professors Association in Connecticut (CAPACT).

Dr. Val Pinciu presented his work on computational geometry at the 28th Midwest Conference on Combinatorics and Combinatorial Computing in Las Vegas, NV and the 46th Southeastern International Conference on Combinatorics, Graph Theory, and Computing in Boca Raton, FL.