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Fall 2016 News from the Campuses of . . .

PURDUE UNIVERSITY - West Lafayette, Indiana

For eight weeks this summer, ten undergraduate students participated in the Purdue Research Experiences in Mathematics (PRiME) summer REU program on the West Lafayette campus of Purdue University. The ten students, two from Purdue University and eight others from colleges and universities from coast to coast, were divided into two groups led by Professors Edray Goins and Jonathon Peterson. Professor Goins's group conducted research in number theory and algebraic geometry characterizing the Belyi maps of elliptic curves, while the students in Professor Peterson's group worked in probability theory computing upper and lower bounds for the limiting speed of a certain model of a self-interacting random walk. Both groups of students presented their research at the Indiana Undergraduate Math Research Conference at IUPUI.

The eight week PRiME program is intended to provide undergraduate students who are thinking of attending graduate school in mathematics with an introduction to the world of mathematical research. Throughout the summer, the students were able to experience how research in mathematics often involves many failed attempts before one finally finds an approach that works. In the end, both groups were able to obtain new results and are currently preparing papers based on their work to be submitted for publication in a mathematics journal.

In addition to learning the advanced mathematics needed for their research projects, the students also learned to write documents in LaTeX, how to use computational programs such as Sage, Mathematica, and Matlab, and what to know when applying for graduate school programs in mathematics or statistics.

The PRiME REU program was funded by a grant from the NSF that provides funding for the program for the next two summers as well. Applications for the 2017 PRiME program will be due by mid February. Interested students can find more information when it is available at the website for the PRiME program:     TOP


John Rickert was promoted to Full Professor, starting in the Fall of 2016.

We welcome two new Assistant Professors to the department:

  • Timothy All rejoins our department this fall. He was a visiting assistant professor at Rose from 2013-2015 before taking a visiting assistant professor position at Wabash College. He received his Ph.D. from The Ohio State University in 2013 and specializes in algebraic number theory, p-adic analysis, and Iwasawa Theory.
  • Megan Heyman returns to Rose as well, having graduated from Rose with a B.S. in Mathematics in 2008. She received her Ph.D. in Statistics from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities in 2016, with a specialty in bootstrapping methods for spatio-temporal data and modeling environmental data with nonparametric statistics.

Four member of the department return from sabbatical:

  • Al Holder and Leanne Holder spent the year in Lancaster, UK, working on research with colleagues
  • Ralph Grimaldi spent the year both in Terre Haute and abroad working with colleagues.
  • Allen Broughton traveled to Sweden and Spain during the Spring term to continue his research with colleagues.

Wenjun Kong, a 2016 Computer Science graduate, recently was awarded First Place in the Undergraduate Statistics Research Project competition (Methodological Research Subcategory) for her project “Variable Screening via Distance Correlation and Complete Least Squared.” This project came from her Senior Thesis, which was advised by Eric Reyes (Assistant Professor in Mathematics), and in it she developed a method for feature screening in high-dimensional settings common with genetic data. Wenjun is currently at Washington University in St. Louis pursuing a graduate degree in Bioinformatics.

Last year we completed our first year with the new Biomathematics program. We currently have 5 students majoring in Biomathematics and have received numerous inquiries from potential students.     TOP


Our department happily welcomed Associate Professor, Dr. Patrick Eggleton. Dr. Eggleton is no stranger to the Indiana Section, having previously taught at both Huntington University and Ball State University. Most recently Dr. Eggleton taught high school mathematics at Numonohi Christian Academy, Goroka, Eastern Highlands Province, Papua New Guinea.

Taylor students Ruth Jansen (’17) and Becca Rousseau (’17) presented their summer research at Mathfest 2016's Undergraduate Paper Sessions, where they received an Outstanding Presentation Award. Their work was done under adviser Dr. Derek Thompson.

Dr. Matt DeLong began a three-year term as Department Chair, following the able leadership of previous chair Dr. Jeremy Case. Dr. DeLong was also voted to a two-year term of Faculty Moderator for the Taylor University faculty.     TOP


Dr. Kathy Rodgers, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Southern Indiana, received the University’s Distinguished Professor Award during the Spring 2016 Commencement ceremony of the Pott College of Science, Engineering, and Education. The Distinguished Professor Award is presented annually to one USI faculty member in recognition of significant achievement in teaching, scholarship, and service. A full announcement is available here:

The University of Southern Indiana is pleased to welcome three new faculty members in the Department of Mathematics for the Fall 2016 semester:

  • Dr. Mark Creager, Assistant Professor, completed his Ph.D. in mathematics education from Indiana University in 2016.
  • Dr. Misty Ostergaard, Assistant Professor, completed her Ph.D. in mathematics from Kansas State University in 2016.
  • Dr. Uditha Wijesuriya, Assistant Professor, completed his Ph.D. in statistics from the University of Texas at Dallas in 2015.

WABASH COLLEGE- Crawfordsville, Indiana

Dr. Bob Foote returns from a year-long sabbatical to his last year of teaching. Next spring he will return after serving at Wabash for almost 30 years.

Dr. William Turner also returned from a sabbatical, although his was only for a semester. He also returns to the chair the department for the fifth and final year of his term. It will be a busy one, with an external review, a tenure review, and multiple searches.

We thank Dr. Chad Westphal for serving as department chair last semester.     TOP




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