Math major and faculty present at national conference
Robin French '15 and Assistant Professor Chad Awtrey presented at the Joint Mathematics Meetings from Jan. 10-13, 2015, in San Antonio, Texas.
French, a Glen Ravens Scholar, spoke on her research "A new algorithm for Galois groups of quintic polynomials," which was mentored by Awtrey. Her work describes a new method for determining the symmetry structure of the roots of an arbitrary degree 5 polynomial.
These results were obtained while she participated in SURE 2014. Since then, French has extended her work to include degree 6 polynomials, done in collaboration with Awtrey, math major Peter Jakes '17, and Associate Professor Alan Russell. A corresponding paper has been submitted for publication.
Awtrey gave two presentations. In his talk "Introducing Galois theory in an introductory linear algebra course," Awtrey described inquiry-based activities he has used to introduce linear algebra students to the symmetries of roots of polynomials with rational coefficients. He concluded by discussing undergraduate research projects he has mentored related to the topic.
Awtrey's second talk, "One approach to researching, presenting, and publishing with undergraduate pure math majors," gave an overview of his recent collaborations with undergraduates on projects related to computational Galois theory.
In particular, Awtrey discussed the following: how he recruits students, sample funding sources, tips for beginning the writing process, appropriate dissemination outlets, and a summary of his students' achievements and post-baccalaureate plans.