Math majors and faculty present at regional conference
A total of six math majors and faculty presented at the annual conference of the Southeastern Section of the Mathematical Association of America in Wilmington, N.C., on March 13-14, 2015.
The following students and faculty attended the conference: Maddie Edwards '15, Peter Jakes '17, John Johnson '15, Erin Murnane '17, Kelly Reagan '17, Nicole Soltz '17, Professor Crista Arangala, Associate Professor Alan Russell, Associate Professor Karen Yokley and Assistant Professor Chad Awtrey.
Edwards presented her talk "Derivative sign patterns for infinitely differentiable functions in three dimensions." Her work was mentored by Professor of Mathematics Jeff Clark.
Jakes presented "Degree 6 polynomials and their solvability by radicals" and Soltz presented "Counting roots and Galois groups." Both of their research projects were mentored by Awtrey.
Yokley and Arangala presented "Using Mathematica as the primary technology in the calculus sequence and in linear algebra." Their talk focused on changes and opportunities related to recent departmental pedagogical changes in foundational mathematics courses.
Russell spoke on "Origami, Engineering, and Math." To a standing-room-only audience, Russell shared recent progress on the $1.7 million NSF grant "Externally-triggered Origami of Responsive Polymer Sheets," for which he serves as the origami consultant. The talk included several video vignettes which illustrated the nature of the researchers' novel folding process.
Awtrey presented "Introducing Galois theory in an introductory linear algebra course." His talk detailed inquiry-based learning activities he has used with students to introduce symmetry properties of roots of polynomials. He also discussed undergraduate research projects related to these activities.
At the conference, Clark was awarded the Distinguished Service Award, in honor of his long history of contributions to the Section.