# Pi Mu Epsilon hosts female mathematician for engaging colloquium

### Kristen Abernathy, assistant professor of mathematics at Winthrop University in South Carolina, spoke to a crowd of 51 students and faculty about her research in the areas of analysis and mathematical modeling on Thursday, Sept. 29.

Kristen Abernathy, assistant professor of mathematics at Winthrop University in South Carolina, spoke to a crowd of 51 students and faculty about her research in the areas of analysis and mathematical modeling on Thursday, Sept. 29.

Abernathy began by describing various ways of measuring distance between mathematical objects. She then mentioned that the notion of distance can be abstracted and its properties studied.

Many interesting research questions arise from such studies. In particular, Abernathy often applies her research skills to answer biological questions. For example, she and her husband, who is also a mathematician at Winthrop, have worked with many undergraduate students to explore mathematical models for cancer growth. Their research on the behaviors of tumor cells and cancer stem cells aims to predict cancer dynamics, thereby potentially informing treatment plans to maximize remission lengths.

The event was sponsored by the mathematics honor society Pi Mu Epsilon (PME). Faculty adviser Professor Chad Awtrey announced that PME's next speaker would be Abernathy's husband, who will give more specifics on their cancer research.

His talk, "Modeling the Cancer Stem Cell Hypothesis: Growth, Treatment, and Recurrence," is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 27, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. in McMichael 104. The event is free and open to the public.