Math & Statistics Majors Present at Regional Conference

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Statistics major Alison Miller ’13 and mathematics major Chris Shill ’14 presented their research at the 8th Annual UNCG Mathematics and Statistics Conference in Greensboro, N.C. on Nov. 3. Miller also won the conference’s undergraduate research presentation competition for her talk on “A Comparison of Seminonparametric (SNP) and Nonparametric Survival Estimation.”

Kirsten Doehler and Laura Taylor, assistant professors of statistics, and Chad Awtrey, assistant professor of mathematics, also attended the conference.

Through numerous computer simulations, Miller, who mentored by Doehler, has demonstrated increased efficiency of SNP methods over traditional techniques for modeling survival functions. Modeling survival data, also known as time-to-event data is crucial in medicine, pharmaceuticals, engineering, economics, and numerous other disciplines. Miller is a College Fellow and the president of Elon’s chapter of the Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity.

In his talk, “Galois 2-adic Fields of Degree 12”, Shill shared the results of a recent research project he completed under Awtrey’s guidance. During the course of his research, Shill was able to compute all degree 12 extensions of the 2-adic numbers. For those extensions which have a very special arithmetic property (i.e., the so-called Galois extensions), he was able to successfully implement and subsequently run an algorithm for determining the symmetries of the defining polynomials of these extensions.

Shill’s work pushes forward the frontiers of research in the area of p-adic numbers, and it is an important contribution to Awtrey’s research program, which aims to systematically and concretely chart the arithmetic landscape of all extensions of the p-adic numbers. Such work has important applications to some of the most famous unsolved problems in mathematics (the Riemann Hypothesis and the Birch and Swinnerton-Dyer Conjecture), to mathematical physics, and to cryptology (the making and breaking of codes). Shill is a Rawls Scholar.