Chad Awtrey awarded external grant for undergraduate research

Assistant Professor of Mathematics Chad Awtrey has been awarded an external grant from the Center for Undergraduate Research in Mathematics (CURM).

Funded by National Science Foundation grants #DMS-0636648 and #DMS-1148695 and administered by Brigham Young University, CURM seeks to increase the number of students entering graduate programs in mathematics by awarding mini-grants (up to $21,000) to a small number of mathematicians across the United States to engage in research with talented undergraduates at the faculty member’s home institution for one year.

During the 2013-2014 academic year, Awtrey will work with three undergraduate mathematics majors at Elon on two projects related to the exciting area of p-adic numbers (the primary focus of Awtrey’s research program). The grant awards $3,000 stipends to each undergraduate researcher, travel monies for the students and Awtrey to present at CURM in the spring of 2014, a course reassignment for Awtrey, and indirect costs to Elon.

In addition to producing publication-worthy results of interest to many researchers in Awtrey’s field, these undergraduate students will be exposed to some of the most important unsolved problems in mathematics, including the Riemann Hypothesis. The Riemann Hypothesis concerns the distribution of prime numbers, and the truth of its generalized version would assert the correctness of the best algorithms for constructing large prime numbers, which are employed daily by internet users for use in public-key cryptosystems.