Southwestern

Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives

Math & Computer Science

Notables

Spring 2015

  • Assistant Professor of Computer Science Jacob Schrum’s dissertation research on the discovery of multimodal behavior in complex computer simulations using neuroevolution will be published in two upcoming articles that deal with automatic discovery of intelligent behavior in the classic video game of Ms. Pac-Man. The first, titled “Discovering Multimodal Behavior in Ms. Pac-Man through Evolution of Modular Neural Networks,” is slated to appear in the IEEE Transactions on Computational Intelligence and Artificial Intelligence in Games later this year. The second, titled “Solving Interleaved and Blended Sequential Decision-Making Problems through Modular Neuroevolution,” will appear in the Proceedings of the Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference after being presented at the conference this July in Madrid, Spain. 

  • Senior computer science major Natalia Rodriguez presented a poster titled “Mapping Body Image with Instagram Data” at the ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing in Boston, Mass. in February 2015. Her work was done with the guidance of Associate Professor of Computer Science Barbara Anthony and John Sigmier. Four other computer science majors also attended the conference: seniors Jordan King and Brittany Pugh, junior Christine Harbour, and sophomore Valerie Vacek.

    Five SU CS majors at the 2015 ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing Conference in Boston. From left to right, Brittany Pugh, Christine Harbour, Dr. Richard Tapia, Valerie Vacek, Jordan King, and Natalia Rodriguez.  Five SU CS majors at the 2015 ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing Conference in Boston. From left to right, Brittany Pugh, Christine Harbour, Dr. Richard Tapia, Valerie Vacek, Jordan King, and Natalia Rodriguez.

  • In January, 2015, the annual Joint Mathematics Meetings were held in San Antonio. At the conference, Associate Professor of Computer Science Barbara Anthony gave a talk titled “Complete r-partite graphs determined by their domination polynomial” in the MAA General Contributed Paper Session on Research in Graph Theory.

    Associate Professor of Mathematics Fumiko Futamura gave a talk titled “Harmonic ratios: music and art in an inquiry-based Geometry course” in the MAA Session on Mathematics and the Arts.

    Associate Professor of Mathematics Alison Marr gave a talk titled “Some recent results on magic-type labelings of directed graphs” in the Pure and Applied Talks by Women Math Warriors presented by EDGE (Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education) session. Professor of Mathematics Kendall Richards gave a talk titled “On the Modulus of the Grotzsch Ring” in the AMS Special Session on Inequalities and Quantitative Approximation.

    Associate Professor of Mathematics Therese Shelton gave a talk titled “POGIL Flu for Calculus: Influenza Data to Help Students Investigate Antiderivatives, Accumulations, and FTC” in the MAA Session on Inquiry-Based Learning in First-Year and Second-Year Courses. Marr and Shelton also gave a talk titled “Working to Improve Student Success in Calculus I Through Pre-calculus Support” in the MAA General Contributed Paper Session on Research in Teaching or Learning Calculus.

    Southwestern student, Matthew Miller, presented a poster titled “Scoring Cardiac Health: A Model of the Relationship between Diet and the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease” in the undergraduate poster session. Southwestern student Robert Lehr and President Edward Burger also attended the meeting.

  • Therese Shelton, associate professor of math, will be presented with The Ron Barnes Distinguished Service to Students Award by the Texas section of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) at their April 2015 Meeting. The award represents both a teacher’s commitment to students and the respect from the teacher’s peers. For more than 20 years, Shelton has been preparing students to give math presentations, including seven recent national presentations, one of which won a national award. 

  • On January 26, Assistant Professor of Computer Science Jacob Schrum presented his research at an event held in conjunction with the 29th annual conference of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence. His interactive demo, “BotPrize 2012 Champion: A Human-like Bot for Unreal Tournament,” allowed participants to play the game Unreal Tournament 2004 while trying to determine which opponent was human-controlled, and which was Schrum’s software bot that had previously won an international competition by fooling human judges into thinking it was human. 

  • Associate Professor of Computer Science Barbara Anthony is one of 53 CS faculty and instructors from colleges and universities in 24 U.S. states that will implement classroom-based programs and solutions to help answer the question of how to keep students engaged in the pursuit of Computer Science after their initial experience in a CS class. This process will be aided by a grant of $5,000 from the Google CS Engagement Small Awards program. Specifically, the grant will be used to identify and implement solutions for increasing student engagement and reaching retention goals, especially in introductory computer science courses.

  • Associate Professor of Mathematics Alison Marr was recently invited to deliver two talks in India. The first, delivered on Dec. 2 at Manonmaniam Sundaranar University in Tirunelveli, India, was part of the 10th Annual Professor S. Arumugam Endowment Seminar on Graph Theory, and was titled “Three of my favorite graph theory questions.” The second was given on Dec. 4 at Kalasalingam University as part of the 8th International Workshop on Graph Labeling. It was titled “Sparse semi-magic squares and labelings of directed graphs.”  

Fall 2014

  • Barbara Anthony, associate professor of computer science, published a paper on “The Power of Rejection in Online Bottleneck Matching,” co-authored with Christine Chung (Connecticut College), in Springer’s Lecture Notes in Computer Science series. The paper was presented at the 8th Annual International Conference on Combinatorial Optimization and Applications (COCOA 2014). 

  • Associate Professor of Mathematics Fumiko Futamura celebrated Albrecht Dürer’s mathematical and artistic prowess for the 500th anniversary of his etching, St. Jerome in his Study, in the November issue of “Math Horizons.” Her article, titled “Dürer: Disguise, Distance, Disagreements, and Diagonals!” was co-written with Annalisa Crannell and Marc Frantz and mathematically analyzes Dürer’s perspective drawing.

  • Five SU students presented at the 10th annual TUMC , Texas Undergraduate Mathematics Conference, held this year at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Oct 17-18, 2014. Heather Gronewald presented “Computing Cophylogenetic Invariants.” Matthew Miller  presented “Scoring Cardiac Health: A Model of the Relationship between Diet and the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease.” Robert Lehr presented “Noisy Clustering Analysis of Landfill Distribution.” Matthew Chaltain presented “Earnings Surprise Effect on Stocks.” Megan Myers presented “A Place For All People:  Planning for Growth in Summer Camp Enrollment.” The conference program is available here, and includes abstracts for all of the talks. Dr. Therese Shelton served as faculty mentor at the conference, and supervised several of the projects.

  • Barbara Anthony, associate professor of computer science, and Natalia Rodriguez, senior computer science major, attended the 2014 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing in Phoenix, Arizona. Both were awarded funding to attend (an Anita Borg Institute Faculty scholarship, and a GHC Scholarship grant). At the conference, Anthony was a judge in the Association for Computing Machinery Student Research Competition.

  • Senior computer science major Natalia Rodriguez was recently selected to be the new student board member on the Board of Trustees for the Anita Borg Institute, a global organization dedicated to women in technology. Natalia served in various roles in the conference including taking over their Instagram for a day to highlight some of the many activities and events. 

  • The team of students Heather Gronewald, Robert Lehr and Paris Nelson placed in the top 10 percent of the more than 6,750 teams from 19 countries that competed in the 2014 Comap Mathematical Contest in Modeling. Read more here

Spring 2014

  • Therese Shelton, associate professor of mathematics, has been named chair-elect of the Texas Section of the Mathematical Association of America.

  • Students and faculty members in Computer Science attended the Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges, South Central Region (CCSC:SC) conference in Austin April 11-12.

    • Barbara Anthony, assistant professor of computer science, presented a paper on “Offering an Undergraduate Colloquium,’” which is published in the April 2014 Journal for Computing Sciences in Colleges.
    • Sophomore computer science major Amir Ardjomand Hessabi presented a poster and demonstrated the abilities of a robot named “Bones” that he built for a King Creativity project with Walt Potter, professor of mathematics and computer science. Hessabi’s poster was awarded second place in the poster competition.
    • Four students in the computer science capstone − seniors Garhett Bonneaux, Rob Campbell, Alex Hicks and Paris Nelson − presented a poster about their software engineering project, CodeQuest, which was supervised by Rick Denman, professor of mathematics and computer science. Nelson also presented a poster titled “There and Back Again: A Genetic Algorithms Approach to the TSP,” which was based on his independent study work with Barbara Anthony. Nelson’s poster was awarded fifth place in the poster competition.
    • Junior computer science major Rebecca Wilson presented a poster titled “An Open Source Voting Machine” that resulted from her King Creativity project with political science major Elizabeth Bell and physics major Eric Oden. The project was supervised by Steve Alexander, professor of physics.

    Barbara Boucher Owens, an emeritus faculty member who founded the conference in 1990, also attended the 25th conference. 

  • Students from Southwestern wrote three of the 21 undergraduate papers that were presented at the annual meeting of the Texas Section of the Mathematical Association of America held in Laredo April 3-5. Brian Cohen and David Vaden presented “Magic Graphs,” which they did under the supervision of Alison Marr, associate professor of mathematics, and Kendall Richards, professor of mathematics. Robert Lehr presented “An Irrational Decomposition of Generalized Fibonacci Number,” which he did under the supervision of Edward Burger, president and professor of mathematics. Andrew Banister presented “Can You Make Change by Increasing Minimum Wage?” which he did under the supervision of Therese Shelton, associate professor of mathematics.

  • Barbara Owens, professor emeritus of computer science, has been invited to speak at the ACM Women’s Day program that is being held as part of the ACM India conference Feb. 13-15. The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) is the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society for the computer science/IT community. ACM India was started in 2010 to increase the focus on the country. 

  • Barbara Anthony, assistant professor of computer science, had a paper on “Online bottleneck matching” published in the January 2014 issue of the Journal of Combinatorial Optimization. The paper was co-authored with Christine Chung from Connecticut College. 

  • Four representatives from Southwestern attended the Joint Mathematics Meeting in Baltimore Jan. 13-18, which is the largest meeting of mathematicians in the world. President Edward Burger, who also is a faculty member in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, presented a paper titled “A 21st century curriculum that raises education to a global maximum” in the MAA Invited Paper Session on Mathematics and Effective Thinking. Fumiko Futamura, associate professor of mathematics, and two collaborators − Annalisa Crannell from Franklin & Marshall College and Marc Frantz from Indiana University-Bloomington − gave a four-hour minicourse on “Visualizing projective geometry through photographs and perspective drawings.”  Senior Heather Gronewald presented her mathematics capstone project, “Transfer Attrition: Hazards and Perseverance,” in the Undergraduate Poster Session. Therese Shelton, associate professor of mathematics, was the supervisor for Gronewald’s project, served as a judge in the poster session, and took a minicourse on “Using randomization methods to build conceptual understanding of statistical inference.”

  • Barbara Anthony, assistant professor of computer science, presented a paper at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Global Communications Conference in Atlanta, Ga., Dec. 12. The paper, titled “Data Plan Throttling: A Simple Consumer Choice Mechanism,” was co-authored with Christine Chung, assistant professor of computer science at Connecticut College, and published in the conference proceedings and IEEE Xplore.

Fall 2013

  • Computer science major Paris Nelson won the Natural Science Division Shearn Writing Award for his paper titled “On Random Number Generation”, a research paper he wrote for Dr. Suzanne Buchele’s Computer Systems course. The award included a $1000 cash prize.

Spring 2013

  • Barbara Anthony, assistant professor of computer science, and Alison Marr, assistant professor of mathematics, gave presentations at CombinaTexas 2013: Combinatorics in the South-Central U.S. held at University of Houston-Downtown April 20. Marr’s talk was titled “Some notes on prime labeling” and Anthony’s talk was titled “Complete r-partite graphs determined by their domination polynomial.”

  • Senior computer science major Erick Bauman gave a presentation based on his honors thesis at the North Texas Area Student Conference held at Midwestern State University April 13. The presentation was titled “Wolfscript: A Programming Language for Android.” His faculty sponsor at the conference was Suzanne Buchele, associate professor of computer science.

  • Math professors Rick DenmanFumiko Futamura and Kendall Richards published a paper titled “On sharp frame diagonalization” in the March issue of the journal Linear Algebra and its Applications.

  • Yvette Niyomugaba, Van Pham and David Scott Ryan are presenting papers this week at the annual meeting of the Texas Section of the Mathematical Association of America. The meeting is being held April 11-13 at Texas Tech University.

  • Suzanne BucheleAlison Marr and Therese Shelton have been awarded a $4,000 Blended Learning Grant from the Associated Colleges of the South (ACS) for their proposal titled “Improved Calculus Preparation Through Assessment and Customized Blended Learning.” All three are associate professors in the Mathematics and Computer Science Department.

  • Therese Shelton, associate professor of mathematics, presented “Building and Feeling Confidence Intervals” at the Joint Mathematics Meetings held Jan. 9-12 in San Diego.

  • Senior mathematics major Yvette Niyomugaba won an Outstanding Presentation Award for the poster she presented at the Undergraduate Poster Session of the Joint Mathematics Meetings held Jan. 9-12 in San Diego. Her poster presentation, titled “Recycling toward a Better Earth through Math,” resulted from her ongoing honors project in mathematics, which she is doing under the direction of Therese Shelton, associate professor of mathematics. The work began in summer 2012 as a faculty-student collaborative research project. 

  • Fumiko Futamura, assistant professor of mathematics, presented a minicourse titled “Visualizing Projective Geometry Through Photographs and Perspective Drawings” at the 2013 Joint Mathematics Meetings held Jan. 9-12 in San Diego along with Annalisa Crannell from Franklin & Marshall College and Marc Frantz from Indiana University. Thirty-six mathematics professors, high school teachers and artists attended the minicourse, which covered material the three have developed for an upcoming textbook.

  • Senior mathematics major Yvette Niyomugaba is presenting a poster titled “Recycling toward a Better Earth through Math” at the Joint Mathematics Meetings being held Jan. 9-12 in San Diego.

Fall 2012

  • Emeritus faculty member Barbara Boucher Owens has been named a Distinguished Educator by the Association for Computing Machinery, a 100,000-member professional computing organization. The award recognizes ACM members who have achieved significant accomplishments or have made a significant impact on the field of computing, computer science, and/or information technology.

  • Senior mathematics majors from Southwestern presented nine of the 25 student talks at the 8th Annual Texas Undergraduate Mathematics Conference, which was held at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches Oct. 26-27. The students also performed well in the fun math problem session at the conference. Several students solved 8 or 9 of the 10 problems, and Andy Clarage and David Ryan Scott solved all 10. Read more here.

  • Computer science majors Erick Bauman (senior), Rob Campbell (junior) and Jefferson Ellinger (senior) teamed up with junior mathematics majors Alain Chau and David Vaden to compete in the 2012 South Central USA Regional Programming Contest in held in Waco Oct. 19- 20. The team su-root placed 17th overall out of 59 teams and 4th among undergraduate-only institutions. In the separate scripting contest, su-root placed 19th overall and 6th among undergraduate-only institutions. The students were coached by Barbara Anthony, assistant professor of computer science, and Rick Denman, professor of mathematics and computer science.