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Math Capstone Students Give Talks at TUMC

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    2012 Math Capstone students wearing their capstone tshirts
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Dr. Therese Shelton’s math capstone students all give talks at the Texas Undergraduate Math Conference (TUMC) in Nacodoches, TX

SU senior mathematics majors presented nine of the twenty-five student talks at the 8th Annual Texas Undergraduate Mathematics Conference (TUMC), held at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches Oct 26-27, 2012. 

Yvette Niyomugaba presented “Recycling toward a Better Earth Through Math”, an Honors project extension of her summer Student-Faculty research with original Markov Chain models.

Van (Zoe) Pham extended her summer Student-Faculty research during the Senior Seminar in Mathematical Modeling, presenting “Math asks: ‘Water You Doing, Georgetown?’” The research applies time series analysis, which can also be useful in her second major of Economics, to water and wastewater data from Georgetown as well as meteorological data. 

The other students presented their current capstone work from the Senior Seminar in Mathematical Modeling. Nina Baccam analyzed a system of differential equations in “Look at Them Grow: A Mathematical Model of Cancer cell and T cell Populations.”

Computational Math Major Ben Cardiff’s “Distractions Can Be a Real Pain” produced a data-based model related to distracted driving, included trends in crashes of various types, population, cell phone subscribers, and text message increases.

Sara Watson, majoring in both Mathematics and Music, presented “A Finely Tuned Model”, using matrices to represent different musical tuning systems from Pythagorean to Just Intonations.

Yasmin Leon applied data from the Center for Disease Control and sensitivity analysis to a system of differential equations in “Modeling the Spread of HIV.”

Computational Math Major Zachary A. Anglin’s “School Meals: How Much is Too Much?” involved a model of student meal plans at Southwestern and at other institutions; this topic has also been actively discussed in his Paideia Seminar with Dr. Bob Bednar, Associate Professor of Communication Studies.

Andy Clarage  implemented a Monte Carlo simulation in Java for a Markov Chain model in “Love All: Mathematical Tennis”.

David Scott Ryan’s  “Math Bites: Predator‐Prey Models of Various Species” applied intrinsic growth rates for wolf and white-tailed deer populations to a system of differential equations.

Dr. Therese Shelton, Associate Professor in Mathematics, has been the faculty adviser on each of these interdisciplinary projects. Each student will continue work this semester and will make a final presentation on campus in December. The students also performed well in the fun math problem session at TUMC.  Several of these students solved 8 or 9 of the 10 problems, and Clarage and Ryan were the only TUMC contestants who solved all ten.

Funding for attending TUMC was provided by the National Science Foundation through the MAA Regional Undergraduate Mathematics Conferences Program, SFA  College of Sciences and Mathematics, SFA Department of Mathematics and Statistics, and the SU Department of Mathematics and Computer Science.