Success Stories

Undergrad researcher published

Sam Otten is shown with Filiz Dogru.

Former Grand Valley graduate Sam Otten continues to reap rewards from his research on outer billiards dynamical systems he did with mathematics professor Filiz Dogru.

Since the two met in 2004, they have teamed to produce two published articles in academic journals.

Otten conducted research with Dogru through the Summer Student Scholar program. "His success and interest in mathematics, his respectful personality, and his working skills as a team member with his classmates encouraged me to offer him to do independent study together," Dogru said.

Otten said he enjoyed having a summer job "where my job each day was to work on mathematics." Out of their research, together they had discovered and proven two theorems.

Their findings, after months of polishing, were then submitted to the American Journal of Undergraduate Research. Since AJUR publishes articles from multiple sciences, not just mathematics, they submitted their article through the mathematics editor. Their articles will appear in two separate issues of the journal.

Otten said: "One thing that I've learned from this experience with writing is that perseverance is the name of the game. If you have an idea or a result that you're proud of and feel is worth sharing, keep refining and revising until you find the right place for it."   

Otten is now a doctoral candidate in the mathematics education program at Michigan State University. He said he would like to work as a faculty member as well as continue researching in a university mathematics department. He continues to keep in contact with Dogru. Otten said, "I consider her not only a mentor, but a good friend."

by Kevin Virant

This story was filed with the tags: Academic Excellence, First-Rate Faculty