GVSU REU Students Win Top Honors at MathFest
Each summer the Mathematics Department at GVSU invites eight students from across the country to participate in our REU program. Students from as far away as California, Maine, and Georgia have attended our program. Most years, one or more GVSU students also participate. Students live on campus and receive a stipend, housing, and a food allowance.
The program typically receives over 100 highly qualified applicants, so the selection process is quite competitive. Past REU participants have gone on to graduate programs in mathematics at the Universities of Virginia, Southern California, Nebraska, Oregon, and others. Recent research topics have included wavelets, Hausdorff metric geometry, least-squares derivatives, and the geometry of polynomials.
At the 2005 MathFest conference, held August 4-6 in Albuquerque, there were six presentations given by students in the program last summer. Of the six talks, three received national awards!
Both the MAA (a national professional society in mathematics) and Pi Mu Epsilon (PME, the national mathematics honor society) organized sessions for student talks. There were 67 talks in the MAA sessions and 28 in the PME sessions. The MAA gave eight awards for best talks, and PME also recognized eight of their talks. In addition, there were two awards from the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), two from the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR), and one from the MAA’s special research group on environmental modeling.
Samuel Kolins of Bowdoin College, who worked with Prof. Matt Boelkins this summer, won one of the eight MAA awards for his talk “Spans of Derivatives of Polynomials.”
Both of the CUR awards went to students who worked with Prof. Steven Schlicker this summer. Chantel Blackburn of Andrews University won one of the CUR awards for her talk “Hausdorff Metric Geometry Configurations” while Alex Zupan of Gustavus Adolphus College won the other CUR award for his talk “Patterns in Hausdorff Metric Geometry.” These awards were given for the best examples of undergraduate research presented at MathFest.