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Five Students Participate in Summer Research Program
Each summer Grand Valley awards grant funding to selected students as part of the Student Summer Scholars program. The chosen students work for 12 weeks on a major project in conjunction with a faculty mentor. In 2005, the Mathematics Department had an astounding five students working with professors on these scholarly endeavors.
Cindy Groenink completed a project on "Mathematics Remediation for Low Achieving Elementary Students” under the guidance of Dr. John Golden. She tutored students performing at the bottom of their third grade classes on standardized test performance by using and creating discovery-based tutoring activities. She found substantial growth in students' understanding, and learned about using standardized assessments for informing instruction. She has presented aspects of her work at Math in Action 2006 and the 2005 Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics meeting.
Sam Otten did research with Dr. Filiz Dogru in the area of dual billiard dynamical systems. His research effort explored orbit behavior of the dual billiard map within the hyperbolic plane and on the boundary at infinity. In addition to various presentations, Sam and Filiz have submitted the work to both Mathematics Magazine and The College Mathematics Journal for publication consideration.
Tim Major was supervised by Dr. Manish Chakrabarti on Bioinformatics Algorithms Using MATLAB. Bioinformatics is an emerging field lying at the crossroads of biology, mathematics, statistics and computer science, which is devoted to the study of massive and ever growing biological data sets. Together they designed a software platform that enables rapid, problem-specific application development. Tim introduced his work in several venues, including giving an invited talk at DePaul University in Chicago.
Pete Schwallier worked with Dr. Jon Hodge. Together they investigated how the existence of interdependent preferences in referendum elections affects the desirability of the outcomes of these elections. During the summer Pete gave talks at GVSU and at Mathfest in Albuquerque, NM, and he presented his work at a department seminar in the fall.
Chris Smith worked with Dr. Akalu Tefera on hypergeometric sums and summation algorithms of Gosper, Zeilberger and Wilf-Zeliberger. Using these algorithms cleverly Chris was able to solve challenging and new problems from the problem sections of various journals, including Mathematics Magazine and The Pi Mu Epsilon Journal, and he submitted his solutions for publication in these venues. Chris gave talks and a poster session at GVSU and Math Fest.