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Seven students attend Joint Math Meetings in San Diego
By Ellen Grove, Sam Law, Grace McMonagle, Morgan Oneka, David Shane
The Joint Mathematics Meeting, hosted by the American Mathematical Society and Mathematical Association of America, prides itself on being the largest mathematics meeting in the world. This year, the annual event was held from January 9th to the 13th in San Diego, California, and boasted attendance of over 6,400 mathematicians from across the world. GVSU had seven students attend the conference: Ellen Grove, Casey Koch-Larue, Samantha Law, Grace McMonagle, Morgan Oneka, David Shane, and Mikaela Wyatt. Additionally, several faculty from GVSU were in attendance. The students were able to attend the conference thanks to generous funding from the MAA, GVSU’s Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship, and the GVSU Math Department.
All seven students from GVSU participated in the MAA Undergraduate Student Poster Session, which took place on January 12th. Over 400 posters were presented during the session, and each poster was judged by three professors in that area of research.
David participated in the GVSU Math Summer REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) in 2017, and travelled to JMM to present research accomplished during this program. His research, titled “Predicting Separability from Partial Preference Matrices,” dealt with the Separability Problem, a topic in voting theory. David valued “the opportunity to communicate mathematics - its important that your work can be understood by others.”
Ellen, Samantha, Morgan, and Mikaela presented research they conducted as part of a MTH 399 Independent Study course with David Clark and Lauren Keough, titled “King of the Coop: A Graphical Investigation of Chicken Pecking Orders”. The quartet’s poster was selected as one of the session’s Outstanding Posters, meaning it was deemed in the top 15% of the session’s 400+ posters.
Outside of the poster session, students had the opportunity to attend short sessions spanning across nearly every subfield of mathematics, including talks given by GVSU faculty. Other events the students were able to enjoy included a routine by “stand-up mathematician” Matt Parker, a fun topology-related demonstration in the Exhibition Hall, and the graduate school fair.
A non-mathematical highlight of the trip was the opportunity to experience the culture in San Diego. The students had the opportunity to eat authentic Mexican cuisine, watch the sunset at Coronado Beach, and explore the beautiful Balboa Park.