You are here

Undergraduate Student Activities

MAA-PME Student Reception

Wednesday, July 31, 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Connecticut Convention Center, Ballroom A

Math Jeopardy

Wednesday, July 31, 5:30 p.m. – 6:15 p.m., Connecticut Convention Center, Ballroom A

Answer:  A fun undergraduate mathematics contest to lead off MathFest.
Question:  What is Mathematics Jeopardy?
Four teams of students will provide the questions to go with the mathematical answers in many categories.  Come cheer for your favorite team. The session will be emceed by Michael Berry.

Robert Vallin, Slippery Rock University
Michael Berry, University of Tennessee

Student Hospitality Center

Thursday, August 1, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Connecticut Convention Center, Ballroom C
Friday, August 2, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
, Connecticut Convention Center, Ballroom C
Saturday, August 3, 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., Connecticut Convention Center, Ballroom C

The Student Hospitality Center (SHC) provides a place for students and other MathFest attendees to meet for informal conversation, refreshments, and mathematical diversions. Programs for the MAA and Pi Mu Epsilon student paper sessions, packets for the MAA student presenters, and information on MathFest activities of interest to students are available in the SHC.

Richard and Araceli Neal, American Society for the Communication of Mathematics

MAA Lecture For Students

Optimal Pentagonal Tilings

Thursday, August 1, 1:00 p.m. – 1:50 p.m., Connecticut Convention Center, Ballroom C

Hales proved that the least-perimeter way to tile the plane with unit areas is by regular hexagons. What is the least-perimeter way to tile the plane with unit-area pentagons? We will discuss some new results, examples, and open questions, including work by undergraduates.

Frank Morgan, Williams College

Opportunities in the Actuarial Profession

Thursday, August 1, 2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m., Marriott, Ballroom E

The city of Hartford is home to a large number of companies that employ actuaries.  Actuaries and actuarial students from the local area will be available in this session to describe what they do and some of the opportunities available in the actuarial profession.  The session will begin with a short presentation that describes the actuarial profession and the steps in the career of an actuary.  Then the moderator will interview the panelists to gather information about their actuarial experience, the challenges they face, etc.  Panelists will discuss actuarial student programs and the support actuarial students receive as they progress through their careers. The panelists will answer questions from the audience.  Audience members will also hear from Professor Jay Vadiveloo about the applied research work being undertaken at the Goldenson Center for Actuarial Research at the University of Connecticut.

Thea Cardamone, FSA, UnitedHealthcare Group

Daniel Akier, UnitedHealthcare
Gaia Dong, FSA, Aetna
Trevor Foster, Aetna
Harry Gong, UnitedHealthcare
Eli Greenberg, UnitedHealthcare
Amber Lahde, ASA, MassMutual
Olga Jacobs, FSA, UnitedHealthcare
Gao Niu, University of Connecticut
Stephen Smith, FSA, MassMutual
Jay Vadiveloo, FSA, Ph.D,. University of Connecticut Goldenson Center for Actuarial Research
June (Chunchun) Wu, FSA, Ph.D., UnitedHealthcare

The Actuaries' Club of Hartford and Springfield

MAA Undergraduate Student Activity

A Mathematician and an Environmental Scientist Walk into a Bar

Friday, August 2, 1:00 p.m. - 1:50 p.m., Marriott, Ballroom C

Come and engage in the conversation that ensues and see how interacting with scientists is good for both the mathematician and the scientist. The conversation will provide some useful intellectual tools related to the role of mathematics in society. In the end you will be armed with at least one answer to the questions of who cares about math and where does it get used.

Thomas J. Pfaff, Department of Mathematics, Ithaca College 
Jason Hamilton, Dept. of Environmental Sciences and Studies, Ithaca College

MAA Undergraduate Student Activity

Exhilaration and Consternation: Adventures in Conducting Undergraduate Research

Friday, August 2, 1:00 p.m. – 1:50 p.m., Marriott, Ballroom E

One day you are sitting in your office, chipping away at your responsibilities: preparing for class, grading papers, producing paperwork for committees, creating workshops for teachers, or whatever it is that you are doing to find and maintain your niche. There comes a knock at your door, and for the first time in your life you hear the words, "Are you willing to be my research advisor?" Ah, the excitement, and...the fear. I will relate my personal story of entering this endeavor: the trials and tribulations, the excitement and revelations, as I carry you through the results my students have produced over the past few years and provide you with materials to explore topics in graph theory and knot theory as the story progresses!

Robin Blankenship, Morehead State University

Non-Academic Career Paths for Students Who Like Math

A Response to the Statement: “I Really Like Math, but I Don’t Want to Teach.”

Friday, August 2, 2:35 p.m. – 3:55 p.m., Marriott, Ballroom D

It's the bottom of the ninth; bases loaded. The right-handed relief pitcher has already thrown for two innings. At-bat is a lefty batting .295. Is it time to pull the pitcher? Come to this exciting panel to find out! During our panel we will hear from mathematicians from various fields including sports statistics (hopefully you are a Mets fan) and actuarial science. Each panelist will be given the opportunity to describe their non-academic career, then we will open the floor to questions. Be sure you are not left on the bench for this one!

Lisa Marano, West Chester University
Ben Galluzzo, Shippensburg University
Jean McGivney-Burelle, University of Hartford

Ben Baumer, Smith College, former statistician for the NY Mets
Anna Mika, Campus Program Associate from Clean Air-Cool Planet
An actuary from Mass Mutual
A representative from ESPN


Student Paper Sessions

To view a PDF of the student paper session abstracts, please click here.  

MAA Student Paper Sessions

Thursday, August 1, 8:30 a.m. – 10:25 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. - 3:55 p.m.
Friday, August 2, 8:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. – 3:55 p.m.

Theron J. Hitchman, University of Northern Iowa
Jennifer Bergner, Salisbury University

Pi Mu Epsilon Student Paper Sessions

Thursday, August 1, 2:00 p.m. – 6:15 p.m.
Friday, August 2, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Angela Spalsbury, Youngstown State University

Speed Interviewing Marathon for Students

Friday, August 2, 2:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m., Marriott, Ballroom E

Employers suggest that communication skills are a critical component when considering a mathematics major for a job. An important time to demonstrate good communication skills is during the job interview. This session will start with an overview of best practices and tips on job interviewing, then guide students as they participate in several speed interviewing sessions of 10 minutes each, where they can practice what they have learned and hone their interviewing skills.  Speed interviewing sessions will include individual feedback for students, as well as opportunities to network with fellow students.

Michael Dorff, Brigham Young University
Jenna Carpenter, Louisiana Tech University 

Professional Development Committee and Committee on Graduate Students

Pi Mu Epsilon Student Banquet And Awards Ceremony

Friday, August 2, 6:00 p.m. – 7:45 p.m., Marriott, Ballroom C

All PME members and their supporters are welcome. See the registration form for more information on this ticketed event.

Pi Mu Epsilon J. Sutherland Frame Lecture

Friday, August 2, 8:00 p.m. – 8:50 p.m., Connecticut Convention Center, Ballroom B

I will start with my absolute favorite among all matrices. It has 2's down the main diagonal and  -1 's on the diagonals just above and just below.  It is a Toeplitz matrix (constant diagonals), a second difference matrix (because of -1, 2, -1), and a highpass filter.  The matrix is tridiagonal and positive definite and you see it all over pure mathematics too. Its determinant is n+1, and most important are its eigenvectors which are pure sines. Recently I came back to this well-loved matrix, realizing that I didn't know its symmetric square root, its exponential or its cosine.  Those are all badly needed for the heat equation and wave equation. They are not tridiagonal but still amazing.  I will speak about another matrix too (the graph Laplacian) as well as the combination of differential equations and linear algebra.

Gilbert Strang, Massachusetts Institute of Technology 

MAA Ice Cream Social

Friday, August 2, 9:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m., Connecticut Convention Center, Pre-Function

Besides cake and ice cream, we will recognize all students who gave talks in the MAA Student Paper Sessions, and award prizes for the best of them. All are invited.

MAA Mathematical Competition In Modeling (MCM) Winners

Saturday, August 3, 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m., Connecticut Convention Center, Room 17

About 500 American teams, each consisting of three undergraduates, entered the 2013 MCM in February. The contest consists of two real(istic) problems, one discrete, one continuous.  The teams have four days to deal with the challenge during which time they may use or consult anything inanimate – computers, libraries, the Web, etc.  MAA judges choose one continuous winner and one discrete winner from the top contenders.  The two MAA winning teams of students will present the results of their four-day challenge.

Ben Fusaro, Florida State University

Student Problem Solving Competition

Saturday, August 3, 1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m., Connecticut Convention Center, Room 17

This event is the finals of the Problem Solving Competition. Universities and colleges that participate monthly on their own campuses by holding problem solving contests are invited to send a contestant. Each contestant will be required to solve a series of mathematical problems. Based on the outcome, a champion along with 2nd through 6th place winners will be named.

Richard Neal, American Society for the Communication of Mathematics

Great Talks for a General Audience: Coached Presentations by Graduate Students

Saturday, August 3, 1:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Connecticut Convention Center, Room 12

Your ears are needed!  Come hear this sampler of talks by graduate students.   The 20-minute presentations are designed to be dynamic talks about a wide range of mathematics topics -- specifically chosen to be exciting and accessible to undergraduates familiar with calculus and linear algebra.   Speakers in this session are current graduate students.  More details for potential speakers can be found in the description of this session in the Information for Graduate Students section of the program.

Contact Jim Freeman or Rachel Schwell for help on writing an abstract and preparing a talk for a general audience. Graduate student participants in this session should also attend the graduate student workshop (What's the Story?) on mathematical presentations.

Jim Freeman, Cornell College
Rachel Schwell, Central Connecticut State University

Committee on Graduate Students and the Young Mathematicians Network