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Sessions for Graduate Students

Note: All sessions are listed in Eastern Daylight Time (EDT = UTC-4:00)

Graduate students are welcome at MAA MathFest! Check out programming designed for graduate students to enhance their knowledge and explore career options in the mathematical sciences.

Invited Address

MAA Invited Address

Steve Strogatz, Cornell University and National Museum of Mathematics (MoMath)

Synchronization in Nature

Friday, August 5, 11:00 a.m. - 11:50 a.m., Salon GH

Every night along the tidal rivers of Malaysia, thousands of male fireflies congregate in the mangrove trees and flash on and off in unison. This display extends for miles along the river and occurs spontaneously; it does not require any leader or cue from the environment. Similar feats of synchronization occur throughout the natural world and in our own bodies. This lecture will provide an introduction to the simplest mathematical model of collective synchronization. Amazing videos of synchronous fireflies and London’s wobbly Millennium Bridge will also be show.


Steven Strogatz is the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor of Applied Mathematics at Cornell University. He works on nonlinear dynamics and complex systems applied to physics, biology, and the social sciences. According to Google Scholar, Strogatz’s 1998 paper “Collective dynamics of small-world networks,” co-authored with his former student Duncan Watts, ranks among the top 100 most-cited scientific papers of all time. His latest book, Infinite Powers, was a New York Times bestseller and was shortlisted for the 2019 Royal Society Science Book Prize. Follow him on Twitter at @stevenstrogatz.

Invited Paper Session

Trends in Mathematical and Computational Biology

Thursday, August 4, 8:00 a.m. - 10:50 a.m., Salon B

Mathematical and computational biology encompasses a diverse range of biological phenomena and quantitative methods for exploring those phenomena. The pace of research at this junction continues to accelerate and substantial advancements in problems from gene regulation, genomics, phylogenetics, RNA folding, evolution, infectious disease dynamics, neuroscience, growth and control of populations, ecological networks, drug resistance modeling, and medical breakthroughs related to cancer therapies have increasingly ensued from utilizing mathematical and computational approaches. Our session on current trends will sample from this diversity of important questions from biology and medicine and their mathematical treatments, with a goal of maximizing the range of topics and research methods presented at the session. Mathematical approaches will include deterministic and stochastic continuous dynamical models, as well as finite dynamical systems and combinatorial and algebraic methods.

Timothy Comar, Benedictine University
Anne Yust, University of Pittsburgh

Behind Enemy Lines: How Neutrophil Dynamics Affect Mycobacterium tuberculosis Granuloma Outcomes and Dissemination
8:00 a.m. - 8:20 a.m.
Caitlin Hult, Gettysburg College
Joshua T. Mattila, University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health
Jennifer J. Linderman, University of Michigan
Denise E. Kirschner, University of Michigan Medical School

Effects of Optimally-Performed Healthcare Measures on Clostridioides difficile Infection Rates
8:30 a.m. - 8:50 a.m.
Cara Sulyok, Lewis University

Modeling Frameworks that Integrate Disease and Ecosystem Ecology
9:00 a.m. - 9:20 a.m.
Rebecca Everett, Haverford College

Dynamical and Structural Specializations of Temporally-Precise Auditory Neurons
9:30 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.
Joshua H. Goldwyn, Swarthmore College

Bayesian Information-Theoretic Calibration of Radiotherapy Sensitivity Parameters for Informing Effective Scanning Protocols in Cancer
10:00 a.m. - 10:20 a.m.
Katie Storey, Lafayette College

(Canceled) Gut Instincts: A Data-Driven Dynamical Model of Mouse Colons
10:30 a.m. - 10:50 a.m.
Andrea J. Welsh, University of Pittsburgh


Invited Paper Session

Rethinking Number Theory

Thursday, August 4, 1:00 p.m. - 3:50 p.m., Salon B

Rethinking Number Theory is a new workshop series intended to broaden access to mathematical research communities and improve equity within the subject. Project leaders and participants from a wide range of Number Theory subfields participated in research projects as well as discussions about how to reimagine the number theory community. This invited paper session will simultaneously highlight the research done during the workshop as well as bring the equity and inclusivity conversations to a broader mathematics community by intertwining mathematical research and social justice.

Heidi Goodson, Brooklyn College
Allechar Serrano Lopez, Harvard University
Christelle Vincent, University of Vermont
Mckenzie West, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

Counting Fields Generated by Points on Plane Curves
1:00 p.m. - 1:20 p.m.
Allechar Serrano López, Harvard University

Rethinking Research Workshops
1:30 p.m. - 1:50 p.m.
Heidi Goodson, Brooklyn College, City University of New York

Local Data of Rational Elliptic Curves with Specified Isogeny Graphs
2:00 p.m. - 2:20 p.m.
Alex Barrios, University of St. Thomas

(Canceled) A Family of Thue Equations
2:30 p.m. - 2:50 p.m.
Eva Goedhart, Franklin & Marshall College

BIKE Decoders and Error Detection
3:00 p.m. - 3:20 p.m.
Tyler Raven Billingsley, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

Invited Paper Session

Current Research in Math Biology

Friday, August 5, 8:00 a.m. - 10:50 a.m., Salon B

Mathematical biology investigates biological phenomena using mathematical techniques. This encourages collaborations between mathematicians and biologists, requiring mathematicians to learn relevant biology before applying mathematical techniques to the problem. Research in this area illustrates how biology and mathematics can work together to advance both fields. In this session, we showcase current research in mathematical biology, with an undergraduate audience in mind. With a wide variety of biological applications and mathematical techniques that can be applied to investigate biological research questions, our session will demonstrate the breadth of this research area for undergraduates and other interested researchers.

Rebecca A. Everett, Haverford College
Nicholas A. Battista, The College of New Jersey

Social Dilemmas of Sociality due to Beneficial and Costly Contagion
8:00 a.m. - 8:20 a.m.
Daniel Cooney, University of Pennsylvania

Modeling Seasonal Malaria Transmission: A Methodology Connecting Regional Temperatures to Mosquito and Parasite Biology
8:30 a.m. - 8:50 a.m.
Katharine Gurski, Howard University

Multiple Feeding Attempts by Mosquitoes - A Mathematical Study
9:00 a.m. - 9:20 a.m.
Miranda Teboh Ewungkem, Lehigh University

Topological Data Analysis Reveals Insights into Blood Vessel Development and Disease
9:30 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.
John Nardini, The College of New Jersey

Connecting the Dots between Math Modelers and Clinical Oncologists
10:00 a.m. - 10:20 a.m.
Allison Lewis, Lafayette College

Exploring the Predictive Abilities of a Mathematical Oncology Model
10:30 a.m. - 10:50 a.m.
Jana Gevertz, The College of New Jersey

Invited Paper Session

Recent Advances in Harmonic Analysis and Partial Differential Equations

Friday, August 5, 3:00 p.m. - 5:50 p.m., Salon B

The proposed invited paper session has as focus the dissemination of recent developments in the area at the confluence between the fields of Harmonic Analysis and Partial Differential Equations. Particular themes of emphasis are: Integral Equations, Elliptic Boundary Value Problems, PDEs in periodic media.

Irina Mitrea, Temple University
Nsoki Mamie Mavinga, Swarthmore College Swarthmore
Shari Moskow, Drexel University

Asymptotic Analysis of Resonances of Periodic Scatterers
3:00 p.m. - 3:20 p.m.
Alexander Furia, Drexel University

Singular Integral Operators Associated with Second Order Elliptic Systems in Two Dimensions
3:30 p.m. - 3:50 p.m.
Jeongsu Kyeong, Temple University

Logarithmic Sobolev Inequalities on Non-isotropic Heisenberg Groups
4:00 p.m. - 4:20 p.m.
Liangbing Luo, University of Connecticut

Electroconvection in Porous Media
4:30 p.m. - 4:50 p.m.
Elie Abdo, Temple University

Fredholm Theory for Boundary Value Problems Associated with Powers of the Laplacian
5:00 p.m. - 5:20 p.m.
Artur Henrique de Oliveira Andrade, Temple University

Shape-Perturbation of Steklov Eigenvalues in Nearly-Spherical Domains
5:30 p.m. - 5:50 p.m.
Robert Viator, Swarthmore College


National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program

Friday, August 5, 4:00 p.m. - 5:20 p.m., Salon A

This panel session will provide the audience a brief overview of the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF-GRFP), such as its goal, eligibility requirements, application process, and timeline as well as include a discussion about the program’s efforts to increase representation of women and members of groups historically underrepresented in STEM.

Anni Leming, Professional Management Consulting Services, and Outreach and Communications Manager, Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) Operations Team

Joel Schildbach, National Science Foundation (NSF) Program Director, Division of Graduate Education
Brandy Huderson, Application Processing Manager, Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) Operations Team
Anni Leming, Professional Management Consulting Services, and Outreach and Communications Manager, Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) Operations Team