News & Notes
Annual Mathematics Department Awards Ceremony
At this event we recognize and present honors cords (an addition to Commencement attire) to graduating majors who have been recommended for Latin Honors or Distinction in Mathematics; to those who are receiving ARTU certificates, and to the recipients of the Department's named prizes (prize winners already notified by mail). We also take note of other undergraduate achievements such as success in mathematics competitions. We recognize the graduate students who will receive in May, and present a graduate student with the McDowell Award for Excellence in Teaching. We also present the Department's Guido Weiss Award for Teaching and Service to a faculty member or graduate student.
There will be refreshments at 4 p.m. in Cupples I, room 200.
Math Competition Results for 2014-2015
WU performed well on the annual Putnam Competition, both individually and as a team. Read details about the Putnam Competition (and also the MO Collegiate Math Competition) in the WU Newsroom article.
Missouri Collegiate Mathematics Competition, Spring 2015
Two WU teams participated in the 20th annual Missouri Collegiate Mathematics Competition, sponsored by the Missouri Section of the Mathematics Association of America and held March 26-27 on the campus of Missouri University of Science and Technology (Rolla, MO). The W.U. teams placed 1st and 2rd among about 40 teams participating. The 1st place team also captured the 1st place position in the 2014 competition.
Left to right:: First place team Anthony Grebe, Alan Talmage, Fangzhou Xiao, and second place team Ted Meador, Stella Schindler and Yu Tao Li
You can read more here about the annual Missouri competition: an archive of past problems, solutions, and oficial competition photos.
For more information: please contact Professor Ron Freiwald.
Juniors: Latin Honors and Distinction in Mathematics Awards for May 2016
If you think you're interested in a Distinction in Mathematics Award, or Latin Honors, when you graduate, please check the requirements at Distinction or Latin Honors. The requirements for Distinction in Mathematics involve extra courses and at least a 3.65 GPA in upper level math courses. Higher levels of Distinction (and Latin Honors) require a senior thesis. You should be planning coursework now so that requirements don't "pile up" at the end.
For current A&S juniors who plan to be candidates for Latin Honors: the Department must submit to the College a list of all candidates for May 2016 Latin Honors by September 1, 2015. To be on this list, you need to have an overall GPA and a upper level math GPA of at least 3.65, and you need to have submitted a proposal for your honors thesis--signed and approved by a faculty advisor. It's usually best to get all this lined up and submitted by the end of your junior year to avoid a rush when you return in the fall. In addition, you can then use part of the summer doing background work toward the honors thesis. .
Note: If you're not on the list of Honors Candidates submitted on September 1, 2015, it might well happen that you cannot be considered as a Latin Honors candidate by the College. There is no guarantee that the College will approve later additions to the list. So please don’t overlook this process.
If there are any December 2015 graduates planning to work on Latin Honors, my guess is that the College will ask for the names of all candidates by sometime in May 2015.
Senior Honors and ARTU (Advanced Research Training for Undergraduates) Theses for Spring 2015
- Patrick Lopatto, Schatten-class Truncated Toeplitz Operators (ARTU/Latin Honors)
- Doyeong Yu, Modelling Air Pollution with GIS (Latin Honors)
- Bowei Zhao, Polynomial Automorphisms (Latin Honors)
- Tyler Ellison, The Hermitian Symplectic Group, Neumann Extension Theory, and Scattering on Quantum Graphs (ARTU/Latin Honors)
- Alan Talmage Computing the Dispersion Relation of Periodic Quantum Graphs (ARTU/Latin Honors)
- Nati Friedenberg N-complexes and Sn representations (ARTU/Latin Honors)
- Alexander Dong A Comparison of the Lasso and Dantzig Selector in Linear Regression Models (Latin Honors)
Math Club Meeting
Watch for information about the next meeting, after spring break.
The Math Club President for 2014-2015 is Peter Lu. Contact him to get involved or ask to be added to the Math's Club's email list. If you're interested in hearing about a specific topic at Math Club, or would like to give a talk yourself, feel free to speak up or email Peter.
Washington University Actuarial Club (WUAC)WUAC is comprised of students who are exploring possible actuarial careers. WUAC's Executive Committee consists Co-Presidents Jongwhan Park and Tiffany Zhang.
- If you want to be added to the WUAC mailing list
- If you are interested in becoming an executive member of WUAC. This is a fairly low time commitment and a great way to meet actuaries from many different lines of business.
- If you are interested in having an informational meeting about what classes to take for what exams, the exam process, general actuarial info, etc. If there is enough interest, we will put a presentation/ Q&A session together
- If you have any questions or feedback.
Join the WUAC Facebook group.
Interested in Helping to Provide Math Enrichment for Motivated Middle School Students? Check out Math Circles!
Summer Research Programs
Undergraduate majors, especially those interested in graduate work in mathematics, should consider applying to one of the many summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program. Students most often participate after the junior year but, depending on your preparation, after the sophomore year might also work. Applications for the coming summer are usually due by about mid February. Explore our web page Undergraduate Study/Internship Opportunities and talk with Professor Ron Freiwald if you might be interested.
Not everyone will agree, but this article is worth considering.
WU Chapter of the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM)
The WashU Chapter of the AWM serves to introduce and connect students into a supportive network of other female college math majors and professionals. We will have activities focused around networking and professional skills, post-graduate opportunities, speakers, and group outings. We will also be doing big/little mentorship pairings for those who are interested.
Some upcoming events include: people share their math-related summer experiences with the rest of AWM (9-30) and a workshop on how to create a cv in LaTeX (10-07).
If you'd like to receive information on WashU AWM, please add yourself to our email list here.
Nationally, the purpose of the Association for Women in Mathematics is to encourage women and girls to study and to have active careers in the mathematical sciences, and to promote equal opportunity and the equal treatment of women and girls in the mathematical sciences.
Benefits of getting involved with an local AWM student chapter include: free AWM membership, networking opportunities, a stronger sense of community, and more. In order to start an AWM student chapter at WashU, we must have 3 students willing to serve as officers and a faculty sponsor. The faculty Sponsor for the AWM WashU chapter is Professor Roberts.
Math Competition Results From 2013-2014
William Lowell Putnam Mathematics Competition
On Saturday, December 7, 2013, nineteen Washington University students participated in the William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition. More than 4000 students, representing several hundred institutions across the United States and Canada took part in this challenging six hour competition that contains 12 problems. Participants work on questions individually, and their work is scored over a period of a few months. Contestants are then ranked by score (there are multiple ties of rank for the same score).
Three of the participants were designated as the Washington University "Team" in the competition, the "Team Score" being the sum of their three individual scores.
The results for the December competition were released in late March. The Washington University team ranked 10th among over 400 teams participating. The team members were Anthony Grebe (sophomore), Patrick Lopatto (junior), and Jongwhan Park (freshman).
Individually, two Washington University students ranked 136, and an additional six ranked among the top 400. Washington University has participated in the Putnam Competition every year for many years. During the past 20 years, the W.U. team has ranked among the "top ten teams" 7 times (including twice in the top 5).
The Putnam Competition is sponsored by the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) and consists of twelve problems, divided between two 3-hour sessions. It is held each year on the first Saturday in December.
Results from the most recent competition (December 2014) should be announced near the end of March, 2015.
Missouri Collegiate Mathematics Competition Spring 2014
Two WU teams participated in the 19th annual Missouri Collegiate Mathematics Competition, sponsored by the Missouri Section of the Mathematics Association of America. The competition was held on March 27-28 on the campus of St. Louis University. The W.U. teams placed 1st and 3rd among the 47 teams participating. The 1st place team scored a perfect "100", the first in the history of the competition, and the 3rd placed team was close behind with a "98."
1st place: Anthony Grebe, Alan Talmage, Fangzhou Xiao
3rd place: Yu Tao Li, Stephen Rong, and Jason Zhang
Upcoming Math Competitions
- 21st annual Missouri Collegiate Mathematics Competition will be held on April 7-8, 2016 pn the campus of Missouri Western State University (St. Joseph, MO). We hope to send 2 teams of 3 students each. This competition consists of ten problems, divided into two 2.5 hour sessions: one Thursday evening and the other Friday morning. Papers are graded Friday afternoon and the results announced at a banquet on Friday evening. If you want read more about the competition (including old exams and solutions), go to the competition website. We will ask in January 2016 about who's interested in going.
- William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition, sponsored by the MAthematical Association of America (MAA): Saturday, December 5, 2015 (approximately 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.) Any number of students can participate, and there will be practice preparation sessions during the fall 2015 semester. Here's how the MAA describes the mathematics background suggested for participants and a partial history of the Putnam Competition). You can view past contest problems and solutions at the Putnam web page maintained at Santa Clara University. Results from the December 2014 competition should be announced in late March 2015. Questions? Contact Professor Renato Feres.
Professor Weiss will be retiring at the end of the 2014-2105 academic year, but we still expect to see much of him around the Math Department as friend and advisor.
William Chauvenet, from the Washington Magazine
Mathematician William Chauvenet was the second Chancellor of Washington University. The Department's Chauvenet Postdoctoral Lecturer positions are named after him. Our Chauvenet Lecturers for 2013-2014 are Professors Ivan Horozov, Peter Luthy, and Songhao (Travis) Li.
Mathematical Moments from the AMS--insights into the role of mathematics in science, technology and society
The 17th annual Conference for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics will be held January 23-25, 2015 in Lincoln, Nebraska. The conference, organized by the University of Nebraska (Lincoln), hosts more than 200 undergraduate women studying mathematics at more than one hundred schools all around the country. Take a look at the website for the 2015 conference.
The conference is a chance to meet with other women interested in mathematics, to learn about life in mathematics graduate school from current female graduate students, hear about summer research opportunities and careers in math. Undergraduate research presentations are also invited. There are also some excellent guest lecturers. You can also read comments from some of the W.U. majors who have attended these conferences in past years.
We expect that registration for the 2016 Conference will open online approximately October 1, and the available spaces fill up very fast--the Conference is usually fully registered within a few days of the opening of registration.
We always welcome feedback or questions from students
- Professor Blake Thornton (Coordinator of Lower Division Teaching: Calculus/Differential Equations questions and issues)
- Professor Ron Freiwald (Director of Undergraduate Studies)
- Professor David Wright, Department Chair