News & Notes
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.
The Department will be able to reimburse most of the cost of airfare for a small number of female majors who attend. The conference organizers will pay for most of the other related expenses (such as housing). Attendees themselves will be responsible to pay for a relatively small Conference Registration Fee.
Registration for the 2015 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. So planning needs to be done soon.
If you're interested in attending, please send an email to Professor Ron Freiwald by Friday September 19. We will see how many are interested and quickly notify those whom we can support. Since we usually have more students interested than we can support, please do not apply unless you are committed to actually attending.
Annual Junior Math Majors Meeting
At this meeting, we’ll have a couple of faculty members + a representative from the Career Center. It’s a time to talk about questions majors might have as they go into the “second half” of the major and of their time at WU. This can include questions about courses, summer after junior year, internships, resources of the career center, graduate school, distinction in mathematics or Latin Honors, … and whatever else you like. Other math majors are also welcome if they care to come.
We’ll also plan on having some pizza. I’ll send out a message in a couple of weeks asking you whether or not you plan to come so we can have some idea about the amount of pizza to order and how large a room is needed. Meanwhile, pencil it in on your calendars and save the day/time if you can.
The next Putnam Competition will be on on Saturday, December 6, 2014. Practice problem solving sessions will be held on Friday afternoons, 4-6 p.m. in Compton 241, starting on September 5. Free pizza will be served. Everyone is welcome to participate, even if you don't plan to participate in the December competition.
The Putnam Competition is sponsored by the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) and consists of twelve problems, divided between two 3-hour sessions. Here's how the MAA describes the mathematics background suggested for the Competition. You can learn more about the competition at the Putnam web page maintained at Santa Clara University. Here is partial history of the Putnam Competition and an archive of past problems and solutions.
Interested in Helping to Provide Math Enrichment for Motivated Middle School Students? Check out Math Circles!
Formation of a WU Chapter of the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM)
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 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.
The ARTU Program expects to accept applications for a small number of posiitions as ARTU Scholars or Research Assistants in the early fall. An announcement will be emailed to all majors.
Summer Research Programs
Undergraduate majors, especially those interested in graduate work in mathematics, should also 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.
Next meeting, Fall 2014. Watch here for news! As always, pizza will be served !
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)
- 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.
Upcoming Math Competitions
- William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition: Saturday, December 6, 2014 (approximately 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.)
- Missouri Collegiate Mathematics Competition: March 26-27 2015, at Missouri University of Science and TEchnology (Rolla, MO)
Math Competition Results: 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.
Here's how the MAA describes the mathematics background suggested for the Competition. You can view past contest problems and solutions at the Putnam web page maintained at Santa Clara University. Here is a partial history of the Putnam Competition).
The next Putnam Competition will be on on Saturday, December 6, 2014. During the fall semester, we will again have weekly problem solving sessions to prepare. All students are welcome to participate, even if they don't want to compete in December. Questions? Contact Professor Renato Feres or Professor Carl Bender (Physics).
Missouri Collegiate Mathematics Competition
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
You can read more here about the annual Missouri competition: the page includes an archive of past problems, solutions, and oficial competition photos.
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.
Not everyone will agree, but this article is worth considering.
Annual Mathematics Department Awards Ceremony
At this ceremony we recognize and present honors cords (to wear at Commencement ceremonies) to those graduating majors who have been recommended for Latin Honors or the Distinction in Mathematics Award, as well as those who are receiving ARTU certificates or one of the Department's named prizes. We also take note of other student achievements such as success in mathematics competitions. We recognize a graduate student who has won a Dean's Award for Excellence in Teaching and also present the Department's Guido Weiss Award for Teaching and Service to a faculty member or graduate student.
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