Math Competitions this academic year
- Putnam Competition, Saturday, December 3, 2016. A total of 4164 students from 568 colleges and universities in Canada and the U.S. participated. The Washington University Team received an Honorable Mention with a rank of 13 among the teams from 415 institutions in the United States and Canada. The WU team members were Pengning (Patrick) Chao, Caleb Ji, and Alex Mason. Five WU students had individual ranks of 200 or better.
- Missouri Collegiate Mathematics Competition: Thursday was held on March 30 and Friday March 31, 2017 on the campus of Missouri Southern State University in Joplin, Missouri. Two WU teams captured first and thrid place in the competition. First place teams members were Matt Ehren, Alex Mason, and Changming Xu. The third place team consisted of Jay Iyer and Sam Heil. You can view old competition problems and solutions at the Competition Archive. For more information, please contact Blake Thornton (Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies).
Juniors: Latin Honors and Distinction in Mathematics Awards for May 2018
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. All students who are considering writing a senior thesis (for Latin Honors, or for the "High" or "Highest" Distinction in Mathematics awards must file a request for admission to candidacy by the end junior year. The reason for the "early filing" is that a senior thesis is supposed to be a significant project that involves planning, reading, mathematical work, and write-up, and it should not be something put together in a hurry. Students planning for an August or December graduation should consult with Blake Thornton (Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies). about timing, but should plan on approximately similar "lead times" for such a project.
- Proposal for Admission to Candidacy for Latin Honors
- Proposal for Senior Theis Candidacy for High or Highest Distinction but not Latin Honors
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 Blake Thornton (Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies) if you might be interested.
The Department expects to be able sometime this fall to accept aplications for our own research program (ARTU). This will depend on our funding from the Office of Undergraduate Research.
Next meeting: TBA spring 2017, organizers needed (contact Professor Thornton if you want to help out)
WU Chapter of the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM)
We are in the process of organizing an Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) student chapter at WashU. AWM is a non-profit organization that encourages women and girls to study and have active careers 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.
If you have any questions, please email Professor Rachel Roberts.
Loeb Undergraduate Lecture in Mathematics
Each spring the Department hosts a visiting mathematician to deliver a special lecture for undergraduates. This lecture is made possible by a wonderful gift from Jerry and Carol Loeb. The speaker in spring 2017 was Erica Flapan, Ligurn H. Burkhead Professor of Mathematics, Pomona College. She spoke on "Topological and Geometric Symmetries of Molecular Structures"
Watch for announcements about the Loeb Lecture for spring 2018.
Washington University Actuarial Club (WUAC)
- 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.
For the past 19 years, this conference has been an annual event in late January/early February, organized and hosted by the University of Nebraska. The conference is usually attended by more than 200 undergraduate women who are studying mathematics at more than one hundred schools all around the country.
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. See the conference web page for details. You can also read comments from some of the W.U. majors who have attended these conferences in past years.
We expect that there will be another conference in late January or early February 2018. The Department may be able to help with airfare for a few female majors (up to a limit of $300 each) who would like to attend. The Conference organizers cover most of the other expense like lodging and the main meals. Students are personally responsible for a conference registration fee, usually about $50. Be thinking about whether you might enjoy going to this meeting. Contact Blake Thornton by September 9, 2018 if you might be interested in going.
Registration for the conference usually begins on approximately October 1 and it fills up very fast. The Conference organizers may limit the number of students allowed to attend from each school.
Not everyone will agree, but this article is worth considering.
A smaller version (the "dual" of this structure) now hangs in the Math Lounge (room 200)
A team at the University of Central Missouri, headed by Curtis Cooper has announced, via press release from the Mersenne organization, that they have found the largest prime number ever. It breaks the old record by about 5 million digits. (Prof. Cooper also is one of the organizers of the Missouri Collegiate Mathematics Competition in which our teams perticipate each year.)
Mathematical Moments from the AMS--insights into the role of mathematics in science, technology and society
Mathematics Department Annual Holiday Potluck Lunch
In celebration of the end of the semester and the coming holidays, the Math Department hosts an Holiday Potluck Lunch on the last day of the fall reading period. This lunch is for undergraduate majors, math graduiate students and mathematics faculty.
Watch for more imformation about the lunch in December 2017.
We always welcome feedback or questions from students
- Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies: BlakeThornton
- Department Chair: Professor John McCarthy