Kiera Dobbs and Brian Foley

College of Wooster students Kiera Dobbs (top) and Brian Foley (bottom) presented their research, along with five Wooster faculty members, at the joint meetings of the American Mathematical Society and the Mathematical Association of America earlier this month in Seattle. 


Wooster Mathematicians Share Research at Joint National Meetings

Three students and five faculty members participate in four-day gathering in Seattle

26 January, 2016 by John Finn

WOOSTER, Ohio — A group of students and faculty from The College of Wooster shared the results of their research at the joint meetings of the American Mathematical Society and the Mathematical Association of America earlier this month in Seattle, joining more than 6,000 mathematicians from across the country who attended the event.

Wooster students Kiera Dobbs, Brian Foley, and Shiwani Varal joined faculty members Drew Pasteur, Pam Pierce, John Ramsay, Jim Hartman, and Jen Bowen at the four-day gathering.

Dobbs, a senior, presented a poster, titled “Optimal Placement of Family Planning Centers,” which highlights some of the results of her Senior Independent Study project (Wooster’s nationally acclaimed undergraduate research experience), supervised by Matt Moynihan, visiting assistant professor of mathematics and computer science at Wooster. Foley, a junior, gave a talk, titled “Solving the Unknotting Problem,” based on a research project that he worked on with senior Michael Bush during the summer AMRE (Applied Methods Research Experience) program, which was advised by Ramsay and Bowen. He also presented a poster with the same title at the undergraduate poster session, which was honored as one of the outstanding entries in the session (50 of the 341 undergraduate posters received this designation). Varal, a sophomore, was an observer who hopes to become a presenter next year.

Pasteur co-organized a popular session on Mathematics and Sports, where he also gave a presentation about the evaluation of NFL punters, based on a student-research project being completed by juniors Preston Pozderac, Emily Howerton, and Stuart Young.

Pierce and Hartman presented “Learning to Ask Questions: A Matrix Project,” which described an inquiry-based assignment that they have used in linear algebra classes at Wooster.

Bowen organized and facilitated the seventh annual Graduate Education Mentoring (GEM) workshop for alumnae of Carleton College’s Summer Mathematics Program (SMP). Seventeen graduate students attended the workshop, which included mathematical talks and panel discussions designed to lay the groundwork for future research and professional collaborations.

All conference attendees had the chance to meet and talk with local alumni, parents, and friends at a gathering hosted by the Wooster Alumni Office on Jan. 7 at a downtown restaurant.