Research

Every Mathematics major, Actuary science major and Honors in Mathematics major at Simpson College has the opportunity to participate in undergraduate research in the classroom and during the summer.  Our students research topics in pure mathematics and applied mathematics, as well as topics that are interdisciplinary.  Some of the most popular topics include game theory, mathematical biology, applied graph theory, applied knot theory, the mathematics of origami, number theory, topology, differential equations, modeling epidemics, data mining, and biostatistics.

Capstone Course:  Math 385 Senior Research Seminar is the capstone course for the Mathematics major and Actuary Science Major.  In this course, an emphasis is placed on further development of skills in the areas of written and oral communication, problem solving, and research.  Faculty choose the topics in consultation with the student.

Summer Research Program:  The Dr. Albert H. & Greta A. Bryan Summer Research Program is an opportunity for Simpson students to spend eight weeks of the summer completing undergraduate research with our math faculty.

Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REUs):  A wide variety of summer REU opportunities exist in the mathematical sciences.  The programs are held for 8-10 weeks at colleges, universities, laboratories, hospitals, and institutes across the country and abroad.  The programs usually pay each student a stipend of several thousand dollars to participate.  In addition, they often cover travel and living expenses for the duration of the program and fund travel to present research at conferences.

Conference Presentations: One important aspect of undergraduate research is making presentations about the results of the research.  Most of our math students present at the Midwest Undergraduate Mathematics Symposium that is hosted by our department every spring.  Our department also provides support for students to present at other state, regional and national conferences.  The combination of participating in undergraduate research projects and presenting the results at conferences gives our students a competitive edge when seeking employment and applying for graduate school.

Research Projects

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Student Publications:  Simpson math students complete undergraduate research in their senior capstone courses, in grant-supported projects during the academic year, in our Bryan Summer Research Program, and in national summer research programs.  Some of their outstanding work has been published in both undergraduate and professional journals.