The mathematics department offers many opportunities for students to participate in undergraduate research. 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. One important aspect of undergraduate research is making presentations about the results of the research. Most of our math students choose to 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.
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.
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.
- Basnet, Shikha, “Monopolist Strategies in a Durable Goods Market“, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology Undergraduate Math Journal, Vol. 8, Issue 1, 2007
- Clipperton, Jean, ” L(d, 2, 1)-Labeling of Simple Graphs“, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology Undergraduate Math Journal, Vol. 9, Issue 2, 2008
- Jessee, Jill, et al., “Physiologically Based Pharmacokinetic (PBPK) Modeling of Metabolic Pathways of Bromochloromethane in Rats“, Journal of Toxicology, Vol. 2012, Article ID 629781
- Jessee, Jill, et al., “The impact of sexually abstaining groups on persistence of sexually transmitted infections in populations with ephemeral pair bonds“, Journal of Theoretical Biology, Vol. 292, 2012
- Lingscheit, Michelle, Kiersten Ruff and Jeremy Ward, “ L(d, j, s) Minimal and Surjective Graph Labeling“, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology Undergraduate Math Journal, Vol. 10, Issue 1, 2009
- Ruff, Kiersten, “L(d, j, s) Minimal Graph Labeling”, Mathematics and Statistics Student Paper Competition, Missouri University of Science and Technology, 2009 (tied for first place)
Independent Research: A student interested in working on an independent mathematics project can approach any of the members of the mathematics faculty; such a project would probably result in a 1-credit independent study. The faculty member will help the student find a topic, work with the student on a regular basis, and provide assistance in presenting the student’s results to a general audience.
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. A student’s time at a math REU is generally devoted to working in small groups with other undergraduates on original research projects under the direction of a professional researcher. An REU helps a student learn mathematics beyond the standard undergraduate curriculum. 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.
Senior Research Seminar: The capstone course in the Mathematics major is Math 385 Senior Research Seminar. 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. 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.
Honors Research in Mathematics: The capstone course in the Honors in Mathematics major is Math 398 Honors Research in Mathematics. This 4-credit course is an opportunity for a student to continue the research project he or she started in Math 385 Senior Research Seminar.