Student research will highlight Mathematics Symposium at Simpson

It’s time to celebrate math.

Not the math that helps you balance your checkbook – although that’s important, too – but the kind of math projects and research that can improve, and change, the world.

One of the attractions of the 11th annual Midwest Undergraduate Mathematics Symposium (MUMS), to be held April 11-12 in the Carver Science Center at Simpson College, is that it will demonstrate the many ways that mathematics enhance our daily lives.

The symposium will bring together dozens of students from colleges and universities throughout the region, including about 20 from Simpson, who will deliver talks or display posters regarding their undergraduate research projects.

Simpson is the only college in Iowa to hold a regional mathematics conference.

“MUMS is a wonderful opportunity to showcase the mathematical work achieved by undergraduates in this region,” said Heidi Berger, assistant mathematics professor at Simpson. “We organize this conference so that students at all levels – introductory up to advanced majors – can benefit from the conference and get energized to participate in the mathematical community.”

Two plenary talks have been planned that are appropriate for a general audience, and the public is invited to attend. There is no charge for the talks or to see the student presentations.

Jitka Stehnova from Mount Mercy University in Cedar Rapids will speak at 7 p.m. Friday on, “The Beauty of Math,” about the aesthetic nature of mathematics.

Kathryn Leonard from the California State University Channel Islands will present, “Shape Modeling with Industry and Undergraduates,” about automated object recognition. Her talk will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday in the Carver Science Center.

“Our hope is that Simpson students can see how their work fits into the greater community,” Berger said. “For many, this may be their first introduction to a regional conference that highlights mathematics that they don’t ordinarily get to see in the classroom.”

For more information, visit the MUMS website: http://simpson.edu/math/midwest-undergraduate-mathematics-symposium/

Funding for MUMS 2014 is provided by NSF grant DMS-0846477 through the MAA Regional Undergraduate Mathematics Conferences program (maa.org/RUMC).  Additional funding is provided by the Simpson College Mathematics Department (simpson.edu/math).

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