2014 Bryan Summer Research Program Topics Announced

The Dr. Albert H. & Greta A. Bryan Summer Research Program in Mathematics is an opportunity to spend eight weeks of the summer engaging in mathematics at Simpson College.  Each summer six Simpson College students are selected to work on undergraduate research projects with Simpson College faculty members.  Each student receives a $3000 stipend and paid on-campus housing during the program.  In addition, the students receive funding to present their results at a national mathematics conference.

Dr. Bill Schellhorn will lead a project on analyzing draft strategies in professional sports leagues, and Dr. Aaron Santos will lead a project on collective behavior in complex systems.

For more information about the projects and the application process, click here.

2014 Bryan Summer Research Program Topics Announced

The Dr. Albert H. & Greta A. Bryan Summer Research Program in Mathematics is an opportunity to spend eight weeks of the summer engaging in mathematics at Simpson College.  Each summer six Simpson College students are selected to work on undergraduate research projects with Simpson College faculty members.  Each student receives a $3000 stipend and paid on-campus housing during the program.  In addition, the students receive funding to present their results at a national mathematics conference.

Dr. Bill Schellhorn will lead a project on analyzing draft strategies in professional sports leagues, and Dr. Aaron Santos will lead a project on collective behavior in complex systems.

For more information about the projects and the application process, visit the Bryan Summer Research Program website.

Senior considers graduate school abroad

Simpson students find their success all over the world.  One student, senior management and IMC major Lance Kramer is hoping to find the next step in his success story in across the Atlantic in England.

Lance has been a very involved student at Simpson; he worked at Holy Grounds coffee shop on campus, he interned at Community! Youth Concepts, Everybody Wins! Iowa and Parents Anonymous. He is also involved on campus in his fraternity, in AmeriCorps, Religious Life Community and Student Support Services.  Through the senior Strategic Management Seminar course, Lance is also participating in the Emerge@Simpson business incubator.  Rather than choosing an existing project already a part of the incubator, Lance and his team have set a goal to create a non-profit organization focused on agricultural education in the Caribbean.

He is hoping to leverage those experiences in graduate school, but he is not looking down the street, or in the next state.  No, Lance is turning to schools in England.  Lance had a great time studying abroad during his undergrad years, so he is applying to business schools in the London area for graduate school.

“I hope to expand my knowledge through an international experience in seeking a variety of new skills to apply toward my goal of becoming an executive director of a nonprofit organization.”

Lance has been accepted to three of his choice schools and is waiting to hear from the last one before making his decision.  Lance will start his graduate education in England in the fall and we look forward to seeing the good work he brings to the world in the coming years!

Undergraduate Research Publication: The International Journal of Difference Equations

The undergraduate research of Stephen Henrich, Jill Jessee, Blaise Mikels, and Jean Mullen was recently published in The International Journal of Difference Equations.  This publication was co-authored by Assistant Professor of Mathematics Heidi Berger, Assistant Professor of Biology Clint Meyer and David Beresford (Trent University). The paper was titled Application of Time Scales Calculus to the Growth and Development in Populations of Stomoxys calcitrans (Diptera: Muscidae).

The research was started in Summer 2010 during the Dr. Albert H. & Greta A. Bryan Summer Research Program at Simpson College and a grant from the Iowa Academy of Science.  It was completed during the 2010-11 academic year with additional support from a CURM mini-grant.

This group also presented their research at CUR’s Posters on the Hill session in Washington D.C. in April 2011.

Undergraduate Research Publication: The International Journal of Difference Equations

The undergraduate research of Stephen Henrich, Jill Jessee, Blaise Mikels, and Jean Mullen was recently published in The International Journal of Difference Equations.  This publication was co-authored by Assistant Professor of Mathematics Heidi Berger, Assistant Professor of Biology Clint Meyer and David Beresford (Trent University).  The paper was titled Application of Time Scales Calculus to the Growth and Development in Populations of Stomoxys calcitrans (Diptera: Muscidae).

The research was started in Summer 2010 during the Dr. Albert H. & Greta A. Bryan Summer Research Program at Simpson College and a grant from the Iowa Academy of Science.  It was completed during the 2010-11 academic year with additional support from a CURM mini-grant.

This group also presented their research at CUR’s Posters on the Hill session in Washington D.C. in April 2011.

Tetris Board Update

The Tetris board is currently in the basement of the Carver Science Building:

There is an Arduino driving the board right now. The code you are seeing is available via BitBucket at this link.

To Do:

  • The board needs to be straightened out.
  • Paper needs to be put on the board to cover it.
  • Some kind of controls need to be set up.
  • Tetris needs to be programmed.

Feel free to play around with programming the Arduino. See Dr. Craven for details.

Congratulate Jay Simmons

Share your own words of encouragement and congratulations to Jay Simmons as he is inaugurated on March 20, 2014 as Simpson College’s 23rd president.

Carver Clubs Host First Science Off

Question: Arrange these numbers from smallest to largest (see below for answer):

  • Number of stars in the Milky Way
  • Number of neurons in the human brain
  • Number of dollars in the national debt of the USA right now
  • Number of monthly Facebook users
  • Number of pizzas sold worldwide each year

ScienceOff (2)

Math Club partnered with Computer Science Club, Pre-Health Society, and Environmental Awareness Club to host the first Science Off on Thursday, January 30, 2014. The Science Off is a sciences-themed trivia competition similar to Jeopardy in teams. There are two rounds of 25 club-submitted questions each to build up the points and a final round of one question where the teams can wager as many or few points as they would like. The event is open to all undergraduates at Simpson.

Five teams of three turned out for the jovial competition. Math Club President Kelly Bruett and Vice President Taylor Gehrls served as moderators. Student Government Association provided popcorn and Math Club provided soda and M&M’s.

Andy Becker, Matt Christen, and Park Mikels as Team McWilliams won first place, $60 to keep, and $45 to put in a club budget of their choice. Zoey Hogue, Noah Hartman, and Connor McDermott as Team Overreacting won second place and $30. Andrew Dexter, Kayce Olbrich, and Lauren Schemmel as The Helicases (We Unzip Your Genes) won third place and $15.

This event was a success in bolstering the community atmosphere in Carver Science Center. Thanks to everyone who helped out or donated to the event!

Answer:

  • 1.3 billion monthly Facebook users
  • 5 billion pizzas sold worldwide per year
  • 85 – 100 billion neurons in the human brain
  • 400 billion stars in the Milky Way
  • $17.3 trillion in USA national debt

 

Mathematical/Interdisciplinary Contests in Modeling

Starting at 7pm on Thursday, February 6 and continuing for the next four days, 69 Simpson students, more than 5% of our full-time enrollment, will participate in the international MCM/ICM competition.

Students in teams of three work for 96 hours on an open-ended, interdisciplinary, real-world problem that can be approached from a computational, mathematical or scientific approach. They have to understand the problem, solve it, test the solution and report the results all in four days, while developing their skills in oral and written communication, time management, project management, collaboration, critical thinking, information literacy, quantitative reasoning and others. The problems can be about anything, but of the three problems to choose from this year there is a good chance that one will be on social networking.

At 7:00pm on Thursday February 6, 2014, the problems will be posted.

The competition is open to all students who do not already have a 4-year degree, and the registration fees are generously provided by SGA. The 69 participants this year come from 26 different majors (Actuarial Science, Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Information Systems, Computer Science , Criminal Justice, Economics, Economics and Finance, Exercise Science, German, History, Honors in Mathematics, IIM Applied Statistics, International Relations, Mathematics, Music-BA, Physics, Physics/Engineering, Psychology, Sociology, Spanish, Studio Art).

There are 19 First-year students, 24 Sophomores, 13 Juniors and 13 Seniors. Some of the seniors have participated 4 times in the MCM/ICM and more counting other modeling competitions.

Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival

KCACTFMy time at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival was entertaining and informative.  I spent the week in workshops, receiving helpful information on how to further my career in theatre. Two things that I participated in were professional auditions and the LMDA/KCACTF Dramaturgy award.

I served as dramaturg for Theatre Simpson’s production of The Women of Lockerbie. I took my actors packet, script with notes, high school theatre festival packet, and rehearsal reports to KCACTF in a protocol that was entered in the competition. I also make a poster that displayed some information and photos of my progress. A dramaturg hired by the festival judged my protocol and poster against thirteen other contestants work. We had a response session the day after and I received a lot of helpful critiques and compliments. Seeing him respond to others work was also helpful because it gave me ideas to use next time I dramaturg. I want to explore using social media as a way to spread information to the cast.

I passed a screening process at school before leaving for KCACTF, giving the clear for me to audition for professional companies. I sat in a room of twenty people and watched them all audition for six companies. I felt my audition was strong and well done. I was proud of how I performed. I did not get called back for any companies. Next year I plan on preparing a musical selection as well because I feel that is a better way to get work during the summer.

At KCACTF, I was busy with my competition and auditions; however, I still had time to see a lot of fun things. I saw 4 full productions, a costume parade, selected scenes from region 5 colleges, and Irene Ryan Scholarship participant’s scenes. Getting to watch theatre for a week reminds me why I decided this was the life I wanted for myself. There is no better life than one lead creating new things. I may not be sure of what field I want, but I know theatre is what I want to do with my life. I am so thankful for the opportunities Simpson gives me, like going to KCACTF, to better myself.

~Gillian Randall