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Midwest Undergraduate Mathematics Symposium

The 19th annual Midwest Undergraduate Mathematics Symposium (MUMS) will be held on Saturday, April 15, 2023, at Simpson College. The conference will feature contributed talks and poster presentations by undergraduates.  Our plenary speaker will be Terrance Pendleton from Drake University.  Sara Reed '16 from the University of Kansas School of Business will be our alumni keynote speaker.

MUMS 2023 will be followed by the first-ever Simpson Math Department Alumni Reunion!  The reunion will take place from 4-8pm on the same day (Saturday, April 15, 2023).  To see more details and register for the reunion, please go to the reunion website.


  • Promote student engagement in the mathematical sciences, including projects and research (completed individually or in groups).
  • Provide students the opportunity to share and celebrate the work they have completed in the mathematical sciences.
  • Introduce students to topics and applications of mathematics that are new to them.
  • Inform students about research programs and study abroad opportunities in the mathematical sciences.
  • Inform students about career and graduate school opportunities in the mathematical sciences.



9:30AM Registration and Poster Session set-up (Carver Atrium)
10:00AM Plenary address: Terrance Pendleton (Jordan Lecture Hall, Carver Science Center)
11:00AM Break
11:15AM Student talks (Jordan Lecture Hall)
12:00PM Lunch (On your own)
1:30PM Career panel (Jordan Lecture Hall)
2:15PM Student Talks (Jordan Lecture Hall)
3:15PM Poster session (Carver Atrium)
4:00PM Alumni Keynote Address: Sara Reed (Hubbell I)
5:00PM Closing remarks (Jordan Lecture Hall)


Plenary Talks

Plenary Address: If You Build It, They Will Come: Creating Authentic Undergraduate Research Experiences in Mathematics


Headshot of Terrance Pendleton
Terrance Pendleton


Terrance Pendleton is an associate professor of mathematics and has been with Drake University since 2016. His primary research area is in applied mathematics, particularly mathematical modeling, and partial differential equations. He received his Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from North Carolina State University. Prior to Drake University, he was a postdoctoral research fellow at Iowa State University through the Alliance for Building Faculty Diversity. Recently, he has had a focus on equity in the mathematics classroom through his work as a Center for Inquiry and Equity in Mathematics fellow. His current NSF funded research project focuses on the impact of inviting early college students to be mathematicians with the goal of increasing the visibility of underrepresented populations in STEM and in particular mathematics. 

Abstract: In this talk, we explore various math modeling projects as a means of inspiring new students to pursue mathematics. In particular, we showcase different real-world problems and their solutions using mathematical modeling techniques, ranging from predicting the decay of windspeeds from a landfalling hurricane to optimizing the performance of renewable energy systems. The presentation highlights the interdisciplinary nature of mathematics and its practical applications, emphasizing the skills and knowledge gained from studying mathematics. By showcasing diverse examples of mathematical modeling, this talk aims to ignite curiosity and passion for mathematics among students and demonstrate the relevance and importance of mathematical knowledge in contemporary society.

Alumni Keynote Address: Does Parking Matter? The Impact of Parking on Last-Mile Delivery Optimization


Headshot of Sara Reed
Sara Reed



Sara Reed is an Assistant Professor of Business Analytics in the School of Business at the University of Kansas. She received her PhD in Applied Mathematical and Computational Sciences from the University of Iowa where she also earned an MS in Mathematics. She is an alumna of Simpson College earning her BA in Mathematics and Economics/Finance. Her research interests are in transportation logistics, particularly focusing on the challenges and opportunities in last-mile delivery. Her research has been published in Management Science and Transportation Science. She was awarded first place in the 2020 Bayer Women in Operations Research Scholarship Prize by the Institute for Operations Research and Management Sciences (INFORMS) and honorable mention for the INFORMS Transportation Science and Logistics Society 2022 Dissertation Prize. She was also selected as a finalist for the 2021 VeRoLog Dissertation Prize.

Abstract: Last-mile delivery is the movement of goods from a transportation hub to their final destination. Parking the delivery vehicle is a necessary component of traditional last-mile delivery practices but finding parking is often difficult. We explore the impact of parking time on optimal routing decisions for last-mile delivery. Computational experiments show how parking time impacts the structure and completion time of the delivery route. Further, we provide insight as to how to make parking a strategic decision for the delivery driver.


Please fill out the Registration Form.

There is no registration fee, but we do request that you register in advance by March 31.  

Call for Presentations

Undergraduate students are invited and encouraged to make presentations in any mathematics-related field. Possible topics for talks and posters include, but are not limited to:

  • results of class projects;
  • solutions to contest problems (Putnam Exam, modeling or data analytics competitions, etc.);
  • results from undergraduate research projects (summer programs, capstone courses, etc.);
  • expository talks on interesting topics in mathematics;
  • papers on the history of mathematics;
  • mathematics education projects; and
  • independent work in mathematics, statistics, computer science, or related disciplines.

Abstract Submission

Abstracts are due by Friday, March 31, 2023.  Abstract submissions must include the following information:

  • names of all presenters and their schools;
  • title of the presentation;
  • brief abstract (one paragraph);
  • your preference for a talk or poster presentation; and
  • faculty sponsor(s).

We have a limited number of time slots available for student talks, but a larger capacity for poster presentations.  Please submit your title and abstract by filling out our registration form.  To see abstracts from previous years, click on "MUMS 2022 Abstracts" or "MUMS 2019 Abstracts" below. If you have any questions, contact Dr. Katherine Vance (katherine.vance@simpson.edu) or Dr. Heidi Berger (heidi.berger@simpson.edu).

MUMS 2023 PDF Schedule

MUMS 2023 Abstracts

MUMS 2022 Abstracts

MUMS 2019 Abstracts

Presentation and Travel FAQs